fertility basics

Know the link between Genital Tuberculosis and Infertility - Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

  • 167919 views
  • 4.8   (5 Votes)
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 04 May 2018 - Written by Dr. Devika Chopra - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

Genital Tuberculosis and Infertility are linked to each other. Symptoms of genital tuberculosis in females are weight loss, menstrual and infertility problems, and painful intercourse. Treatment of genital tuberculosis includes antibiotics therapy for a span of 6 to 9 months to prevent any further damage to the health of the individual.

Since thousand years, Tuberculosisexists in the developing countries like India. It has plagued many and surged great epidemics by behaving like other infectious diseases. Tuberculosis is a serious bacterial infection which directly affects the lungs along with the other body partsbecause of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. The bacteria areresponsible for causingtuberculosis spread from one person to another through the released tiny droplets into the air while sneezing and coughing. It means it can easily spread from infected person to someone else who is not infected.

What is Pulmonary Tuberculosis?

Pulmonary Tuberculosis isa type of tuberculosis, which is caused because of contagious bacterial infection in lungs. Once you are infected with TB, it moves through blood to the other parts of the body. Most of the people recover from primary TB infection without any further disease evidence. This infection might stay inactive for years while in some cases it can get active again.

TB further causes secondary infections in the kidney, genital tract, pelvic area, spine and brain. When the bacterium reaches the genital tract it causes genital tuberculosis or pelvic TB. In both male and female, it affects the genital tract, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. While in other cases it might also affect the cervix, vagina and vulva.

What is Genital Tuberculosis?

The female age group which are prone to this disease are between the age of 20 and 40 years. Genital TB is responsible for infertility in 5-10% of all women around the globe.It affects the reproductive organs of females like fallopian tube, ovary, uterus etc. In men, it affects the prostate gland and testes, kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder (in both male and female). It mainly affects the women during pregnancy and is usually detected incidentally during infertility treatment.

Genital Tuberculosis

How does TB affect fertility?

Although the initial exposure to tuberculosis is through the lungs as bacillus is inhaled but most of us fight the disease and it remains inactive in the body, causing no harm. But sometimes, the latent bacilli reactivate and spread through the blood stream into the entire body. It can get deposited in any part of the body causing infection. It comes into picture,when it can get deposited and infects the genital tract to cause infertility.

  • In males, it causes tuberculous epididymo-orchitis which blocks the passage and hence leads to azoospermia (where no sperm enters the semen because of the blocked tract) in males.
  • In case of women, it causes tuberculous endometritis (uterus infection) and salpingitis (tubes infection)which lowers the chance of conception.
  • If fallopian tubes get affected due to TB, then it causes structural and functional damage which also includes tubal obstruction.
  • Uterus TBcan cause damage tothe inner lining called the endometrium which results in scanty periods and infertility. While in some situations, the menstrual periods may completely stop due to the badly affected uterine lining.

The TB is diagnosed by performing the culture of the tubercle bacillus from the tissue and then it is sent to the lab for testing.

What are the symptoms of Genital TB?

Being a silent infection, Genital TB shows no apparent symptoms because the bacteria may remain inactive in the body for 10 to 20 years. However, there are some of the symptoms to look out:

  • Systemic symptoms such as Fatigue, Weight loss and Low grade fever
  • Menstrual Disturbances
  • Amenorrhea  (Absence of periods)
  • Menorrhagia (Heavy bleeding at menstruation)
  • Metrorrhagia (Abnormal bleeding from the uterus)
  • Oligomenorrhea (Infrequent periods)
  • Swelling in lower abdomin

Swelling in lower abdomin

Sometimes, due to lack of undetectable symptoms, it becomes difficult to diagnose genital tuberculosis. The doctor will advise you to go for diagnosis after seeing your above mentioned symptoms and signs.

Diagnosis of TB

Analysis is done to confirm the genital tuberculosis where the test includes

  • Complete blood count
  • Chest radiographs
  • Tuberculin test

Tuberculin test

  • Endometrial curettage
  • Menstrual blood for the culture
  • Culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Histological examination
  • Peritoneal fluid for culture
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Peritoneal biopsy for culture and histology
  • Ultrasonography
  • Endoscopy
  • Cervical cytology
  • Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy

  • Hysteroscopy
  • Cytoscopy

How to detect Tubal Scarring?

There are several ways of detecting the tubal involvement.

