Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Biophysical profile (BPP)

A biophysical profile (BPP) test measures the health of your baby (fetus) during pregnancy.

A BPP test includes a nonstress test with electronic fetal heart monitoring and a fetal ultrasound. The BPP measures your baby's heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. Some BPPs do not include all the measurements.

A biophysical profile may be recommended if the results of a nonstress test are nonreactive. A nonreactive nonstress test means that the baby's heart rate did not change as expected when the baby moved. A biophysical profile may also be recommended for women who have high-risk pregnancies. The tests allow the doctor to find any possible problems as early as possible.

The results of the biophysical profile can help the doctor know if the baby is healthy. The doctor may use the results of the BPP test to help decide when to deliver the baby or if a cesarean section is a safer way to deliver.