Biophysical profile (BPP) test is a prenatal test performed to monitor the health of the fetus. This test is a combination of fetal ultrasound and a nonstress test i.e. heart rate monitoring of the fetus. The test is performed to measure the certain attributes in an unborn child including:
- Normal breathing of the fetus i.e. continuous rhythmic breathing cycles.
- Normal heart rate and increased heart rate while any movements.
- Muscle tone e.g. flexing and extension of limbs, closing and opening of mouth and hands or rotation of the baby’s trunk, etc.
- Movements of the fetus
- The amniotic fluid which protects the fetus
Both the fetus ultrasound and nonstress test are allocated scores, based on whether the test criteria has been met or not. If the score is low on a Biophysical profile, the doctor may advise going for some more tests to get a confirmed diagnosis. The biophysical test is usually performed in the last trimester of pregnancy or after the 32nd week of pregnancy. This test is a very safe and noninvasive and doesn’t have any side effects. There is no risk involved in the biophysical test either to the expectant mother or to the fetus.