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Vaginal self-swab better for STIs in women than other tests

An Alberta Tools for Practice1 found that self-collected vaginal swabs (SCVS) appear more sensitive in diagnosing chlamydia and gonorrhoea than health professional collected endocervical swabs and first catch urine (FCU). Endocervical swabs and FCU testing may miss up to 10% of STIs in women.

SCVS (when pelvic exam not required) is recommended in women and FCU in men. The patients find SCVS “easy” to perform (88%) and prefer home completion. Guidelines recommend SCVS when a pelvic exam is not otherwise indicated.2

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