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Early detection of genital TB may prevent infertility among women

Early detection of genital TB may prevent infertility among women
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New Delhi: Female genital tuberculosis is rapidly increasing among women. It is a rampant disease that leads to infertility in women.

Along with drugs and surgery, IVF can significantly increase the chances of pregnancy in women with TB-related infertility.

However, early detection and treatment is vital for a successful pregnancy in infected women.

According to various medical researchers, tuberculosis is a root cause of infection which results in infertility among 25-30 percent of women across the country. Genital tuberculosis is a prominent factor for infertility not only in females but also in males.

When the bacteria attack the genital tract, it causes genital tuberculosis which is also known as pelvic TB which mostly affects women during childbearing period and is usually diagnosed during infertility workup.

One of the major issues is that the disease is easier to detect if it affects the lungs primarily, but if the bacteria directly attacks the genital organs, it is difficult to detect at later stages and reduces the chances of conception among women.

"According to reports, about 75 percent of women with genital TB were found to be infertile, and 50-60 percent of women with infertility were found to have genital TB. These statistics demonstrate the importance of TB as an etiologic agent of infertility. Hence, it is very important to test for genital TB in women presenting with infertility." said Dr Aparna Kotekar.

"Once a woman tests positive for genital TB, aggressive TB treatment for 1 year is advised before patients can attempt spontaneous pregnancy or avail of assisted reproductive technologies. In patients who undergo anti-tubercular treatment, about 20 percent of women can spontaneously conceive," said the expert.

These could lead to live birth, spontaneous abortion orectopic pregnancy. Patients who fail to conceive can opt for assisted reproduction techniques. It has been shown that a combination of ATT along with assisted reproduction techniques can result in an overall pregnancy rate of 60 percent, she added.

"There is hope for women with TB related infertility. Early detection and treatment of TB have been shown to result in a higher chance of a successful pregnancy. Molecular diagnostic methods can be very useful in achieving this." explained Dr Kotekar.

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