CTG | Examinations during pregnancy


Cardiotocography (abbreviation CTG) is an ultrasound-based procedure to measure the heart rate of the fetus. At the same time, the mother’s contractions are recorded using a pressure gauge (tocogram). A CTG is routinely recorded in the delivery room and during delivery.

Other reasons for a CTG examination are, for example The maternity guidelines do not require a CTG scan during the screening procedure. However, some gynecologists do perform this examination additionally from the 30th week of pregnancy onwards. The CTG can be used to determine whether the unborn child’s heart is beating properly or possibly too fast or too slow.

Reasons for an increased heart rate are, for example, stress or a lack of oxygen supply to the tissue (hypoxia). A lack of oxygen, as well as the vena cava compression syndrome, can also lead to a reduced heart rate. In the curves that the CTG displays, doctors also look for upward or downward baseline deflections.

An upward rash (acceleration), i.e. a brief acceleration of the fetal heart rate, is normal and is triggered by child movements. A downward rash, which corresponds to a slowing down of the heart rate, must be closely monitored and results in different measures depending on the contractions. You can find detailed information on this topic at

  • An imminent premature birth
  • Multiple pregnancies or
  • Irregularities of the child’s heart sounds.
  • CTG and
  • Normal CTG_values

Prenatal Diagnostics

Prenatal diagnostics includes a number of different invasive and non-invasive examination options, which are performed on the pregnant woman and the fetus. They are to be regarded as additional examinations and are therefore usually not covered by the statutory health insurance. The procedures listed here are only a selection of the many possibilities.

In the first trimester, approximately between the 12th and 14th week of pregnancy, a sonographic nuchal translucency measurement can be performed. The examination is non-invasive and increased transparency of the neck area may indicate an abnormality in the unborn child. This can be further clarified after a risk assessment by means of an amniocentesis.

In amniocentesis, amniotic fluid is taken and an analysis of the fetal chromosomes is performed. The triple test is a blood test in which three markers are determined in the mother’s blood and an algorithm is used to calculate the risk of fetal abnormality. In addition, DNA of the child can be filtered from the maternal blood and examined for abnormalities.An invasive method, which can be used very early in pregnancy, is chorionic villus sampling. In this procedure, tissue is removed from the placenta and genetic tests are performed on it. You can find detailed information on this topic at Prenatal test