How TB Can Affect your Sexual Reproductive Health
When we think about TB (Tuberculosis), we think about it affecting the lungs and not really the rest of the body. But did you know that TB can spread throughout your body and can even affect your sexual reproductive health Choma?
TB has been known to cause infertility (the inability to fall pregnant), irregular periods, miscarriage, and complications transmitted from mother to child.
How TB affects your periods
Some of the symptoms associated with TB, such as weight loss, can have an impact on your menstrual cycle. TB can also cause a hormonal imbalance in your body which usually affects your period. The effects on your period could vary from person to person, so be sure to discuss any changes in your cycle with your healthcare provider.
How TB affects pregnancy
If you have TB during pregnancy and it is not correctly diagnosed or treated early enough, you may experience complications. There is an increased risk of you having a miscarriage or your baby being born prematurely. Even if not born prematurely, your baby will likely be born underweight. In some cases, your baby could even be born with TB, which usually happens if you have active TB and have not yet started treatment.
TB can affect any organ in your body, including your genitals. In some cases, TB moves through the blood to other parts of the body. It could then cause secondary infections in your genital tract, pelvic area, kidneys, spine, and brain. When TB affects your genital tract it’s called Genital Tuberculosis or Pelvic Tuberculosis.
In both men and women, genital TB affects the genital tract. In women, it can affect your fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries - and in some cases your cervix, vagina and vulva.
Genital TB is usually considered a silent infection because it won’t always show symptoms if you have it. However, the symptoms that are associated with it are:
- irregular menstrual cycle
- pelvic pain
- vaginal discharge (where you notice blood stains or constant discharge)
- heavy and discoloured bleeding after sex
These could also all be symptoms of other problems so always make sure that you check with your healthcare provider before you diagnose yourself Choma.
Genital TB is treated the same way that lung TB, or any other form of TB is treated. Your healthcare provider will most likely recommend a course of antibiotics that could last for about six to eight months. It’s important to complete the whole course Choma!
The antibiotics might help with the pain, fever, and discharge, but it might not help repair your fallopian tubes (the tubes along which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus) if they've been severely affected. If you’re diagnosed early enough and the infection is treated early, then damage to your uterus or fallopian tubes might heal. That’s why it’s important for genital TB not to be left untreated for a long time because it can cause scarring to your fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus.
Scarring in your uterus can result in irregular periods. In some cases your period might stop completely if your uterine lining is badly affected.
If you have TB and have any of the symptoms of genital TB, speak to your healthcare provider immediately Choma. If you are on treatment for TB, be sure to complete your treatment course and speak to your healthcare provider if you have any difficulties or experience any complications because of your treatment.
Do you have more questions about TB Choma? Remember, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)
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