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Vaginitis test - wet mount
Alternative namesWet prep
DefinitionThis is a test for vaginitis (an infection of the vagina that does not include the urinary tract). The symptoms may include itching , pain, vaginal odor, and a vaginal discharge .
How the test is performedYou will be asked to lie on your back with your feet in the stirrups. A pelvic examination will be done, and a speculum (an instrument used to dilate the body passage in order to examine the interior) will be inserted into your vagina and opened slightly. A sterile, moist cotton swab is inserted, and a sample of the discharge is taken. The swab is removed and then the speculum. Slides are prepared, one with a salt solution and one with a potassium hydroxide solution, then viewed under a microscope.
How to prepare for the testDo not douche for 24-hours before the test.
Infants and children:
The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
How the test will feelThere may be a slight discomfort with the pelvic examination.
Why the test is performedThe test looks for the cause of the vaginal irritation and discharge.
Normal ValuesA normal value occurs when there is no indication of an infection.
What abnormal results mean
Abnormal results indicate infection, and the most common infections are caused by one or a combination of three sources.
A vaginal yeast infection (caused by Candida albicans) is a common cause -- resulting in a white, cheesy discharge; severe itching ; painful intercourse ; and a rash or vaginal inflammation.
What the risks areThere are no risks.
Special considerationsIf the infection is caused by trichomoniasis or a bacterium, the sexual partner should be treated also. This prevents the partners from being re-infected after the treatment.
It is possible to have an inflammation of the vagina from chemical irritation (such as from bubble bath or vaginal spray), mechanical abrasion (a scraping away at the surface), or a lack of estrogen.
Update Date: 2/5/2002Peter Chen, M.D., Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT