World tuberculosis day 2018: 50 percent of female patients coming for IVF procedure have genital TB


An Indian nursing student holds a placard during an awareness rally on the eve of World Tuberculosis Day in Hyderabad. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian nursing student holds a placard during an awareness rally on the eve of World Tuberculosis Day in Hyderabad. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

More than half of female patients coming for In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment have been reported to have genital tuberculosis, a study conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research revealed.

Genital tuberculosis is a cause for concern for women trying to conceive. Genital tuberculosis is a chronic disease with low-grade symptoms. But the fallopian tubes are affected in almost all cases of genital TB.

Tuberculosis bacteria usually affects the lungs, but lack of proper treatment can result in the bacteria spreading throughout the body, thereby causing infection in the kidneys, abdomen, brain, uterus and fallopian tubes.

“Though the symptoms may not be so evident enough but the effects can be seen if timely diagnosis is not done,” Dr Arifa Adil, IVF expert at Indira IVF Hospital, was quoted as saying by ANI.

“The infections can spread to the uterus and cause thinning of the endometrium, thereby creating a barrier in development of the fetus. 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 that cause irregular menses, vaginal discharge with blood stains or excessive pain during intercourse and sudden pelvic pain. The condition can even mimic other gynecological conditions like ovarian cysts, PID, ectopic pregnancy or even genital cancer,” said Adil

It is difficult to diagnose the presence of tuberculosis in genital tract. But it is not undetectable. “The most trustworthy method of diagnosis is making a histological diagnosis of tubercles, which helps doctors on laparoscopy to confirm whether these suspicious lesions are due to tuberculosis or not,” Dr Arvind Vaid told ANI.

Each year, India accounts for approximately 220,000 deaths due to tuberculosis, and it continues to be the biggest health problem in the country.