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How to avoid spreading TB in the uterus. How it can spread to other female members of the family?

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OBGYN, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Practicing since : 1979
Answered : 79 Questions
I have to enquire about TB in the uterus and how can this spread from one women to another in the family and what precautions needs to be taken to avoid the spreading.
Posted Tue, 30 Oct 2012 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Nirja Chawla 2 hours later
Your question is about tuberculosis of the uterus and how it can spread to other female members of the family.
Allow me to give you some background information first and then you will understand it much better:
Tuberculosis (TB) spreads from one person to another when the patient has Lung TB. Every time the patient sneezes or coughs thousands of droplets carrying the TB bacteria are released in the air. This infected air can then infect another normal person. TB is therefore spread from one to another as an airborne infection. However, this may not occur once the Lung TB of the patient has been treated adequately. One can check this out by getting a Sputum examination for TB bacteria in the labarotary for 3 consecutive days.
Very, very rare is the spread of genital tract (uterus, cervix and tubes) tuberculosis through sexual contact to the male partner.

There is no other way of spread of TB from one person to another; not by sharing clothes or the same bed or the utensils - glass, cup etc.

The TB infection of the genital tract often occurs many years, sometimes 10-20 years, after the infection in the lungs and is carried through the blood supply. The lungs are the first or primary site of infection with tuberculosis. By the time the infection has reached the uterus, the primary infection of the lung has usually healed and the patient cannot infect another person anymore.

The precautions to prevent TB are essentially to prevent getting the primary infection in the lungs. Therefore one should avoid crowded places where circulation of air is not very good. In this regard i would like to mention that crowded market places and cinema halls is one issue, the other is to avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals as a social gesture, to visit sick relatives. These are the places where one can 'catch' TB infection.

If a family memeber has TB of the uterus, then there is no need to take any precautions provided the lung lesion has subsided. As i mentioned in the beginning, a simple Sputum Test can allay your fears and you could continue to deal with and help the sick family member without risk of catching the infection which is essentially transferred from one to another through the air.
Hope this answers your query.
Dr Nirja Chawla
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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