Collecting your vaginal swab sample
Relax and follow these simple steps
You’ll need to take a vaginal swab sample to test for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas, and mycoplasma genitalium. It involves inserting a cotton swab into your vagina, it should be quick and painless
You might feel a bit nervous, but the following tips can help:
- Read the printed instructions in your kit first - this has the most up-to-date information
- Give yourself enough time, so you’re relaxed.
- You might want to be in a toilet or anywhere you feel comfotable
Here's your step-by-step guide on how to collect your sample
Before you start
Most people complete this test within a few minutes.
30 minutes will give you enough time to prepare, set up, and collect your sample.
- Wash your hands
- Unpack your kit
Be careful you don't touch the tip of the swab. Once the swab is out of the packet, try to make sure the swab doesn't touch anything else apart from the area of your body you are swabbing.
Take your test
01. Collect your sample
- Find a position that is comfortable for you. It can sometimes help to put one foot on a chair or the toilet seat, as if inserting a tampon.
- Hold the swab about 5cm from the top and insert into your vagina.
- Twist the swab around, 5 or 10 times, making sure you touch the sides of your vagina.
- Gently remove and pop the swab into its tube.
If the swab comes out with some unexpected blood e.g. due to your period, don't worry - this happens a lot. The test can still be processed and will still give an accurate result, so just pop it in the tube and send it to us as planned
You're all done, get ready to return your samples to us.
02. Returning your samples
- Place your samples in the box with the completed return slip. Insert the two large tabs into the slots and seal with the security tape included in the kit.
- The box is free to return, so pop it in any postbox.
Last reviewed March 2022