The aim of testing is to diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease, to discover the microorganism(s) causing it, if possible, and to distinguish PID from other conditions with similar symptoms. There is not one single laboratory test that can definitely diagnose PID. Most cases are diagnosed based on clinical findings. Some are diagnosed when a person is screened for STDs as part of a physical examination. PID may go unrecognized and undiagnosed as frequently as two-thirds of the time because the symptoms are nonspecific. There are several tests that may be performed to help diagnose the condition.
Some tests that may be requested to determine the cause of PID or rule out other causes of pelvic pain include:
Tests that are not specific for PID but may be used to detect and evaluate the inflammation and immune response associated with it include:
- Physical examination – an evaluation of the cervix, discharge, and degree of pain or tenderness present. Cervical motion pain and uterine pain are characteristic of PID. A diagnosis may be made based upon clinical findings.
- Pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound – may be performed to examine reproductive organs
- Laparoscopy – minimally invasive surgery sometimes used to confirm the diagnosis, collect biopsy samples, and evaluate organ status
- CT (computed tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- Power Doppler ultrasound – scan that allows evaluation of blood flow and inflammation