The biophysical profile combines ultrasound with the nonstress test as an assessment of the physical health of the fetus. These tests are performed late in pregnancy as the fetus matures. The following information is typically gathered:

  • The amount of amniotic fluid (ultrasound)
  • Fetal heart rate (nonstress test)
  • Fetal breathing (ultrasound)
  • Fetal body movement (ultrasound)
  • Fetal muscle tone (ultrasound)

The biophysical profile consists of a numerical score on each of these individual assessments as well as a total numerical score as the sum of each test. The score may be used by your healthcare provider to determine if special care and certain adjustments are needed during your pregnancy and delivery.

Who Should Undergo This Test?

Your healthcare provider may recommend this test, as well as other tests, if you have a medical condition that could put you at risk for having problems with your pregnancy. Examples of conditions that could put you and your baby at risk include:

Your healthcare provider may suggest other tests to gather important information about the health of your fetus. A problematic test result often suggests that you need special care. It does not necessarily mean that your fetus is in trouble. Your healthcare provider will be able to answer questions and discuss any concerns you have about this form of monitoring.