How It Is Done
In a direct smear, a sample of body fluid is taken from the affected area. In adults, these areas may include the urethra, cervix, rectum, or eye.
- To collect a sample from the urethra or rectum, your health professional will insert a swab into the opening of your urethra or rectum to collect a sample.
- To collect a sample from the cervix, you will be asked to take off your clothes below the waist and drape a paper or cloth covering around your waist. You will then lie on your back on an examination table with your feet raised and supported by stirrups. This allows your health professional to examine your vagina and genital area. Your health professional will insert an instrument with curved sides (Reference speculum Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window) into your vagina. The speculum gently spreads apart the vaginal walls so the inside of the vagina and the cervix can be examined. Samples are collected from the cervix with a swab or small brush.
- To collect a sample from your eye, your health professional will gently brush the insides of your lower and upper eyelids with a swab.
In rare cases, a throat culture may be done.
If a urine sample is collected for nucleic acid amplification testing (such as PCR or LCR testing), do not urinate for 2 hours before the test. Do not wipe the genital area clean before urinating. Collect the first part of your urine stream, immediately as you begin urinating.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 15, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine