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Tuberculosis

TB Question

01/05/2010

Question:

Hi, I have a question and lots of doubts. My fiance has TB and she is under treatment. I dont know whether she has just TB or Active TB as there are two types of TB of which active TB is contagious. So wanted to know will there be any pregnancy issues...or due to intercourse will it affect me as well... Please do let me know Thank you..

Answer:

You are correct; there are two types of tuberculosis (TB): Active TB disease and latent TB infection (LTBI). People with active TB disease of the lung or throat can spread the TB bacteria through the air when they cough or sneeze and infect another person. So, it would be important to know which type of TB your fiancé has, active TB disease or LTBI. People with active TB disease can take medication and be cured of TB. A person with LTBI is not infectious and does not infect other people. A person with LTBI takes medication in order to prevent the development of active TB disease.

Active TB disease is usually in the lungs, but the TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as lymph nodes, spine, or kidney. And rarely, it can attack both the female and male reproductive organs and cause fertility problems. This would only affect you, if you developed active TB disease of these organs.

Usually, there are no specific restrictions on sexual activities, but because we do not have all of the information regarding your fiancé’s TB, we would advise you to speak with your doctor about this situation.

For women, we usually recommend that someone with active TB disease not become pregnant while they are undergoing treatment because of the possibility of infecting the baby if they are not cured of the disease. Because some of the TB medications can cause oral birth control pills to be less affective, we ask that people use at least two types of birth control protection to prevent pregnancy. However, people who are pregnant and have active TB disease at the same time have been successfully treated and cured. They need to let their doctors know as soon as possible.

For more information:

Go to the Tuberculosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Shu-Hua   Wang, MD, MPH&TM Shu-Hua Wang, MD, MPH&TM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases
Clinical Assistant Professor of The Division of Epidemiology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Larry S Schlesinger, MD Larry S Schlesinger, MD
Professor:
Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics
Microbiology Administration
Environmental Health Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University