It can be quite a challenge to select the most appropriate STI screening to meet your specific needs. Here, we would be discussing swab tests, its types, and when is the right time to have one done.
Defining a swab test
This is a sample collection method similar to blood and urine testing to check for the presence of bacteria or any microbes causing sexual infections. Your doctor or nurse may rub the swab on an infected area to take mucus, fluid, or discharge. They may also rub it on any STD-induced lesion or blister. After taking the swab, it is analysed in the lab to diagnose several STDs including common ones like herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhoea, which comes down to the area from where the swab was taken.
Types of swab test
There is a wide range of swab test, and each one has its specific function or role to play in diagnosing STDs. They include:
- Anal swab: A sample of the mucous lining the anus is taken with the swab for testing
- Throat swab: A sample from the back of the throat is taken to check for the presence of specific bacteria
- High vaginal swab: A sample of vaginal discharge is taken by placing the swab inside the vagina
- Urethral swab: A swab is inserted into the urethra to get a sample for testing
- Symptomatic lesion swab: A sample is taken from an open and unhealed lesion to test for the bacteria causing it. This kind of swab test is done for herpes and syphilis.
Now that you know the kinds of swab STD test available, you can have a doctor-prescribed test depending on your condition and symptoms you are experiencing.
When do you need a swab test?
Just like urine and blood test, there are several conditions that determine what kind of sample for lab analysis would be needed to diagnose your sexual health condition.
Getting a swab test comes down to the kind of test your doctor is prescribing and how exposed you may have been to the bacteria or microbes in question.
Also, it depends on the kind of sex you've been having and where and what kind of symptoms are sometimes occurring. So, your medical healthcare provider or doctor will tell you if your diagnosis would require a swab test or not.
In the case of oral or anal sex
A good number of infections are tied to the body part exposed to the cause of sexual activity. What does this mean for you? It implies that if the test is not performed within that area of the body, your doctor may not be so sure that you have or don't have the STI. So, if it was anal or oral sex you had, it becomes a necessity to take a swab of your throat or anus or both with respect to the sexual activity you've been engaged in.
Where you have sores or blisters
Should you be experiencing a lesion, sore, or blister and believe it could be a symptom of herpes or syphilis, there are different tests which permits a swab of the lesion to be taken to diagnose the cause of the infection. Your doctor should be able to tell under what conditions you should take a swab test.
When the test demands a swab
Following your sexual health condition, the doctor may recommend you undergo a swab test instead of urine or blood test because the kind of test you'll be having needs a swab. There are cases where the instant test obtained from your assessment requires that a swab from your urethra or vagina be collected based on the fact that more bacteria are concentrated there than that found in urine. This is very important as it would allow the testing reagent or buffer to react better with the STD and be 100% precise in detecting the type of infection present.
Sometimes, your doctor may recommend more than one type of test for you. At other times, if the initial screening you had does not provide sufficient evidence of your sexual health problem, further testing may be needed to support the diagnosis as the doctor deems fit. All that's needed from you is your cooperation to best identify what is wrong with you sexually.
Should I take a vaginal swab STD test?
Like we said before, except the test demands a swab to be taken from the vagina, it becomes unnecessary to undergo a vaginal swab. The reason is that a typical urine test will diagnose the infection with similar precision as a swab test. Again, should you take into consideration the simplicity attached with having a urine test to a vaginal swab, you may choose the urine test.
If you need a swab test, you can visit a reliable clinic offering sexual health services in your area.
Where should you get a swab test?
For the best of analysis and results, it is advised you seek the services of professionals in the sexual health service, particularly those you can trust. This is because sexual health matters are private and require confidentiality.
We provide professional screening for all kinds of STDs in men and women at our clinic. Located in a serene and beautiful environment, you will feel relaxed while waiting for your screening to take place.
Manned by sexual health experts that are friendly and understanding, your swab test will be the best experience you've ever had. So, should you be considering a swab test, if you are residing or visiting in London you can visit Sexual Health Clinic London today. Here are well-trained doctors who will be ready to attend to your requests with all pleasure.