Female Genital Tuberculosis

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2022 Oct 21;9(11):ofac543. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofac543. eCollection 2022 Nov.


Female genital tuberculosis (FGTB) is an important cause of morbidity and infertility worldwide. Mycobacterium tuberculosis most commonly spreads to the genital tract from a focus elsewhere in the body and affects the bilateral fallopian tubes and/or endometrium. Many patients with FGTB have indolent disease and are only diagnosed after evaluation for infertility. Women may present with menstrual irregularities, lower abdominal or pelvic pain, or abnormal vaginal discharge. Given the low sensitivity of diagnostic tests, various composite reference standards are used to diagnose FGTB, including some combination of endoscopic findings, microbiological or molecular testing, and histopathological evidence in gynecological specimens. Early treatment with a standard regimen of a 2-month intensive phase with isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide, followed by a 4-month continuation phase with isoniazid and rifampin, is recommended to prevent irreversible organ damage. However, even with treatment, FGTB can lead to infertility or pregnancy-related complications, and stigma is pervasive.

Keywords: female genital TB; infertility; reproductive tract TB; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review