Use of the VS-sense swab in diagnosing vulvovaginitis

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Sep;18(9):1467-70. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1305.


Background: Although pH assessment of vaginal secretions is beneficial for diagnosing vaginitis, it is not commonly done. The purpose of this study was to determine the performance characteristics of the VS-Sense (pH test) swab (Common Sense, Ltd., Caesarea, Israel) in augmenting the diagnosis of vaginitis.

Methods: We prospectively studied 193 women with acute vulvovaginal symptoms and 74 asymptomatic controls at three medical centers. The VS-Sense swab was administered intravaginally, and results were interpreted by a nurse. These results were compared with final clinical and laboratory diagnoses.

Results: In women with an elevated pH caused by bacterial vaginosis (BV), trichomonas, and other types of vaginitis, the VS-Sense test sensitivity and specificity were 82.3% (102 of 124) (95% CI 74.4%-88.5%) and 94.2% (129 of 137) (95% CI 88.8%-97.4%), respectively. There was an 86.2% (95% CI 81.3%-90.1%) overall agreement between pH paper and VS-Sense swab results.

Conclusions: The VS-Sense test offers an alternative approach to measuring vaginal pH with nitrazine paper. Use of this simple, more rapid test may facilitate the diagnosis of vulvovaginitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vagina / microbiology*
  • Vaginal Smears / methods*
  • Vaginosis, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Vulvovaginitis / diagnosis*
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult