With our Vaginal Smear Culture lab results, you learn about the infections you might have, why you may have them, how to prevent them, and how to treat them.
General Introduction To Your Lab Results
The normal vaginal flora (microorganisms) is dominated by the bacteria lactobacillus. Lactobacilli help to keep the vagina healthy by producing lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other substances that stop the overgrowth of yeast (fungus) and other unwanted organisms. They maintain the vagina at a healthy pH of around 4.
In general, there are many common triggers for an imbalance of the vaginal flora to occur, causing unwanted bacteria or fungus to grow. They often come in combination and may be mechanical, hormonal or chemical. These triggers include: menstruation, sex, too aggressive or too poor hygiene, pregnancy, hormonal contraception (birth control pills), stress, antibiotics and menopause.
Vaginitis means infection or inflammation of the vagina. Infection refers to the invasion and multiplication of bacteria or viruses within the body; inflammation is the body’s protective response against infection. Bacterial infection also known as BV is a very common reference to all infections caused by different types of bacteria in the vagina.
There are many factors that can trigger a localized vaginal inflammatory immune response. Vaginitis usually falls into 5 categories: 1) irritant, 2) hormonal, 3) foreign body, 4) sexual transmitted infections and 5) infective. Infective vaginitis may be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses & other microorganisms.
The most common forms of infections in the vagina are Candidiasis (fungal infection by candida albicans) and Bacterial Vaginosis (infection caused by bacteria).These are common vaginal disorders associated with the overgrowth of bacteria or fungus usually observed with some of the following symptoms: unusual smell, changes in vaginal discharge, pain or burning during urination, itching, redness, swelling, rashes, sores, pain during sex, burning, irritation, and general discomfort in the genital area. In some cases, the infection does not manifest in any of the above symptoms.
The best way to tell the difference between a bacterial and a fungal infection is to check your vaginal discharge. Fungal infections caused by Candida show a white cottage cheese-like discharge with itching and burning sensations. Whereas bacterial infections cause unpleasant foul smelling discharge.
If you take the omgyno home test and you receive your lab results, you will see two types of cultures: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic bacteria refers to the group of microorganisms that grow in the presence of oxygen and thrive in an oxygenic environment. Anaerobic bacteria refers to the group of microorganisms that grow in the absence of oxygen and cannot survive in the presence of an oxygenic environment.
Most bacterial infections in the vagina are are due to contamination from the anus; it occurs when bowel bacteria enter the vagina and multiply. This is why it is advised to wipe front to back when passing stools and take care of perineal hygiene. In case of a major infection, your doctor may recommend taking antibiotics. However, it is worth noting that global rates of bacterial infections continue to rise, facilitated by the emergence of broad-spectrum antibiotic resistance.
Other forms of infections may be transmitted sexually such as HPV (the most common STI in females), Chlamydia, Trichomonas, Herpes and Gonorrhea.
1.1 MICROSCOPIC VALIDATION
In the first part of the sample analysis, the vaginal fluid is observed under a microscope to determine if any unusual microorganisms are present.
An aerobic organism survives and grows in an oxygenated environment. Your sample is cultured (allowed to grow) in this environment to determine the type of organisms there might be.
An anaerobic organism survives and grows in an environment without oxygen. Your sample is cultured (allowed to grow) in this environment to determine the type of organisms there might be.