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Pilot Study Finds Bacterial Vaginosis Self-Test Effective

Women accurately tested themselves and then sought treatment

FRIDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A self-test for vaginosis may enable women to accurately diagnose the condition and results in women seeking professional diagnosis and treatment, according to a study in the February issue of Applied Nursing Research.

To see if women could accurately test themselves for bacterial vaginosis and then go on to seek treatment, Ellis Quinn Youngkin, Ph.D., of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and Pamela Brinker Lester, of Virginia Commonwealth University-Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, conducted a pilot study of 33 women who were healthy and not pregnant. The women were given education on bacterial vaginosis, a self-test kit and a scoring system.

The women were able to accurately test for bacterial vaginosis and went on to seek confirmation of the diagnosis and receive treatment within 10 days, the researchers found. The home test system was popular with participants, who liked and felt empowered by the idea of being able to help themselves.

"Future research should focus on the use of such a self-test system with pregnant women at risk for preterm birth or early pregnancy loss, the relationship to complications and impacts for women and infants of preterm birth, and the use of the system by women who speak another language," the authors write. "A qualitative evaluative component should be included to assess the self-agency empowerment component."

The 3M Company provided some equipment and medication for the study.

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