Risks

A nonstress test is a noninvasive test that poses no physical risks for you or your baby. The term nonstress refers to the fact that nothing is done to place stress on the fetus during the test.

While a nonstress test can offer reassurance about your baby's health, it can cause anxiety, too. A nonstress test also might not detect an existing problem or might suggest that a problem exists when there is none, which can lead to further testing.

Also, keep in mind that while a nonstress test is often recommended for women who have an increased risk of pregnancy loss, it's not always clear if the test is helpful.

Feb. 23, 2016
References
  1. Gabbe SG, et al. Antepartum fetal evaluation. In: Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  2. DeCherney AH, et al. Assessment of at-risk pregnancy. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  3. Young BK. Nonstress test and contraction stress test. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  4. Frequently asked questions. Pregnancy FAQ098. Special tests for monitoring fetal health. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Special-Tests-for-Monitoring-Fetal-Health. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  5. Cunningham FG, et al. Fetal assessment. In: Williams Obstetrics. 24th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  6. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 145: Antepartum fetal surveillance. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2014;124:182.