Answer to Question #8644 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Nuclear Medicine Patient Issues — Diagnostic Nuclear Medicine

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

Q

My husband had a technetium-99m heart scintiscan today. We are trying to have children, so I would like to know when it will be okay to keep on trying and whether some of the administered technetium-99m has been stored in his sperm. If so, what should we do about it?

A

First, see a posting on our Ask the Experts website.

Even though the question above refers to x-ray exams, it would also apply to nuclear medicine exams. The radiation doses from the exams are similar.

Technetium-99m has a half-life of six hours. That means after three days it is essentially all gone.  It is not stored anywhere in the body; it just decays to a nonradioactive material and is eliminated from the body in the urine.

The only time a patient is given instructions to postpone conception is after a therapy treatment. So there is no need for concern after a diagnostic study. 

Marcia Hartman, MS
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