Tuberculosis continues to be a major health problem throughout the world affecting about 9.4 million people annually with about two million deaths. Over 95 % of new TB cases and deaths occur in developing countries with India and China together accounting for 40 % of the world’s TB burden.
Tuberculosis infection doesn’t always remain restricted to the lungs but can also travel to other parts of the body such as bones, joints, urinary tract and genital tract, etc. If it reaches the genital areas of a woman, it could lead to infertility. In developing countries like India Genital tract tuberculosis is identified as an important cause of infertility.
In such cases, IVF treatment from IVF centre becomes a ray of hope. Genital TB mainly affects females in the reproductive age group, but it is also reported in post-menopausal females.
How Genital Tuberculosis infection affects women’s chances of getting pregnant?
- When tuberculosis infection affects fallopian tubes, it may cause obstruction or dysfunction. This prevents the entry of fertilized egg into the uterus from tubes.
- On the other hand, if bacteria erode lining of endometrium, it will become difficult for the fertilized egg to implant itself on uterus wall and hence again averting pregnancy.
- Infection in the ovaries would affect quality of ovum or lead to failure in ovulation.
- Infection in the cervix, vagina or vulva could also make chances of pregnancy bleak.
What are the symptoms of Genital tuberculosis?
Genital tuberculosis doesn’t show any visible symptoms usually. If a woman has suffered from pulmonary TB in the past then it can show following signs which can indicate sub-fertility.
- Irregularity in menstrual cycles such as suffering from scanty or heavy periods
- Pain and heaviness in the pelvic area
- Cysts in pelvic area
How can Genital Tuberculosis be diagnosed?
Female Genital TB is usually asymptomatic and hence gets diagnosed when a female presents with infertility and all other causes have been ruled out. Some tests used for diagnosis are:
- endometrial biopsy
- culture of menstrual flow and laparoscopy
- polymerase chain reaction for the specific bacteria
- hysterosalpingographic study (HSG)
Treatment for Genital Tuberculosis
Usually treatment is by giving daily therapy of rifampicin (R), isoniazid (H), pyrazinamide (Z) and ethambutol (E) for 2 months followed by daily 4 month therapy of rifampicin (R) and isoniazid (H).
Anti Tuberculosis Treatment (ATT) has an excellent recovery/cure rate, so patients should not lose hope after being diagnosed with the disease.
Treatment must be given by an experienced physician and self medication is to be strictly avoided.
Post ATT treatment IVF-ET helps conceive if the endometrium of the patient is still healthy. However, if endometrium has been affected due to TB then adoption and surrogacy are the only options left. Best infertility clinic in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali provide test tube baby treatment and surrogacy to such patients.