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How to collect a sample using a swab

Published : Monday September 26, 2011 | Posted in : Sexual Health
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In addition to urine sample tests for STIs, we also provide tests for which samples need to be collected with a swab. All our tests that involve collecting samples with a cotton swab, like the BV Profile Test and Symptomatic Lesion Swab Test, come with clear and detailed instructions to help you take a sample accurately. However, we thought we’d provide you with more information on these tests to help you assess whether they are right for you before you place an order.

Symptomatic Lesion Swab Test

The Symptomatic Lesion Swab Test allows you to test whether the lesions or sores being displayed are being caused by syphilis or by the herpes simplex virus (both herpes simplex type 1 and 2 strains). This is also a way to test for syphilis without needing to provide a blood sample, however if you aren’t displaying any lesions it’s important that you still visit your doctor or GUM clinic for a test if you think that you may have contracted syphilis or herpes. We don’t provide any additional testing for syphilis but you can choose to order a urine herpes simplex test.

Each pack comes with a sealed collection swab. Before handling the swab, make sure that your hands are clean and dry. Simply twist the cap attached to the tube and remove the swab. It’s very important that you do not touch the tip of the swab or put it down anywhere, as this could influence the results. Take the swab and move it over the lesion for a couple of seconds, leaving enough time for viral cells to be picked up by the swab. As the swab will undergo advanced PCR testing, it means that you don’t have to provide a large sample. After collecting the sample, simply pop it back into the tube. Wash your hands thoroughly afterwards with soap and water.

Make sure that all information requested is filled out correctly before sending the sample back to us in the prepaid bag provided.

BV Profile Test

The BV Profile Test can establish whether a woman has bacterial vaginosis or not. This test works in a similar way to the Symptomatic Lesion Swab Test, except a sample needs to be collected from within the vaginal canal. The swab needs to be inserted at least two inches into the vagina, where it needs to be rotated 10 to 15 seconds to collect moisture from the sides of the vaginal wall. If you find it difficult to insert the swab, simply stop and collect a sample where it’s comfortable for you to do so.

After the sample has been collected, the swab needs to be returned to the sterilised tube it came from and posted back to us in a prepaid bag. Make sure that all the accompanying documentation is filled out, to help avoid any confusion.

The BV Profile Test and Symptomatic Lesion Swab Tests are both subjected to the most advanced laboratory testing methods to help provide an accurate diagnosis.

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