Genital Tuberculosis Treatment in Delhi IVF, India

What is Genital Tuberculosis (TB)?

Genital TB is that form of the disease that predominantly affects the female genital organs – ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, and vagina – or the surrounding lymph nodes in the pelvis. In men, it can affect the prostate gland and testes; and the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder in both sexes. It is usually a result of the spread of infection from other parts of the body, most oftenthe lungs. It mainly affects women during the childbearing period and is often detected incidentally during a workup for infertility.

What are the early symptoms of genital TB?

Genital TB can be notoriously difficult to detect in the early stages. A high index of suspicion is required to consider investigating for this condition. This suspicion should be especially arousedif the woman presents with primary infertility (inability to conceive the first time), and gives a history of early exposure to the disease through contact with affected family members. A history of poor overall general condition lasting several months or years, associated with fatigue, low-grade fever, vague lower abdominal discomfort or pain, vaginal discharge, and menstrual irregularities should warrant a thorough investigation to detect the condition.

How is genital TB diagnosed?

A tuberculin skin test can be performed to detect the presence of TB anywhere in the body. Also, depending upon the site of infection, chest X-ray, pelvic ultrasound scan, endometrial curettage, cervical smear examination, menstrual blood analysis and laparoscopic or endoscopic examination of the genital organs may also have to be done to diagnose the condition.

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How is genital TB treated?

As per the Directly Observed Treatment (DOTS) scheme, the treatment of genital tuberculosis is given in 2 phases; initial therapy with at least 3 anti-TB drugs for 2 months, and a continuation phase with at least 2 anti-TB drugs for another 4-10 months. Rarely, surgical treatment of the affected genital parts may be required in the advanced stages of the condition, or if there is drug resistance.

It is important to make sure you follow the instructions accurately during the treatment regimen. All the drugs prescribed should be taken regularly for the recommended duration, so as to prevent MDR-TB from developing.

How can genital TB be prevented?

Unfortunately, the rates of infertility remain very high even after a complete course of treatment for genital TB. Genital TB can only be prevented by making sure that no other part of the body is affected by TB. This means that women should take precautions against lung TB even at a young age. Since TB spreads through droplets brought out during coughing and sneezing, it is important to avoid living in close proximity to those with a diagnosed case of lung TB. BCG vaccine should be compulsorily given for all infants, and those from TB endemic areas should undergo screening for the condition. Sexual partners of those affected with genital TB should seek advice on safe-sex techniques.