- Irregular menstruation and reduced bleeding could be an indication of genital tuberculosis.
- The number of women with genital TB in India has increased to 30 percent in 2015 from 19 percent in 2011 mainly due to ignorance.
Around 60-70 percent of women fall victim to genital tuberculosis, largely a cause of infertility. Irregular menstruation and reduced bleeding can be a sign of genital Tuberculosis (TB).
Doctors have said that every women with menstrual irregularities, reduced bleeding, scanty menses and infections in the cervix are likely suffering from genital TB.
Bandita Sinha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Hiranandani Fortis hospital said, "Among those with genital TB, 55 percent affects the tubes, 40 percent infects the endometrium or the lining of the uterus, 10 percent affects the ovaries, five percent affects the cervix. Only among those whose infection is diagnosed quickly and provided with timely treatment, the uterus manages to heal well".
Sinha said that as the uterus lining is shed every month during the menstrual cycle, the regenerated lining helps heal the uterus well. But there are instances where the healing does not happen quickly, leading to scarring and severe fibrosis or adhesion.
A thick, healthy lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium is necessary for a healthy menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Facts on Genital TB
- Nearly 90 percent of women with genital TB are diagnosed in the 15-40 years age group.
- Infertility on account of genital tuberculosis is 60-80 percent.
- Sixty percent suffer menstrual irregularities, 25 percent have reduced bleeding, 10 percent have scanty menses and 20 per cent do not get periods at all.
- Only 10 percent of the total tuberculosis patients suffered from genital TB ten years ago, but the percentage has now increased to 30 percent because the disease is ignored in the initial stages and there is a lack of awareness.
Gauri Gore, a senior gynaecologist with Zen hospital, said: "Women with such problems often face scanty menses and for those whose uterus lining has been completely burnt out, the periods can stop completely. Timely treatment will help save the fallopian tubes but in the later stages, it can cause irreparable damages to the endometrium and the fallopian tubes too."
"With proper treatment, the menstrual irregularities can be cured, but if the fallopian tubes are damaged, then those who wish to conceive can opt for IVF. If the uterus lining is damaged permanently, then they can opt for surrogacy. At times laparoscopic surgeries are done to rectify tubo-ovarian masses or dense adhesions inside the uterus to improve the fertility of the patient," said Gore.
She added that timely diagnosis and treatment can control the harmful effects of this disease and save the fertility of the patient.