Experiencing Tuberculosis While Pregnant? Find out how to handle it here

Untreated tuberculosis during pregnancy is a fairly dangerous threat to the mother and fetus. To find out what tuberculosis treatment is like during pregnancy, consider the following review.

Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is an infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs. An infection caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, brain, and spine.

To diagnose TB in pregnant women, the doctor will carry out a series of examinations, including a history of complaints, physical examination, and supporting examinations, such as X-rays, sputum tests, and blood tests.

Tuberculosis Treatment During Pregnancy

Tuberculosis during pregnancy must be treated appropriately so as not to pose a greater risk to the mother and the fetus. If pregnant women have tuberculosis, don't worry, okay?

Basically, TB during pregnancy can be overcome. But indeed, the treatment takes a long time and must be done regularly. TB treatment during pregnancy is generally considered safe because the types of drugs and doses have been adjusted so as not to harm the fetus and the womb.

So far, the side effects of TB drugs in pregnancy are rare. In fact, TB treatment during pregnancy provides more benefits than side effects.

TB treatment during pregnancy depends on the type of TB experienced by pregnant women. There are 2 types of tuberculosis that may occur during pregnancy, namely latent TB and active TB.

Latent tuberculosis is when tests show that pregnant women are infected with TB, but no symptoms appear. Meanwhile, active tuberculosis is when pregnant women have TB symptoms and the test results show a positive TB infection.

Treatment for latent TB

Latent TB doesn't always have to be treated. However, if it is to be treated, there are several drugs that may be given to pregnant women, namely: isoniazid and rifampicin. isoniazid can be consumed alone or can also be combined with rifampicin.

The length of treatment will also vary, depending on what medication the doctor prescribes. If isoniazid consumed alone, the duration of treatment is 9 months. But if isoniazid combined with rifampicin, the length of treatment can be shorter, which is 3 months. During this treatment, pregnant women also need to take vitamin B6 supplements.

Treatment for active TB

Treatment of active TB in pregnant women is almost the same as for ordinary patients. Treatment is divided into an intensive phase for 2 months and a continuation phase for 4-6 months. The drugs taken include: isoniazid, rifampin, and pyrazinamide.

In the intensive phase, pregnant women need to take medicine every day. While in the advanced phase, pregnant women only need to take medicine 2 times a week. However, in any phase, the schedule of taking medication should not be missed even once, even though the pregnant woman is feeling well. Just like latent TB treatment, pregnant women also need to take vitamin B6 supplements.

TB treatment is quite long and must be continuous. If the treatment has not been completed and the pregnant woman has given birth, the pregnant woman must continue the treatment until it is complete. Pregnant women can still breastfeed their little ones, how come. However, pregnant women need to wear a mask while breastfeeding.

The Dangers and Impacts of Untreated TB During Pregnancy

TB treatment during pregnancy is very important for the safety of the mother and fetus. As long as pregnant women undergo regular treatment, it is very likely that TB infection will not affect the little one. Meanwhile, if not treated immediately, TB infection during pregnancy can cause:

  • Increased risk of premature birth
  • Low birth weight baby
  • Transmission of TB infection to babies in the womb
  • Transmission of TB infection to others in the vicinity

Keep in mind that TB treatment needs to be carried out in a disciplined manner until it is finished according to the doctor's advice. Otherwise, it will increase the risk of recurrence of tuberculosis that is already resistant to existing treatments. This of course will complicate further treatment.

TB while pregnant may sound terrible. However, this condition can be cured with regular treatment and extra patience is needed to live it. By undergoing treatment, pregnant women not only protect themselves, but also the fetus and the people around them.

During treatment, eat nutritious foods, especially those high in protein. Make sure the ventilation in the house is always open and spend some time in the morning sun each day. Better yet, do light exercise every day so that the body becomes more fit and the tuberculosis bacteria disappears from the body more quickly.

In addition, do not forget to always check with the doctor. Pregnant women with TB may need regular check-ups with pulmonologists and obstetricians so that TB drug doses, pregnancy conditions, and overall health conditions can always be monitored.