If you have signs and symptoms of PID that aren’t severe, still see your doctor as soon as possible. Vaginal discharge with an odor, painful urination or bleeding between menstrual cycles can also be symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). If these signs and symptoms occur, stop having sex and see your doctor soon. Prompt treatment of an STI can help prevent PID.
Tests for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Your doctor may be able to diagnose PID after hearing your symptoms. In most cases, your doctor will run tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Tests may include:
- pelvic exam to check your pelvic organs
- cervical culture to check your cervix for infections
- urine test to check your urine for signs of blood, cancer, and other diseases
After collecting samples, your doctor sends these samples to a laboratory.
If your doctor determines that you have pelvic inflammatory disease, they may run more tests and check your pelvic area for damage. PID can cause scarring on your fallopian tubes and permanent damage to your reproductive organs.
Additional tests include:
- Pelvic ultrasound. This is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create pictures of your internal organs.
- Endometrial biopsy. In this outpatient procedure a doctor removes and examines a small sample from the lining of your uterus.
- Laparoscopy. A laparoscopy is an outpatient procedure where a doctor inserts a flexible instrument through an incision in your abdomen and takes pictures of your pelvic organs.
Treatment for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Your doctor will likely have you take antibiotics to treat PID. Because your doctor may not know the type of bacteria that caused your infection, they might give you two different types of antibiotics to treat a variety of bacteria.
Within a few days of starting treatment, your symptoms may improve or go away. However, you should finish your medication, even if you’re feeling better. Stopping your medication early may cause the infection to return.
If you’re sick or pregnant, can’t swallow pills, or have an abscess (pocket of pus caused by the infection) in your pelvis, your doctor may send you to the hospital for treatment.
Pelvic inflammatory disease may require surgery. This is rare and only necessary if an abscess in your pelvis ruptures or your doctor suspects that an abscess will rupture. It can also be necessary if the infection doesn’t respond to treatment.
The bacteria that cause PID can spread through sexual contact. If you’re sexually active, your partner should also get treated for PID. Men may be silent carriers of bacteria that cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
Your infection can recur if your partner doesn’t receive treatment. You may be asked to abstain from sexual intercourse until the infection has been resolved.