Objective: To determine if women could measure their vaginal pH as accurately as could physicians.
Methods: Each participant measured her vaginal pH using a swab, completed a survey, and then was seen by her physician, who also performed a vaginal pH test. The physician did not have access to the patient's pH reading; only the study coordinator recorded patient results. Accuracy of patient measurements compared with physician results was analyzed by the kappa statistic.
Results: A total of 161 women were enrolled in the study. The average difference between the patients' pH readings and the physicians' readings was <0.5. Overall, 85% of the patients' readings were in agreement with the physicians' readings, and the kappa statistic was 0.6.
Conclusions: Study participants could accurately measure vaginal pH through self-testing. Vaginal pH self-testing may be a convenient tool to help women determine whether they should use an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal medication or go to a physician for diagnostic workup.