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How To Diagnose Pelvic Infection & What Is The Best Medicine For It?

Diagnosis of pelvic infections is usually based on your signs and a gynecological investigation.1

The Center for Disease Control considers the transvaginal ultrasound as the most specific diagnostic procedure for acute pelvic infection.2

Azithromycin with or without metronidazole seems effective in pelvic infection in nonpregnant women but still not clear which antibiotic treatment is the most effective.3,4

How To Diagnose Pelvic Infection?

How To Diagnose Pelvic Infection?

When you experience one or more symptoms of pelvic infections such as burning sensation while you pee, vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, over bleeding, irregular menstrual periods, and a few others, you need to seek immediate medical attention to identify if you have a pelvic infection or any other sexually transmitted infections.

During your meeting, your health care provider will check about your medical histories such as the sexual history of both you and your parents. They will also ask about your symptoms and the techniques followed for your birth control.1

The diagnosis of pelvic infection is usually through a pelvic exam during which your doctor may swab the inside of your cervix to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Some of the tests to confirm the diagnosis include:

Pelvic Exam – This test is performed for visual and physical examination of a woman’s reproductive organs to check the size and shape of her uterus and ovaries, and to identify unusual growths.

Cervical Culture – The test may be performed to determine the cause of pelvic pain, vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, and other symptoms of pelvic infection. It’s normal for women to have some vaginal discharge, but it may be a symptom of infection so endocervical culture is performed to help identify infection in the female genital tract.

Urine Test – To check signs of blood and other infections.2

What Is The Best Medicine For Pelvic Infection?

Treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease generally delivers high rates of medical and bacteriological cure for a variety of bacterial illnesses. A study was conducted between 1992 – 2006 on patients experiencing mild to moderate pelvic infection. These patients were treated using moxifloxacin, ofloxacin, clindamycin-ciprofloxacin, and azithromycin.

The cure rate among these patients was 90%–97%. Several studies have shown that antibiotics have achieved high rates of clinical cure however researches are still in progress to prove if this can prevent adverse reproductive sequelae.

Several different types of antibiotics have been found to work against the infections and your doctor may advise continuing for 2 weeks. Antibiotics intake should always follow directions and finish the course even if you feel better. In most cases, the symptoms improve in 3 days, if not you should go back to your doctor. In most acute infections, your treatment may include a stay in the hospital. 3,4

Pelvic infection refers to an inflammation affecting any part of the upper female genital tract, including the uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and even inside the lower belly. It is a serious complication of some sexually transmitted diseases and can harm the fallopian tubes and nerves in and around the uterus.

The infection can spread to the reproductive organs not only during sexual intercourse rather during the procedures when the cervix is open. Sexually active women in the childbearing years are more prone to this infection so the best way to prevent the infection is to follow protected sex using condoms for oral, vaginal, or anal sex.


  1. Publishing, Harvard Health. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).” Harvard Health, What’s Causing My Low Back Pain and Vaginal Discharge? www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid-a-to-z
  2. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Symptoms, Treatments & Causes.” Cleveland Clinic, What other tests might I need to diagnose PID? my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9129-pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid
  3. “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – 2015 STD Treatment Guidelines.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 June 2015, www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/pid.htm
  4. Rowland, Kate, and Bernard Ewigman. “Azithromycin for PID Beats Doxycycline on All Counts.” The Journal of Family Practice, Quadrant HealthCom Inc., Dec. 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183833/
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 19, 2022

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