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How is pelvic inflammatory disease diagnosed?

To diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease, your doctor may ask you about your symptoms and conduct a pelvic examination. This examination may involve taking swab samples from your vagina and cervix to identify which type of micro-organism is causing the infection. A urine test is commonly used to identify the presence of gonorrhea and chlamydia. A pelvic ultrasound can also be used to produce a clear image of your internal organs and can help to identify how far an infection has spread. A procedure known as laparoscopy can be used to diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease if there is still doubt after the previous investigations, or if you are not responding to treatment. This involves a surgeon making a small incision into the abdomen and inserting a small fiber-optic instrument with a camera attached to view the reproductive organs.

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About this article

Author: Dr Bow Tauro PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 392 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Pelvic inflammatory disease


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