What Is the Biophysical Profile?

To have the biophysical profile done there is need for a non-stress test and for an ultrasound. With the help of this profile the doctors can determine the health of the little one during the last trimester of pregnancy. Usually it is performed if the health of the baby is questionable.

Biophysical Profile

How is the BPP test performed?

As it has been mentioned before, the procedure consists of two tests. During the non-stress test there are two belts attached to the belly of the mother. One of them measures the heart rate of the fetus and the other one the contractions. All this is measured for about 20-30 minutes.

When thinking about the test of BPP you shouldn’t be worried if the baby doesn’t move during the test. It is possible that he or she is simply asleep. In some cases the nurse will use a buzzer to wake the baby up for the rest of the testing.

The ultrasound of the biophysical profile is performed just like any other kind of ultrasound. It is performed by a sonographer and it is verified by a perinatologist. It is possible for the ultrasound to last for an hour and there are various signs that are measured to make sure that the little one is healthy.

What is the BPP measuring looking for?

In the majority of the cases there are five aspects that are measured and that are scored: breathing, muscle tone, movement, amniotic fluid and heart rate. The total score will determine the results of the test. Based on this score the doctor will tell you whether the baby needs to be born sooner than planned.

Risks and effects

The good news about the biophysical profile is that it is a noninvasive test so that there are no risks and side effects to the mother or the baby. However there are some specialists who are concerned because in this case the ultrasounds have to be used for longer periods of time.

Why is the measuring of BPP done?

The main point is to learn about the health of the baby. It is common for the profile to be done if the mother has hyperthyroidism, lupus, bleeding problems, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, type 1 diabetes, preeclampsia, little amniotic fluid or she is pregnant with twins.

How to prepare for the biophysical profile?

It is possible that you will need a full bladder for the test. The doctor may ask you to drink some water or other kinds of fluids right before the test and you aren’t allowed to urinate before and during the test. If you are in your third trimester it may not be necessary to have a full bladder.

If you are going to have a BPP testing and you are a smoker, your doctor will ask you not to smoke a couple of hours prior to the test. This is because smoking decreases the activity of the baby.

As you can see biophysical profile is quite complex.


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