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Kids' Health Kids' Health

Male preemies in the NICU and lots of X-rays

I've been thinking about this for years, almost 9 to be exact! And thought I would come here to see if anyone else has experienced this or dealt with it as their sons age. My boys were born at 28 weeks and spent over 8 weeks in the NICU. They battled SOOOO much during that time! They have come thru that experince amazingly but there is one concern that has lingered for me. Their fertility. What has me concerned is that during their bout with necrotizing enterocolitus (NEC--a deadly infection in the intestines) they had sometimes hourly X-rays of their GI track, which is so close to their reproductive track. I know on one occasion while I was there the techs were performing an X-ray and even tho I reminded them, they did not use a lead shield over one of my sons genitals. This has haunted me. I know if they didn't use it after I reminded them, there were probably countless times when i wasnt there that their testicles were exposed to radiation. I'm concerned about them being sterile. And wondering if anyone on here with older sons (former NICU babies) or sons with similar amounts of xrays has dealt with this. My husband and I have talked about it but can't agree on how to handle this. Do we tell them young enough that it isn't a shock to them later, like say 16. Do we have them get checked for live sperm at or around puberty. Thats gonna be weird! Do we let them find out on their own when they start trying for a family? The later just doesn't feel right to me. Thank you all in advance for any insight you may offer me!
by on Sep. 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Replies (11-16):
Vertical15
by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM

I would talk to the Dr about it first to get as much info as possible before you decide what to do.

kryysteez
by New Member on Nov. 12, 2012 at 2:45 AM

Preemies do not do well with vaccines.  Delay till after 2 years of age.  Or better yet, dont do them at all if you want healthy children.  Research it.

nikkita311
by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 8:25 PM
Wait till he tries to have his own children.
karamille
by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 11:35 PM

My understanding that the concern with their genitalia is risk of cancers later in life.  Ike had many xrays as a baby due to his health problem, and one hospital we went to shielded his testicles.  

Xandriasmommy
by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 5:41 PM
This question has bothered me since I read it back in September...I hope this helps ease your mind!

My husband was a 24 week preemie back in the 80s. He had all kinds of issues and had tons of X-rays, cat scans, and MRIs. I'm pregnant with our second (his first) and had zero fertility issues!
sunshine86912
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM

 hmm I am not sure what I would do!

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