  • Sonography: It helps in detecting the pus in the tubes.
  • Hysterosalpingography: It helps in diagnosing the blocked tubes.
  • Laparoscopy: It provides direct visualization of tubes and helps in taking biopsyfrom suspected lesions.
  • TB-PCR: It is a new test for diagnosing tuberculosis. In this test, a tissue is taken from the endometrium or the uterus’s inner lining which is then cultured for detecting the genetic makeup of bacteria.
  • For assisting in the diagnosis process, routine blood tests like CBC and ESR are done.

Routine blood test

If a patient has started the use of anti-tubercular drugs in the early phase of disease then there are chances of minimizing the permanent damage.

But if the disease is detected at the later stagethen it is advised to resort to assisted reproduction depending upon extent of damage to the genital parts.

Visit a gynaecologist if you don’t have any of the above symptoms and confirm whether you are able to conceive. You need to get yourself diagnosed if you are unable to get pregnant within six months of trying actively for a baby.

And if you notice any of the above signs then it is better to treat genital tuberculosis as early as possible.

Treatment Options for genital TB            

  • Genital TB treatment includes a course of antibiotics and medication which lasts for about 6 to 9 months. To minimize the high chances of infection relapsing, it is important to complete the entire course of the treatment.
  • Once the TB is detected and initiated early, then it is possible to deal with the problem with the right treatment. But if the diagnosis is performed late, then there can be severe and irreversible damage to the reproductive system. Once the anti-TB treatment courseis completed then there are good chancesof conceiving as any other infertile person.

Genital TB is the cause of infertility among 10% women and doesn’t show any symptoms at all. There are high chances of abortion even if a woman conceives. So, early detection followed bystandard treatmentcan solve the problem. But if diagnosed late, there are chances of reproductive system damage. And once the woman starts the anti-TB treatment course for 6 to 9 months, her pregnancy chances are high in comparison to the infertile women.

Couples who are looking forward to pregnancy and trying for more than 6 months with no positive results are advised to go through Genital TB test. Also, get to know trying to conceive tips to fasten your process of conceving.

Dr. Devika Chopra

Written by

Infertility Specialist, Infertility Evaluation and Treatments
Mumbai

Dr. Devika Chopra is a leading Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and IVF Expert in Tardeo, Mumbai. She provides services such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gynae Problems, Maternal Care/ Checkup and Infertility Evaluation/Treatment. Dr. Devika Chopra practices at Hope Clinic in Forjett Street, Mumbai. She holds an experience of almost a decade. She completed MBBS from Grant Medical College, Mumbai in 2002. Thereafter, she pursued DNB in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from NBE in 2009. She continued her studies further and did MSc from Oxford University, U.K. in 2012. For Contact details of Dr. Devika Chopra visit at elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  • 7 must do things to opt for while trying to get pregnant - how to get pregnant?  pregnancy, Elawoman - 2017
  • Know about causes, risks and treatment about infertility  infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  • 9 factors which affect sperm motility, count, and quality - how to deal with each?  sperm, Elawoman - 2017
  • What are the top 5 reasons for delayed periods or irregular periods?  menstrual periods, Elawoman - 2017
  • Find out interesting facts about 5 crucial types of vaginas  Vaginal Discharge, Elawoman - 2017
  • Things you must know about menstrual cycle and its calculation  Menstrual, Elawoman - 2017
  • 11 tried and tested ways to get false positive pregnancy test  positive results, Elawoman - 2018
  • 7 must do things to opt for while trying to get pregnant - how to get pregnant?  conceive tips, Elawoman - 2017
more

5 Comments

user_img

Yasmeen Wahida

Please suggest me with some best place for genital tuberculosis treatment.

Oct. 10, 2018, 6:56 p.m. 4.5

user_img

Sandhya Mehta

I have a mensurational disturbance like sometimes heavy bleeding and another month no bleeding at all since one year. The symptoms like abdominal swelling are rare. Do I need treatment for genital tuberculosis or is it normal?

Sept. 11, 2018, 3:51 p.m. 5.0

user_img

Alicia Wolf

Had no idea about this thing called genital TB. Nice read!

June 4, 2018, 4:02 p.m. 5.0

user_img

Sadhana Baxi

I never knew TB can lead us to infertility. Thanks for sharing this.

May 23, 2018, 7:44 p.m. 5.0

user_img

Pandurang Rukhamaji Uchitkar

May 17, 2018, 9:41 p.m. 4.5

View all comments

Leave a Comment

Rating

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this webpage covers general information on several medical conditions, fertility treatments, IVF ICSI, surrogacy procedure, home remedies, and their respective treatments. The exclusive purpose of the displayed information is for the sake of general understanding and it has been collected from open sources which heavily rely on research and laboratory tests. However, the information shared here should not be considered as a medical advice or an alternative to consultation with a registered medical practitioner or licensed healthcare professional.

