The HVS Test or High Vaginal Swab test is a medical procedure performed in obstetrics and gynecology to test vaginal discharge for the presence of vaginal thrush, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomonas vaginalis. It is carried out in clean conditions by a healthcare professional who uses a speculum to look at the cervix and vagina. The test involves inserting a swab into the top of the vagina and rotating it to obtain a sample of the discharge. The speculum is then removed, and the sample is sent for microscopy, culture, and sensitivity in a charcoal-based transport medium. If the sample cannot be sent to the laboratory immediately, it may be stored in a fridge.
The HVS test is used to diagnose various conditions, including:
- Vaginal thrush
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- Trichomonas vaginalis
Indications of the Test
The HVS test is indicated for women experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge, pain, or itching, and those who suspect they may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be used during pregnancy and postpartum to check for infections.
To prepare for the HVS test, follow these steps:
- Remove clothing from the waist down and drape a blanket or paper sheet over your legs.
- Lie down on an exam table and place your feet in stirrups to keep your legs up and apart.
- Wipe away any excess cervical mucus with a cotton swab.
- Use a pink top e-swab to sample as high as possible in the vaginal vault.
Typical Reference Values
The HVS test results are typically reported as positive or negative for the presence of specific pathogens, such as Candida, Trichomonas, and BV.
The turnaround time for HVS test results is usually 3 days.
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