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Beyond the surface

Every one out of five Indians suffer from Tuberculosis.

Written by Express News Service |
May 13, 2009 9:43:05 pm

Genital TB in women can cause permanent damage to the uterus,making the patient infertile

Every one out of five Indians suffer from Tuberculosis (TB). Contrary to common belief,which associates the disease with lungs,TB can also affect other body organs as: genitals,urinary system,bone,brain,and others. Shockingly 17 per cent of women suffering from pulmonary TB have genital TB (15 – 55 years),which attacks and inflicts devastating stealthy and silent permanent damage to fallopian tubes (85-100 per cent) and endometrium (50-70 per cent).

Talking about the consequences of Genital TB,Dr Sanjeev Khurd,president of the Pune Obstetric and Gynaecology Society of India,who has written a book on Genital Tuberculosis,the overwhelming burden,says that it results in infertility.

Only less than five per cent women conceive naturally after medical or surgical anti-TB treatment. For majority women with Genital Tuberculosis,theoretically IVF is the only option.

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However,for majority of these women IVF cannot help in bearing a child because uterus and endometrium is damaged (around 50 to 70 per cent). Another option for them is IVF surrogacy,which is expensive and is not accepted well in Indian families,says Khurd.

In this situation,the only hope for Indian women is prevention of genital TB in adolescent girls,through health education and good lifestyle like – improving immunity by nutritious eating,regular exercise and pranayam.

It is also important to diagnose tuberculosis in its early stage since treatment can be started before it causes damage to the tubes and uterus. It is therefore it is important to consult the doctor when symptoms like cough for more than two weeks,fever,abdominal pain,weight loss and excess menstrual flow show up.

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