Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P112 Retrospective study of the results of taking of blind swabs versus speculum-assisted swabs in women with vaginal discharge
  1. Zac Dolan,
  2. Abena Ahenkora,
  3. Eden Gebru,
  4. Gary Brook
  1. Dept GUM/HIV, Central Middlesex Hospital, London, UK


Introduction Although a speculum is generally recommended to aid the taking of swabs for microscopy in women with vaginal discharge, many women dislike this and ask for a blind swab, in which a plastic loop is inserted high into the vagina to take a sample. We have agreed to this for some women and have therefore retrospectively looked at the diagnostic rates for each method.

Methods We looked at 150 consecutive women clinically coded as ‘TS’ (microscopy performed) in 2015 and 2016 and looked at the proportion of women tested by each method and the vaginal-discharge-causing infections diagnosed.

Results In 2015, 129 women had clear documentation of the method used of which 120 (93%) where speculum-taken and 9 (7%) were ‘blind’. In 2016, of 101 women with documentation of the method used 52 (51%) were speculum-taken and 49 (49%) were ‘blind’. The diagnostic rates for each infection are given in the table.

Abstract P112 Table 1

Blind.v. speculum testing

Discussion The blind swab method appears to be accurate in the diagnosis of TV and possible BV, but is clearly inferior in the diagnosis of candida and mixed candida/BV infections.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.