Gynecologist visits should be regular.. If there is no problem or condition, checkups should be done at least twice a year. However, when there is any discomfort in the intimate area, you should go as soon as possible, because it may be an infection.
Vaginal exudate is a study that gynecologists request in these circumstances. It is a simple, quick procedure that causes almost no discomfort. A sample is taken and sent to the laboratory for analysis, thus confirming the existence or not of a vaginal infection.
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What is vaginal exudate?
The vaginal exudate is a gynecological laboratory test.. In it, a sample of the discharge from the vagina and cervix is taken. This sample is placed in a tube containing a culture medium, which allows the germs to reproduce.
It is then sent to the laboratory for analysis to see if there is an infection and which pathogen is causing it. In this way, the gynecologist will have this information and will determine the treatment, according to the results of the exudate.
What is it used for?
The vaginal exudate is used to find pathogens lodged in the vagina. Any vaginal infection has a specific origin, and sometimes it is necessary to know it with certainty so that the treatment is adequate.
When an infection is present, a gynecological examination may be sufficient to determine what the treatment will be. However, if these have been repeated or are at an advanced stage, it is best to perform this study.
When is it performed?
The gynecologist will request a vaginal swab if there is a suspicion of infection. Although the symptoms of a vaginal infection are usually very obvious and annoying, sometimes it is best to perform this study to confirm the diagnosis and its origin.
In case of discomfort such as itching, burning, change of color and odor in the vaginal discharge, it is necessary to visit the gynecologist.. According to the clinical history and observation, he will determine whether or not it is necessary to perform the study.
Vaginal exudate is also usually required in late pregnancy. This is a routine study performed to identify the presence of streptococcus. If found, treatment should be indicated to prevent transmission to the baby.
What is the procedure?
The procedure to perform a vaginal swab is quick and simple. The sample can be taken directly in the doctor’s office or in the laboratory itself.. The patient is required to be in the gynecological position.
To obtain the sample, a speculum is inserted into the cervix. This instrument opens the vagina and exposes the cervix. A swab is then introduced to lightly scrape the walls and impregnate them with secretions from the vagina.
This swab sample is placed in a tube which is a culture medium. This is the one that is taken to the laboratory where it is analyzed. This procedure is painless, although it may cause some discomfort that is completely bearable and temporary.
What does the vaginal exudate detect?
Vaginal swabs can detect various bacteria.. In the vagina there is a whole ecosystem that includes “good” bacteria. However, when something is disturbed, the presence of harmful bacteria causes infection.
This study finds the bacteria that cause various vaginal infections. The symptoms are very similar to each other: itching, bad odor and change of color in the vaginal discharge, and all bacteria also alter the pH of this secretion.
For this reason, a vaginal swab is sometimes necessary. In this way it is possible to find out which specific infection is causing the discomfort. The most common vaginal infections are: candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis or Trichomonas vaginalis.
It can also be used to find other diseases. Some sexually transmitted diseases, or simply to perform an analysis of the current state of the vagina and the presence of good bacteria that do not cause any harm.
It is important to remember that the vaginal exudate does not replace other studies such as colposcopy or pap smear, which are intended to find other types of conditions and alterations in both secretions and structure.
How to prepare?
In order for the vaginal exudate to be performed, it is necessary to take some measures. The effectiveness of the study, and the speed and simplicity, may also be subject to certain recommendations to facilitate the work.
The gynecologist or whoever performs the study will give indications on how to arrive on the day the test is performed. Normally what is required is that there is no menstruation and that preferably at least three days have passed since the last bleeding.
It is also required not to have had intimate relations 48 hours prior to the study. Not to have washed the genital area with any product, just soap and water is sufficient. And not to have used deodorants, vaginal ointments or creams.
How often can it be performed?
There is no specific number of vaginal swabs that should be performed. In any case, the gynecologist will determine if it is necessary to perform it again, once the first treatment has been completed.
However, this study is not limiting, nor does it cause any harm if it is performed with a certain frequency.. Although, to tell the truth, it is rare that more than three consecutive occasions of vaginal exudate are required for the same infection.
Unlike other studies, it is not commonly used as a follow-up method. If the infections are persistent or the origin is not found, the doctor will usually order another type of study. However, this study is innocuous and does not generate any type of collateral damage.