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stress test in pregnancy
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stress test in pregnancy

hi i m 30 yr old women with 8 weeks of pregnancy, can i have exercise stress test?
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Very good question. I think the most important question first is whether you actually need a stress test. If you are having severe, concerning symptoms, and it has been recommended by an internist or cardiologist, then it may be worth pursuing, but I would recommend discussing with your OB first, who knows your specific pregnancy history and other risks, to determine if he/she feels you are safe to do the stress portion (actually getting your heart rate up to 90% of your maximum predicted heart rate which is 220-age, so for you would mean that you have to get your HR to 171 to be a fully diagnostic test). If this is a test you are interested in pursuing for atypical symptoms or just to find out how your general health is, I would advise against testing while pregnant.

With regard to the stress test, there are a few options available. A stress ECG or a stress echocardiogram would be non-invasive options available, that can give good information about the heart and whether you have signs or risk of having a heart attack. While pregnant, it would be advisable to avoid a "chemical" stress test where they use either dobutamine or adenosine to cause your heart rate to rise as these may pose a risk to the fetus. Instead, getting on a treadmill to exercise would avoid the need for these chemicals (but again, amount of exercise you are allowed to do while pregnant needs to be discussed with your OB). A nuclear stress test should also be avoided due to high radiation from the test which would also put undue risk to the fetus. The ECG or echocardiogram options do not have any radiation associated.
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