In-Office Biophysical Profiles


What Is A BPP Test

A biophysical profile (BPP) is a prenatal test used to check on your baby’s well-being. The test combines fetal ultrasound and fetal heart rate monitoring (nonstress test) to evaluate a baby’s breathing, heart rate, muscle tone, movements, and level of amniotic fluid.

The biophysical profile test is usually done after week 32 of pregnancy but can be given when your pregnancy is far enough for delivery to be considered—generally after week 24. A low score on a biophysical profile test might indicate that you and your baby need further testing. In some cases, early or immediate delivery might be recommended.

Call our main office at (404) 255 3633 to schedule an appointment.

At Northside/Northpoint OB/GYN of Alpharetta and Atlanta, GA, we offer care for every stage of pregnancy so women can stay healthy from conception through delivery. A biophysical profile is a noninvasive test and will not cause any physical risks to you or your baby. Find out whether our biophysical profile test in Alpharetta and Atlanta might benefit your baby—call us today at (404) 255 3633.

What Can I Expect

How Do I Prepare

A biophysical profile test typically requires no special preparation.

How Long Does It Take

A biophysical profile test can be done in your provider’s office and might take about 30 minutes or so to complete. A modified biophysical profile test can take less time.

What Are The Risks

A biophysical profile test is a noninvasive test that poses no physical risks to your baby

or you. Also, be aware that it’s not always clear that the BPP test can improve pregnancy outcomes. A biophysical profile test is often recommended for women with an increased risk of problems that can lead to complications or pregnancy loss.

Generally, your provider might recommend that you have a full biophysical ultrasound and biophysical profile test once or twice a week, depending on your health until you deliver your baby. Find out whether our biophysical profile test in Alpharetta and Atlanta might benefit your baby—call us today at (404) 255 3633.

Do I Need A BPP Test

A biophysical profile is used to monitor and evaluate a baby’s health. A biophysical profile aims to prevent risks of pregnancy loss and detect a low oxygen supply in your baby early enough so that he or she can be delivered and not sustain any permanent damage.

Call our main office at (404) 255 3633 to schedule an appointment.

Your health care provider will determine the necessity and timing of a biophysical profile test based on the severity of your condition, whether your baby could survive if delivered early, and the risk of pregnancy loss.

Your provider can initially recommend a modified biophysical profile test—a simplified version of the BPP test that includes an assessment of amniotic fluid through ultrasound and a nonstress test. The simplified BPP test results will then be used to determine whether you need a full biophysical profile, which also measures movements, muscle tone, and a baby’s breathing.

Your provider might recommend a full biophysical profile test if:

  • Your pregnancy is two weeks past your due date
  • You have a multiple pregnancy with known complications
  • You have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or lupus
  • Your baby has possible fetal growth problems or decreased fetal movements
  • You have previous pregnancy complications or a history of pregnancy loss 
  • You have too much amniotic fluid or a low amniotic fluid volume
  • You have rhesus sensitization—a potentially serious condition that occurs when your baby’s blood group is Rh positive and your blood group is Rh-negative
  • You are older than age 35
  • Your provider can also recommend a biophysical physical test if you’re between 40 and 42 weeks pregnant

What Happens During A BPP Test

During The Procedure

During the nonstress test portion, you’ll lie down on an exam table and have a belt situated across your abdomen. The belt contains a sensor that will measure the fetal heart rate. If your baby is asleep, you might possibly need to wait until they awaken to ensure accurate results. In some cases, your provider might try to awaken your baby by projecting a sound over your abdomen.

During the biophysical ultrasound exam, you’ll also lie down on an exam table. Your provider or an ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of gel to your abdomen. Then they will roll a small device called a transducer over your skin. The BPP ultrasound transducer will emit pulses of sound waves that will be translated into a pattern of light and dark areas, creating your baby’s image on a monitor.

Your provider or the ultrasound technician will then evaluate your baby’s body movements, breathing movements, muscle tone, and level of amniotic fluid. If your baby is asleep, this part of the BPP ultrasound test might take a little while longer.

After The Procedure

When the biophysical profile test is complete, your provider will likely discuss your results with you right away.

The Results

Each area of your abdomen that’s evaluated during a BPP test is given a score of 0 or 2 points, depending on whether certain criteria were met. And so, a score can be given immediately.

If your provider finds that you have a low level of amniotic fluid, you’ll require further testing and might need to deliver your baby early—regardless of your overall score. Certain factors will affect the results of a BPP test, including the recent use of corticosteroids to speed up your baby’s lung maturity. Taking certain medications, such as morphine, will also affect the score.

Be sure to discuss the BPP test results of your biophysical profile and biophysical ultrasound with your provider to fully understand what they mean for you and your baby.

To schedule an appointment, call our main office at (404) 255 3633, or if you’re an existing patient click here. We service the area of Buckhead in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Roswell, Forsyth, Cumming, North Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta in Fulton County, GA.