Can I Get a Urea Breath Test if I'm Pregnant?

Last Editorial Review: 7/13/2017

Ask the experts

Is there any contraindication in administering a Helicobacter pylori urea breath test to a pregnant women?

Doctor's response

There is no need to administer a urea breath test to a pregnant woman. The presence or absence of H. pylori can be determined accurately from a sample of stool. There are two types of urea breath tests for diagnosing H. pylori. One uses a very small dose of urea that is labelled with a radioactive isotope of carbon, and the other uses urea that is labelled with a non-radioactive isotope of carbon. The non-radioactive isotope has no adverse effects. The radioactive isotope is not recommended for use in pregnant women.

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Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

"Indications and diagnostic tests for Helicobacter pylori infection"