PID is diagnosed clinically. Clinicians should have a low threshold for diagnosing PID in young sexually active people with female reproductive organs and people diagnosed with an STI if they are experiencing pelvic or lower abdominal pain where no other cause can be identified.
It is essential to exclude life-threatening causes of acute abdominal pain requiring emergency management such as ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis when considering a diagnosis of PID.
For help diagnosing PID, see:
Chlamydia is the most commonly detected STI associated with PID, followed by Neisseria gonorrhoea and Mycoplasma genitalium. In many cases however, no causal organism is identified.1
Ask about new onset lower abdominal pain and/or dyspareunia in any patient with female reproductive organs attending for chlamydia or gonorrhoea treatment.
Antibiotic treatment should be initiated at the time a clinical diagosis of PID is made and without waiting for STI test results. A rapid response to treatment confirms a diagnosis of PID.
Current sexual partners should be treated to cover chlamydia irrespective of test results.3