Q&A: I tested positive for tuberculosis. Will I give it to my unborn baby?
I have just had a skin test and tested positive for tuberculosis. I’ve been told that I am a “converter.” I know this means I am not an active carrier, but what does it mean for my unborn baby? I am almost five months pregnant and am worried about what effect the medicine I now have to take for six months might have on the baby. Also, I’m wondering if my positive TB status exposes the baby as well. Thank you!
All of the drugs for TB are either Category B or C, meaning that you should take them, even if pregnant, if the benefit outweighs the risk, which it does. The risk of problems with the baby are either only slightly higer than the general population or up to twice the normal–but the higher rates were from bad studies that couln’t isolate other factors. The odds are with you, and TB is bad enough to warrant such an intervention.
As far as the baby “getting” TB, it’s unlikely that this special type of bacterium can get through to the baby, unless you had the rare type of “pelvic” TB, which you don’t, since pelvic TB has an infertility rate of almost 100%, and…well…you’re pregnant. It sounds like you’re in good hands, so keep up the regimen your doctors have set up for you.