Doctors diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease based on signs and symptoms, a pelvic exam, an analysis of vaginal discharge and cervical cultures, or urine tests.
During the pelvic exam, your doctor uses a cotton swab to take samples from your vagina and cervix. The samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine the organism that's causing the infection.
To confirm the diagnosis or to determine how widespread the infection is, your doctor may recommend other tests, such as:
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- Pelvic ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create images of your reproductive organs.
- Endometrial biopsy. During this procedure, a small piece of your uterine lining (endometrium) is removed and tested.
- Laparoscopy. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, lighted instrument through a small incision in your abdomen to view your pelvic organs.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Hemsell DL. Gynecologic infections. In: Schorge JO, et al. Williams Gynecology. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=3150553. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp077.cfm. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: Frequently asked questions. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://womenshealth.gov/faq/pelvic-inflammatory-disease.cfm. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Trigg BG, et al. Sexually transmitted infections and pelvic inflammatory disease in women. Medical Clinics of North America. 2008;92:1083.
- Livengood CH, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Livengood CH. Pathogenesis of and risk factors for pelvic inflammatory disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 21, 2011.