Patient Services

Patient Services


Collection Procedures and Instructions


Vaginal Swabs - Self Collection Instructions

This procedure takes place at one of our clinics and is NOT to be conducted at home and brought to the clinic or doctor's office.


  1. In the privacy of the examination room or restroom, undress from the waist down. Comfortably position yourself to maintain balance during the collection process.

  2. Open the collection swab wrapper by peeling open the top of the wrapper.

  3. Remove the swab, taking care not to touch the tip or lay it down. If the soft tip is touched, the swab is laid down, or the swab is dropped, request a new collection kit.

  4. Hold the swab in your hand, placing your thumb and forefinger in the middle of the swab shaft.

  5. Carefully insert the swab into your vagina about two inches inside the opening of the vagina and gently rotate the swab for 10-30 seconds. Ensure the swab touches the walls of the vagina so that moisture is absorbed by the swab.

  6. Withdraw the swab carefully.

  7. While holding the swab in the same hand, open the top of the transport tube.

  8. Immediately place the specimen collection swab into the transport tube.

    Note: Collection tube media can cause irritation if it comes in contact with skin.

  9. Identify the score-line on the collection swab shaft. Carefully break the swab shaft against the side of the tube at the score-line and discard the top portion of the swab shaft.

  10. Recap the swab transport tube.

  11. Label the transport tube with: Last Name, First Name, Date of Birth and Date/Time of collection.

  12. Return the tube as instructed by your provider or laboratory.

Important: Failure to follow instructions may cause delay in treatment and unintended expense.