The vaginitis wet mount test is a test to detect an infection of the vagina that does not involve the urinary tract.
See also: Vaginitis
How the test is performed:
You will be asked to lie on your back with your feet in the stirrups. The health care provider will perform a pelvic examination and then insert an instrument called a speculum into the vagina. The speculum is slightly opened. This holds the vagina open and allows the health care provider to see inside.
The health care provider inserts a sterile, moist cotton swab into the vagina to take a sample of discharge. The swab and speculum are removed. The discharge is placed onto a slide and placed under a microscope so that it can be checked for signs of infection.
How to prepare for the test:
Do not douche for 24 hours before the test.
How the test will feel:
There may be slight discomfort with the pelvic examination and when the speculum is inserted.
Why the test is performed:
The test looks for the cause of vaginal irritation and discharge.
A normal test result means there are no signs of an infection.
What abnormal results mean:
Abnormal results mean there is an infection. The most common infections are due to one or a combination of the following:
- Bacterial vaginosis -- bacteria that normally live in the vagina overgrow, causing a heavy, white, fishy-smelling discharge and possibly a rash, painful intercourse, or odor after intercourse
- Trichomoniasis -- a sexually transmitted disease
- Vaginal yeast infection
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
What the risks are:
There are no risks associated with this test.
For information on treatment and prevention, please see the article on vaginitis .
Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Infections of the lower genital tract: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, HIV infections. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap. 22.
|Review Date: 5/2/2008|
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine; Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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