Pregnancy Stress Test

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

A stress test is used to determine how efficiently the blood circulation system is functioning. The human body works in such a way that it requires very little blood circulation during periods of rest. During periods of activity, it requires more blood circulation. This is because during periods of activity, various muscles and tissues of the body are working hard. These tissues require increased levels of nutrition for energy production along with increased levels of oxygen. The heart is therefore under greater strain when it is pumping hard. A stress test therefore puts the heart into such a condition so that is functioning can be assessed.

A pregnancy stress test is used to determine the health of the baby just prior to delivery. The pregnancy stress test is used to determine if there is something wrong with the baby’s heart or circulatory system. If such a problem is detected during pregnancy stress testing, then measures can be taken to induce early labor or to prepare for the emergency help required when the delivery is taking place. The pregnancy stress test procedure involves the use of an injection which is used to deliver a drug to the fetus. This is supposed to stimulate an increase in blood circulation. Using various monitoring devices, the health status of the baby can be judged.

Unlike the results of a normal stress test conducted on children and adults, the pregnancy stress test results are described as positive or negative. In normal stress testing, the results are extensively complicated as there are various different factors that are measured such as blood flow volume, blood pressure, valve function and heart rate. When it comes to a pregnancy stress test, the results cannot be displayed in such detail as the process of conducting extensive scanning on the child is unsafe. As with any other type of testing, there are some risks associated with a pregnancy stress test. It is possible that a pregnancy stress test may induce labor which would result in premature delivery of the baby. This is one of the reasons why the test is conducted extremely close to the full term prior to delivery. There is also the risk that the fetus might suffer from discomfort during the procedure. Other medications may therefore be used to calm the fetus down and ensure that it does not suffer from any injury or damage at this delicate stage.

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