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:


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?


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
Answer posted on 18 December 2009. The information posted on this web page is intended as general reference information only. Specific facts and circumstances may affect the applicability of concepts, materials, and information described herein. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be relied upon in the absence of such professional advice. To the best of our knowledge, answers are correct at the time they are posted. Be advised that over time, requirements could change, new data could be made available, and Internet links could change, affecting the correctness of the answers. Answers are the professional opinions of the expert responding to each question; they do not necessarily represent the position of the Health Physics Society.