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Vaginal Swab Related Questions

What is a vaginal swab?

Vaginal swabs are used to collect fluid or discharge from the vaginal region for testing. Vaginal swabs are often necessary to do testing for certain Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). To learn more about vaginal swabs and its uses, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by the Experts.

What kind of a doctor would I need for a vaginal swab to diagnose vaginal discharge and itching?

There are several possibilities that would explain vaginal discharge and itching. A few of the potential issues may be: atrophic vaginitis from low estrogen levels, a yeast infection, an STD, dysplasia or cancer. As for which doctor would be best to determine the problem, usually a gynecologist or an experienced general practitioner would be able to help.

Yeast infections and STDs are generally tested by a vaginal swab. However, STDs can also be tested by giving a urine sample if a woman is being seen by a male doctor and is not comfortable with a vaginal swab.

A vaginal swab confirmed a moderate growth of pseudomonas sp, non-hemolytic strep, coagulase -ve staph and bacillus sp. What would cause this?

Case detail: Vulva is red and sore, have been prescribed Augmentin three times a day for seven days.

The bacteria described above found during a vaginal swab is considered normal vaginal bacteria and is generally not treated. With the described symptoms, it is possible that the patient has a yeast infection but in order to determine this, a different type of culture must be taken. In cases like this, Augmentin may worsen the condition and create a severe yeast infection and should therefore perhaps not be taken at all. To keep the vagina clean and healthy, Boric Acid suppositories or a product called RepHresh can generally help regulate the vaginal pH levels.

My vaginal swab results show a Gardnerella infection. What does this mean?

Case details: Pus cells: 0-3/hpf, epithelial cells: 8-10/hpf

A Gardnerella infection is a term that was earlier used to refer to Bacterial Vaginosis. Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when bad bacteria overtakes the growth of good bacteria in the vagina. This isn't an infection but is generally treated with antibiotics. The reason for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) isn't clear but many times women who get BV tend to douche and should avoid doing so. While this isn’t a serious condition, it could cause problems if the patient is pregnant or undergoing surgery on the pelvis.

Epithelial cells are the cells found on the vaginal lining and are commonly seen on vaginal swabs. These cells are generally used to detect Bacterial Vaginosis. Pus cells are also commonly seen on vaginal swabs.

Can a Group A Strep, detected from a vaginal swab, be treated with antibiotics?

The antibiotics most commonly used to treat Group A streptococcal vaginal infection are Penicillin, Clindamycin and Erythromycin. Once the treatment has been completed, another vaginal swab is taken to check if the antibiotics have worked. In most cases, it will take 2-3 days for an antibiotic to begin working. If the infection still remains after a round of antibiotics, further testing will need to be done to determine which antibiotic will best treat the infection.

Vaginal swabs are commonly used and are an important part of determining vaginal health. Many women are unfamiliar with the language used when they receive the results from a vaginal swab. If you have questions regarding vaginal swabs, ask an Expert who can provide medical clarity and information based on your case.
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