Diagnosis

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 will first check your pelvic region for signs and symptoms of PID. Your doctor might then use cotton swabs to take samples from your vagina and cervix. The samples will be analyzed at a lab to determine the organism that's causing the infection.

To confirm the diagnosis or to determine how widespread the infection is, your doctor might recommend other tests, such as:

  • Blood and urine tests. These tests will measure your white blood cell count, which might indicate an infection, and markers that suggest inflammation. Your doctor also might recommend tests for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, which are sometimes associated with PID.
  • Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create images of your reproductive organs.
  • Laparoscopy. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, lighted instrument through a small incision in your abdomen to view your pelvic organs.