Fetal Biophysical Profile: Why?

The fetal biophysical profile (PBF) is a non-invasive method, which can be performed, with the consent of your doctor, from the 28th week of pregnancy . Its purpose is to evaluate the life of the fetus using indicators and parameters, such as the indication of gestational age, growth and monitoring of the baby’s movements, as well as its breathing, heartbeat , well-being and the volume of amniotic fluid .

The fetal biophysical profile analysis procedure uses some parameters evaluated on ultrasound , its differential being the combination of ultrasound with another procedure for analyzing fetal life , cardiotocography (CTG). The ultrasound or ultrasound is popularly known to be an essential tool for monitoring pregnancy.

Already cardiotocography or “fetal monitoring” is a procedure which is characterized by graphic record of uterine contractions and the baby’s heartbeat. This examination makes it possible that, if a problem is diagnosed, it is possible to perform intervention procedures in time, with the baby still in the womb.

In what cases is the fetal biophysical profile requested?

The indication for carrying out the exam is made for pregnant women who fit the high-risk pregnancy profile : when the baby seems to be smaller than the ideal size for the gestational age, or when the mother develops gestational diabetes , the presence of little fluid amniotic, high blood pressure and / or pre-eclampsia . However, some doctors ask for the fetal biophysical profile even when the pregnant woman does not fit into the risk group, in order to ensure a successful pregnancy.

What is evaluated?

The analysis of the fetal biophysical profile is done through the evaluation of five variables :

  • Fetal body movement
  • Fetal respiratory movement
  • Fetal tone
  • Amniotic Fluid Volume
  • Cardiotocografia

Each variable will receive a score equal to 2 (two) or 0 (zero), in which the upper score (two) indicates normality of the evaluated variable, while the lower score (zero) indicates abnormality. The interpretation of the fetal biophysical profile will be done according to the score, that is, the sum of the variables, ranging from 0 to 10. See how the score is calculated:

Punctuation Diagnosis
8-10 Newborn Normal
6 Suspected Chronic Asphyxia
4 Chronic Asphyxia
0-2 Strong Asphyxiation Suspicion

The fetus will be considered healthy when the sum of the scores is equal to or greater than 6 (six) , which represents a low risk of acute and chronic asphyxia. A score lower than this value is an indication that the fetus suffers complications. Tests that point to abnormality indicate the possibility of fetal death 50 to 100 times greater.

It is important, by means of comparison, to pay attention to the possibility of the test indicating a false positive (in cases with a score below six). The results of the evaluation of the Fetal Biophysical Profile must be analyzed together with the conditions of the pregnant woman, since these conditions can be transient and correctable.

Preparation and Guidelines for Fetal Biophysical Profile Examinations

The two procedures taken as a basis for calculating the fetal biophysical profile are simple and non-invasive.

In ultrasound, also known as ultrasound, a device transmits sound waves that will penetrate the skin of the belly and form echoes, from which images are transmitted from inside the uterus.

While in fetal monitoring, called cardiotocography, some sensors are placed in strips of cloth over the belly of the lying woman, so that the baby’s heartbeat and uterine contractions are measured. In addition, you will have a small transmitter in the hand of the pregnant woman to be pressed with each perception and movement of the baby.

All of this will be recorded on a monitor and doctors, using software that produces a reactive or non-reactive result with the data, will evaluate the tests in the fetal biophysical profile scores. The whole procedure takes less than an hour. Learn how to prepare better for exams:

  • It is recommended to perform the profile from the 28th week of pregnancy;
  • Wear clothes that are not uncomfortable;
  • Try to eat 30 to 60 minutes before the exam, because it favors the reaction of the fetus, which helps its evaluation;
  • Take previous tests that serve as a comparative parameter to assess fetal growth;

At the end of the entire process, the exam will probably be delivered with the images and the report on it.

See also: Glycemic Curve Exam – What is the Importance?

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother. Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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