September 2, 2015
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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (cont.)

What are the signs and symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease?

Many women don't know they have PID because they don't have any symptoms. For women who have them, symptoms can range from mild to severe. The most common symptom of PID is pain in your lower abdomen (stomach area). Other symptoms include:

  • Fever (100.4 F or higher)
  • Vaginal discharge that may smell foul
  • Painful sex
  • Painful urination
  • Irregular periods (monthly bleeding)
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen

Pelvic inflammatory disease can come on fast with extreme pain and fever, especially if it's caused by gonorrhea.

How is pelvic inflammatory disease diagnosed?

If you think that you may have pelvic inflammatory disease, see a doctor right away. If you have pain in your lower abdomen (stomach area), your doctor will perform a physical exam. This will include a pelvic (internal) exam. Your doctor will check for:

  • Abnormal discharge from your vagina or cervix
  • Lumps called abscesses near your ovaries and Fallopian tubes
  • Tenderness or pain in your pelvic organs

Your doctor will also test you for STIs, including HIV and syphilis (SI-fuh-luhs), urinary tract infection, and if needed, pregnancy. If needed, your doctor may do other tests.

  • Ultrasound (sonogram) — a test that uses sound waves to take pictures of the pelvic area.
  • Endometrial (en-duh-MEE-tree-uhl) (uterine) biopsy — the doctor removes and tests a small piece of the endometrium (the inside lining of the womb).
  • Laparoscopy (lap-uh-RAHS-kuh-pee) — the doctor inserts a small, lighted tube through your abdomen (stomach area) to look at your pelvic organs.

These tests will help your doctor find out if you have pelvic inflammatory disease, or if you have a different problem that looks like PID.


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