Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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:

  • 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.
May. 24, 2011