Biophysical Profile (BPP)
How It Feels
Lying on your back (or side) during the
test may be uncomfortable. During a fetal ultrasound, you may have a feeling of
pressure in your bladder. The gel may feel cool when it is first applied to
your stomach. You will feel a light pressure from the transducer as it passes
over your abdomen.
There is very little chance of either the mother
or the baby having a problem from a biophysical profile (BPP). But you may feel
anxious if the ultrasound reveals a problem with your pregnancy or baby. A
nonstress test may falsely show distress in a baby that is actually
A biophysical profile (BPP) test measures
the health of your baby (fetus) during pregnancy. The results
are scores on five measurements in a 30-minute observation period.
A score of 8 to 10 points means that your baby is healthy. A score of 6
to 8 points means that you may need to be retested in 12 to 24 hours. A score
of 4 or less may mean the baby is having problems. Further testing will be
|| Normal (2 points)
|| Abnormal (0 points)
| Nonstress test
2 or more heart rate increases of at least 15 beats per minute. Each increase lasts 15 seconds or more and is seen with movement.
Only 1 heart rate increase is seen, or the heart rate does
not increase by more than 15 beats with movement.
| Breathing movement
1 or more breathing movements last at least 60
Breathing movement lasts less than 60 seconds, or no
breathing is seen.
| Body movement
3 or more movements of the arms, legs, or body
Less than 3 movements of the arms, legs, or
| Muscle tone
Arms and legs are usually flexed and the head rests on the
chest. 1 or more extensions and return to flexion are seen, such as the opening
and closing of a hand.
The fetus extends slowly and only returns partway to a
The fetus extends but does not return to a normal
The arms, legs, or spine are extended, or a hand is
| Amniotic fluid volume (amniotic fluid index)
- One or more pockets of amniotic fluid are seen in the uterus, each at least 1 cm (0.4 in.) wide and long.
- The amniotic fluid index is between 5 cm (2 in.) and 24 cm (9.4 in.).2
Not enough amniotic fluid is seen in the uterus.