Tuberculosis bacteria are known to majorly affect the lungs, it can scatter and cause secondary infections to the kidneys, abdomen, brain, uterus and even the fallopian tubes, which is directly related to pregnancy.
There are over 20 lakh cases of Tuberculosis worldwide, India is the second leading country to stand in this. Mostly, the TB bacteria affects the lungs, if overlooked, it can creep throughout the body and cause secondary infections to the kidneys, abdomen, brain, uterus and even the fallopian tubes. Genital TB can be a grave reason to worry for both the partners if they are trying to conceive.
“Though the symptoms may not be so evident, the effects can be seen if a timely diagnosis is not done. The infections can spread to the uterus and cause thinning of the endometrium, thereby creating a barrier in the development of the foetus. TB in females is a chronic disease with low-grade symptoms. Tubal factor infertility along with the involvement of the endometrium is the major cause of infertility. Women are more often affected than males and it can cause irregular menses, vaginal discharge with blood stains, excessive pain during intercourse and sudden pelvic pain. The condition can even mimic other gynecological conditions like ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy or even genital cancer,” said Dr. Arifa Adil, IVF expert, Indira IVF Hospital, New Delhi.
According to the latest study done by the ICMR, over 50% of female patients approaching the clinics for IVF procedure have been reported to possess genital TB. In over 95% of the cases, the infection was found to affect the fallopian tube, in 50% the endometrium and in 30 % the ovaries.
It might occur in any age group (15-45 years) but, the average age was found to be 31 years. It’s noticed in frequent cases that the disease was asymptotic which suggests that it’s present with very few symptoms.
With the help of medication, it’s still possible for women to conceive through ART, either IVF of or IUI, where intervention can be done to repair the aftermaths. Few protections for staying away from TB includes staying away from crowded areas, where there’s a high chance of you into regular contact with people who are infected, have proper healthcare facility and undergo physical exams timely. Also, you can get vaccinated against such a condition.
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