Internal Fetal Monitor: How It’s Attached

An internal fetal monitor is a small, electronic device that is placed inside the uterus (womb) to measure the fetal heart rate and uterine contractions. It is also sometimes called an intrauterine pressure catheter (IUPC).

The internal fetal monitor consists of two parts:

  • A pressure-sensing catheter that is inserted through the cervix into the uterus
  • An external monitor that displays the fetal heart rate and uterine contractions

The pressure-sensing catheter is a thin, flexible tube that has a small balloon at the end. The balloon is inflated with a small amount of saline (salt water) once it is in the uterus. This helps keep the catheter in place.

The other end of the catheter is connected to the external monitor. The external monitor is usually a small box that is attached to a belt around the mother’s waist. It has a display screen that shows the fetal heart rate and the strength of the uterine contractions.

The internal fetal monitor is usually used during labor and delivery. It is used to help the doctor or midwife to:

  • Monitor the fetal heart rate
  • Check the strength of the uterine contractions
  • Determine if the fetus is in distress

The internal fetal monitor can also be used to:

  • Help the doctor or midwife to determine the best time to give the mother medication to help with the pain of labor
  • Help the doctor or midwife to determine the best time to do a vacuum-assisted delivery or a forceps delivery

The internal fetal monitor is usually used for a short time during labor. It is removed before the baby is born.

The internal fetal monitor is considered to be a safe and effective way to monitor the fetal heart rate and uterine contractions during labor. There are some risks associated with its use, but these are rare. They include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Tearing of the cervix
  • Damage to the uterus

You should talk to your doctor or midwife about the risks and benefits of using an internal fetal monitor before you have one placed.

Leave a Comment