Women’s health has greatly benefitted from the increasing popularity of vaginal swab biospecimens in clinical research. 

Vaginal swabs play an important role in many different research studies as they can be used for early detection of cancer, infections, and other diseases, as well as treatment. 

Like other topical swabs, vaginal swabs are local and non-invasive sources of medical information. There are many different types of vaginal swabs, including high vaginal swabs and ones used for wet mounts

Additionally, there are also different techniques for collecting vaginal swabs, and different methods for processing and preserving the swabs for further study.

To collect a vaginal swab, we first need to know the appropriate technique. Initially, the swab is inserted into the vaginal canal and then rotated against vaginal epithelium. The swab is then withdrawn and placed in a sterile specimen container or vial prior to shipment to the lab and ultimate analysis.

High vaginal swabs are useful to test vaginal discharge for the presence of infections such as vaginal thrush, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomonas vaginalis. These swabs are also used to test cervical cytology specimens for cervical cancer. 

Vaginal wet mounts, on the other hand, are used to examine vaginal discharge under a microscope to detect the cause of disease such as vaginitis or vulvitis.

Both techniques are vital in women’s health and have improved our understanding of vaginal disease pathology.

Advantages of vaginal swabs include their ease of use and inexpensive cost, as well as the fact that they can be stored for a long time without refrigeration. While they can be uncomfortable, they are not invasive like obtaining blood samples or other types of biopsies.

Disadvantages include the fact that they are not very reliable for testing for some diseases and conditions unrelated to vaginal health. In addition, while vaginal swabs have a high sensitivity to detect some diseases, the number of cells in a vaginal swab is usually low which can limit their applicability in some circumstances. They are also more difficult to obtain than other types of samples such as urine samples.

Vaginal swabs have a large role in women’s health and clinical research. 

Aside from collecting real-time swabs from patients prospectively, obtaining vaginal swabs from biorepositories and biobanks can be a viable alternative for the purpose of large-scale studies.

Having access to a large number of swabs and samples can make all the difference in a research endeavor.

At iProcess Global Research, you can expect to work with a global biospecimen provider who is dedicated to providing the highest quality biospecimens and research services to researchers and investigators. Vaginal swabs are but of many types of biospecimens available for procurement from iProcess’s global network of 1,000 sites worldwide. Working with iProcess Global Research can facilitate success in even the most demanding clinical trial protocols.

Contacting iProcess is easy; request a free quote today.


The high vaginal swab in general practice: clinical correlates of possible pathogens | PMC 

Strong correlation between urine and vaginal swab samples for bacterial vaginosis | PMC

How useful are high vaginal swabs in general practice? Results of a multicentre study | PMC