Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Select An Article

Your Guide to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Font Size

How Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Diagnosed?

Your doctor will begin with a detailed history of your general health and sexual activity. He or she will perform a pelvic exam to check the health of your reproductive organs, and look for evidence of gonorrhea and chlamydia infection. Your doctor may find the abnormal cervical discharge and tenderness of the cervix, fallopian tubes and cervix on examination. This discharge will be tested to determine the cause of the infection, including cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

If your doctor suspects PID, he or she may order other tests, including:

  • Blood tests to analyze blood for evidence of infection.
  • Ultrasound (sonogram) to view the reproductive organs.

Other tests less commonly performed include:

  • Endometrial biopsy, a procedure in which a small sample of tissue from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) is removed for evaluation and testing.
  • Laparoscopy, a procedure during which a thin, lighted instrument (laparoscope) is inserted through a small cut in the lower abdomen to allow the doctor to examine the internal reproductive organs.

What Is the Treatment for PID?

If the findings of your exam or tests suggest PID, treatment is started immediately.

  • Antibiotics. The initial treatment for mild cases of PID usually consists of one or more antibiotic medications taken by mouth. More significant cases can be treated with a combination of intravenous and oral antibiotics. If treatment is not effective, if you cannot take antibiotics by mouth, or if the infection is severe, you may need to be hospitalized to receive medication intravenously (directly into a vein).

    If you are diagnosed with PID, your sexual partner(s) also must be treated even if they do not have any symptoms. Otherwise, the infection will likely recur when you have sex again.

  • Surgery. When PID causes an abscess (when the inflamed tissue forms a collection of pus), antibiotics are no longer as effective. Surgery is often needed to remove the abscesses (or the organ with the abscess) to prevent them from rupturing and causing widespread infection throughout the pelvis and abdomen. Depending on the conditions, this may be done with a laparoscope (a thin, lighted instrument) or with a procedure in which the doctor opens the abdomen to view the internal organs (laparotomy). Both techniques are major surgical procedures and are performed under general anesthesia (you are put to sleep).

If abscesses have formed on the uterus or ovaries, your doctor may recommend hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror