Self-obtained vaginal swabs for PCR chlamydia testing: a practical alternative

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Oct;47(5):415-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2007.00768.x.


This study shows that given a choice, New Zealand women at high risk for sexually transmitted infections (STI) opt to provide a self-taken vaginal swab over a clinician-taken sample for STI testing. Self-obtained vaginal swabs have previously been shown to have equal sensitivity and specificity to endocervical swabs and greater sensitivity than urine for the detection of Chlamydia trachomatis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We suggest that self-obtained vaginal swabs should be a readily available option offered to women for chlamydia testing by PCR in New Zealand.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / prevention & control
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Self-Examination*
  • Vagina / microbiology*
  • Vaginal Smears* / methods