Biophysical Profile

What is a biophysical profile?

A fetal biophysical profile is a prenatal test in which ultrasound is used to evaluate and score the baby’s heart rate, breathing, movements, muscle tone and amniotic fluid level.

Why is this test performed?

The purpose of a biophysical profile is to prevent pregnancy loss. Your health care provider might order a biophysical profile for the following reasons:
-A multiple pregnancy with complications.
-An underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.
-A pregnancy that has extended two weeks past your due date.
-A history of pregnancy loss or complications.
-Decreased fetal movements or possible fetal growth issues.
-Premature leaking or rupture of the amniotic sac before week 37 of pregnancy.
-High amniotic fluid volume (polyhydramnios) or low amniotic fluid volume (oligohydramnios).
-Rh (rhesus) sensitization.
-Abnormal results from other prenatal testing.

How is this test performed?

A biophysical profile is a noninvasive ultrasound test that is typically done after week 32 of pregnancy. The test is usually recommended for women with high-risk pregnancies. A low score on a biophysical profile indicate that your pregnancy requires further monitoring or special care.

What should I expect during this test?

During the ultrasound exam, you will lie on an exam table. The sonographer will apply gel to your abdomen and use the transducer to produce ultrasound images of the fetus. The sonographer will evaluate your baby’s breathing movements, body movements, muscle tone and amniotic fluid level. A biophysical profile test typically takes about 30 minutes.

How do I prepare for this test?

There is no preparation for a biophysical profile.

Are there any risks associated with a biophyical profile?

A biophysical profile test has no associated risks for you or your baby.