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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.
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
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Last Editorial Review: 7/13/2017