It is not advised to self-diagnose or treat any medical condition or disease following the information given in this article. We insist you to consult a registered practitioner and never try to replace their advice or discontinue treatment in between by relying solely on the information obtained. External links to different websites as well as videos given on the website serve the purpose of sharing knowledge only. Ela being an Independent Medical Information platform is neither responsible nor guarantees the authenticity, reliability, and accuracy of these videos and websites in any way. We do not intend the information displayed here to be used for a medical emergency, if you seek medical attention for yourself (or any other person with whom you want to share the information with), we advise you to directly get in touch with the hospital or the doctor.

More From Author

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
6 Best Fertility Centre in Chennai - IVF success rates, IVF cost in Chennai

6 Best Fertility Centre in Chennai - IVF success rates, IVF cost in Chennai

posted on 21 Apr 2018 4.8/ 5

The best fertility centres in Chennai are Oasis Centre branch in Anna Nagar, Femelife Fertility Center, Apollo Fertility Chennai, and Iswarya Womens Hospital and Ferti...

Read More

Surrogacy
Know about 5 Best Surrogacy Centres in Delhi - Surrogacy Doctors in Delhi

Know about 5 Best Surrogacy Centres in Delhi - Surrogacy Doctors in Delhi

posted on 21 Apr 2018 4.8/ 5

Best surrogacy centres in Delhi offer excellent services to the couples who want to opt surrogacy procedure. Some of the best surrogacy centres in Delhi are Advanced F...

Read More

Surrogacy
Best Surrogacy Clinics in Chennai - Surrogacy Costs, Best Surrogacy Doctors in Chennai

Best Surrogacy Clinics in Chennai - Surrogacy Costs, Best Surrogacy Doctors in Chennai

posted on 21 Apr 2018 4.8/ 5

The best surrogacy clinics offer the top quality healthcare services to patients for excellent results. The best surrogacy clinics in Chennai are Cloudnine Hospital, S...

Read More

Related Article view all

Fertility Basics
Know about Human Reproduction with Fertility - Phases of Natural Human Reproduction

Human reproduction is mainly divided into 3 phases such as Ovulation, Fertilization, and Implantation. Symptoms of ovulation are crucial as they signify fertile period in a woman. Signs of implantation specify that there is a positive pregnancy. You need to consult your fertility doctor to make sure that you take proper care during your pregnancy.

Read More

Fertility Basics
Infertility profiling medical tests - Check for causes of infertility

Infertility profiling medical tests include ESR blood test, Thyroid Function Test, AMH test, Complete Blood Count Test, Prolactin, and LH test. Infertility profiling tests help in finding out causes of infertility and respective infertility treatment.

Read More

Fertility Basics
Male infertility - Diagnostic tests to detect male infertility

Diagnostic tests to detect male infertility includes CBC test, ESR test, Blood Sugar test, VDRL test, and Hepatitis test. These medical tests are essential to perform semen analysis, sperm morphology, semen quality, and sperm count. Diagnostic tests offer results based on which male infertility treatments are performed.

Read More

Trending Articles

surrogacy
surrogacy

5 Best Surrogacy Doctors in India

posted on 21 Apr 2018 4.5 / 5(1 Votes)

Find the list of best surrogacy doctors in India who offers the best treatment with the highest success rate. The list has been categorized on the basis of doctors fame, experience, reviews, ratings, and cost. Dr. Mohit Saraogi from Saraogi Hospitals and IRIS IVF Centre and Dr. Kaberi Banerjee from Advanced Fertility Centre top the list of the best surrogacy doctors in India.

Read More

IVF
ivf

Best IVF Doctors in India with Highest Success Rates

posted on 21 Apr 2018 4.7 / 5(3 Votes)

Find here the list of best IVF doctors in India on the basis of Ratings, Success Rate, Services offered, IVF cost packages and available Facilities. Dr. Nisha Bhatnagar, Dr. Kaberi Banerjee and Dr. Anjali A Deval top the list of such IVF doctors in India due to their unique pricing system, popularity and high success rate.

Read More

surrogacy
surrogacy

Top Surrogacy Centres in India with Highest Success Rates

posted on 21 Apr 2018 4.8 / 5(2 Votes)

In this article we bring you the best Surrogacy Centres and clinics in India with Review Ratings, Cost Estimates, and Surrogacy Success Rate to help you make the best choice. Aveya IVF and Surrogacy Centre and Advanced Fertility and Surrogacy Centre tops the list of such surrogacy centres in India due to their low treatment costs, popularity and high success rates.

Read More