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Taking medication for tuberculosis and breastfeeding. Will it be safe to plan for next child?

Answered by
Dr. Aarti Abraham


Practicing since :1998

Answered : 6011 Questions

Posted on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 in Getting Pregnant
Question: My wife tested positive for being exposed to TB. She has to take X-rays and see a specialist. She is still breast feeding our seven month old who is healthy and gaining weight.. We are trying to have another baby, with this positive test and possibility of her taking meds can we still try to have a baby now??
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 46 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.
Please do not worry, as sometimes patients do test positive for exposure to Tuberculosis, but not actually for the disease.
She yet has to undergo further workup and see a Specialist.
In case she is positive for tuberculosis, and has to undergo treatment for tuberculosis, do not worry, as untreated tuberculosis poses grave risks to the mother and baby rather than the treatment.
All the first line drugs for tuberculosis are considered safe to be given in pregnancy.
She can breastfeed too, while on medication.
A few drugs have to be avoided, which , I am sure, your specialist will take care of. Also, hypersensitivity to drugs is common in pregnancy, and special care is required.
Please go ahead with the treatment if she is diagnosed with the disease.
Since you are voluntarily planning a pregnancy, one more option for you would be to defer conception till the treatment is completed, which, am sure is a safer option, since you are worried about the impact of the disease on pregnancy.
Once the treatment regimen as advised by the Specialist is completed, she can definitely go for another pregnancy, as there is no adverse effect on fertility unless the tuberculosis affects the female reproductive organs.
There are various tests available for knowing this, and please talk to your specialist about this concern also when you schedule your visit.
Take care and feel free to ask for further clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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