Endometriosis is a painful female disorder, where the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus. Though, this commonly involves the ovaries, the fallopian tube and the tissue lining the pelvis; it has been known, rarely, to spread beyond the pelvic organs.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a very serious infectious disease affecting mainly the human lungs. It is caused by a bacteria that is spread through droplets in the air created during coughing and sneezing.
Endometrial / Uterine / Genital Tuberculosis:
This is considered a secondary complication in women who have been diagnosed with tuberculosis. The happens when the TB bacterium spreads to and is found in the endometrial tissue lining the inside of the uterus. This bacterial infection can cause severe damage to the uterus and fallopian tube resulting in infertility, severe pain during sex, menstrual irregularities and pelvic inflammatory disease, over and above the complications of TB.
Most infected women are asymptomatic, i.e., they show no symptoms, and the disease is often detected during testing for some other ailment. But, some symptoms that can show up are;
- Extremely irregular menstrual cycles and/or reduced menstruation.
- Pain in the pelvic area, ranging from mild to extremely severe.
- Pain during and bleeding after sexual intercourse.
- Excessive vaginal discharge.
- TB has been known to cause sweating, however, in this case, it is often during the night with possible pelvic pain.
- Swelling in the abdominal area, which may not be apparent in the beginning.
Diagnosis & Treatment:
The asymptomatic nature of this condition is a very big hindrance, and as said above, it is often found when testing for something else. If, however, it is suspected the following tests would be recommended: Tuberculin test, blood culture/test, chest XRays, biopsy of tissue from the endometrium and its pathology test and possibly PCR test of tissue from the same area.
As this is just another form of TB, the treatment is also the same. Often referred to as the AKT
treatment, and consists of three to four different types of anti-tubercular drugs. The duration of the course is long, often six to nine months, or more.
As TB is a highly infectious disease, here also, extreme caution and care must be taken by the patients, their families and the medical personnel.