Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is often difficult to diagnose because:
Guidelines for PID care urge prompt treatment, even when only the minimal clinical criteria for the diagnosis of PID are met and even before laboratory test results are available.3 This means that you may be given antibiotic treatment right away, based on your risk factors, medical history, and physical exam. Delaying treatment for several days could increase your risks of fallopian tube damage and infertility.
To learn about your medical history, your doctor may ask you the following questions.
After your medical history is taken, the initial exam for PID will include a pelvic exam.
Laboratory and imaging tests
Other tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis of PID, to rule out other problems (such as appendicitis), or to find out whether the infection has spread. These tests include:
Laparoscopy and ultrasound are considered the best procedures for diagnosing PID. But these tests are not done unless the diagnosis is in doubt or the results from the procedure will change the method used for treatment.
There is no standard screening for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) at this time. But routine annual screening of young, sexually active women for chlamydia is thought to reduce the number of cases of PID and is recommended by experts.
Be sure to have a gynecologic exam promptly whenever you notice pelvic infection symptoms or pelvic pain. If you have been exposed to an STI, see your doctor for testing right away. If you are diagnosed with an STI, especially gonorrhea or chlamydia, you will be treated and evaluated for PID. Your partner(s) must also have treatment for the STI.
Women who have recently been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) also should be checked for other STIs.
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