What is a contraction stress test?

Alexander Kofinas M.D.

A contraction stress test is conducted in order to evaluate the amount of placental reserve available to the fetus. The placental reserve signifies the placentaÕs Òback-upÓ capacity in case it is put under heavy strain by the fetus or mother. By putting the placenta under artificial strain through this test, we are able to observe how it would react if such conditions were actually to occur naturally, and therefore work to prevent possible complications. The problem with this test however, is that it is time consuming as well as potentially dangerous to the mother and the fetus, and as such is advised against in many high-risk conditions. With today's knowledge and advanced technologies, the contraction stress test has become obsolete.