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How to take your samples

Vaginal samples


These instructions are for people who have received a female self-sampling kit.


Follow these steps to take samples from your vagina.


We use the vaginal swab sample to test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea which may be present inside your vagina.

More instructions

Before you start

Please check all the sample tubes in your kit for a use by date.

You must collect your samples before the earliest date found on any of the tubes for us to be able to test them. If you are unable to collect your samples before this date, you must request a new kit.

Picture showing use by date on label of sample tube

Even if you can't take all of the samples, please return your kit. We will test any complete samples which you return to us.

Diagram illustrating step 1


Remove the cotton bud swab from the paper packet (pink shaft in the package with orange writing). Be careful not to touch the cotton end.

Diagram illustrating step 2


Carefully insert the swab about two inches into your vagina and turn it gently touching the walls for 10 to 30 seconds. Remove it without touching the rest of your body.

Diagram illustrating step 3


Remove the cap from the thin orange tube and immediately place the cotton bud swab into it.

Diagram illustrating step 4


Carefully break the swab shaft against the side of the tube at the scoreline and discard the top portion of the swab shaft.

Diagram illustrating step 5


Screw the lid back onto the tube tightly. Do not pierce the foil cap of the lid.

Diagram illustrating step 6


Write your name and date of sample collection on the tube. Then take the numbered sticker (labelled vaginal) from the request form and attach it to the tube.

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