Screening tests during pregnancy: Cardiotocograph (CTG)

A routine procedure during labour, the cardiotocograph (CTG) machine is used to measure and monitor the baby’s heartbeat. The machine also helps to monitor the mother’s contractions in the womb (uterus).

Cardiotocographs are highly sensitive but have low levels of specificity. This means that they are very competent at detecting if the baby is well but may not be accurate in identifying if the baby is in distress. However this test is necessary to ensure that the baby’s heartbeat is within the “normal” range.