Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease that has plagued mankind for a really long time. Initially, it was a deadly disease that took many lives, male and female alike, but with recent advances in diagnosis and treatment, the fatality of it is fairly reduced. There are quite a few potent drugs in the market to fight against the causative Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria and the administration of vaccine at a tender age also helps the cause. Despite all of it, tuberculosis is not completely wiped out and is more common in certain strata of the society who are not very economically stable.
Though tuberculosis mainly affects the lungs and the respiratory airway, it sometimes does not spare other parts as well. One such common manifestation is genital tuberculosis which mainly affects the genitals of males and females, though it has a female predilection. The cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and the uterus are the most commonly affected in females while the testes and the ureters are not spared in males. This is caused due to the spread of infection from the lungs itself. Women become more susceptible during childbirth. Genital tuberculosis is mostly detected during checking for infertility in males and females.
Symptoms of Genital Tuberculosis
There are no evident symptoms of genital tuberculosis which make the detection of the disease all the more difficult. It should be suspected when a woman is infertile primarily and a family member has been diagnosed with tuberculosis separately. There will be a continuous low-grade fever along with lingering pain in the abdomen and discharge from the vagina which can serve as an indication for the suspecting genital tuberculosis.
Diagnosis is basically the confirmation of the presence of a disease and it is mainly done after performing clinical examinations and investigative procedures. In case of genital tuberculosis, the most important test is the tuberculin test and it can be further confirmed using additional investigative methods like pelvic ultrasound, cervical smear, endoscopy of the male and female genital organ and analysis of the menstrual blood.
The treatment of genital tuberculosis generally follows the pattern of treatment of tuberculosis itself. The Directly Observed Treatment Scheme (DOTS) is the regime followed in which 3 antitubercular drugs like Isoniazid, Rifampicin, and Pyrazinamide are administered for 2 months followed by two in the upcoming 4-12 months. 6 months is the minimum time of treatment. In case the genitalia is severely affected, surgical intervention might be needed but it is very rare.
Prevention of genital tuberculosis
The prevention of the disease is directly related to the prevention of tuberculosis itself as it is generally a sequela. Taking proper precautionary medicines, maintaining distance from people in the infective stage as it spreads by droplet infection and taking the BCG vaccine at the correct time is imperative.
The reason why early diagnosis and prompt treatment of genital tuberculosis is very important is because of the increased chances of infertility in both males and females as the bacteria have a predisposition for the genital organs. The absence of proper symptoms often leads to people not suspecting it as a cause of infertility which might lead to severe problems in the later stages of life. So, take the necessary precautions and get the treatment done as soon as possible.