With over 20 lakh cases of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide, India is the second leading country to contribute to the related mortality rate. In India, female genital tuberculosis is a rampant disease, which is also growing as a major health issue that leads to infertility. As per various medical researchers, tuberculosis is a root cause of infection which results in infertility among 25-30% of women in India. Genital tuberculosis is a prominent factor for infertility not only in females but also in males.
“The infection is likely to spread through inhalation or breathing. If you are physically close to an infected person then you are at high risk of acquiring tuberculosis because such infection can easily spread through the air. At initial point, tuberculosis primarily affects the lungs then later, the bacteria travels to the other parts of the body through blood,” said Dr. Priti Gupta, Consultant Fertility & IVF, First Step IVF Clinic, New Delhi.
Due to its contagious nature, TB now is not limited only to adults but spreading among children as well. “The risk factors for TB infection and disease in children are the highest for those who are living in TB endemic communities,” said Dr. Sandeep Nayar, Senior Consultant & HOD, Respiratory Medicine, Allergy and Sleep Disorder, BLK Super Speciality Hospital. He added, “TB in children is a critical issue and it continues to be neglected. It is a major health concern in countries due to the non-availability of explicit diagnostic tools to detect TB among them.”
Talking about a neglected area of TB treatment, Dr. Alpes Panchal, Psychiatrist, The Free Mind Initiative said, “Depression among the patient and the family is very common during this period. TB is an illness that has a long course of treatment, can decrease your abilities for a long time and can cause social discomfort among friends and peers. Not to mention the emotional turmoil of families and caretakers. Counselling of the patient and family members is very important from the start to prepare them for the forthcoming events,” he concluded.