Diagnostic Tests for Bacterial vaginosis

Diagnostic Test list for Bacterial vaginosis: The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Bacterial vaginosis includes:

  • Vaginal fluid tests
  • Litmus paper test of vaginal acidity
  • Microscopic examination of vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal discharge culture

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Bacterial vaginosis: A health care provider must examine the vagina for signs of BV (e.g., discharge) and perform laboratory tests on a sample of vaginal fluid to look for bacteria associated with BV. 1

A healthcare worker can examine a sample of vaginal fluid under a microscope, either stained or in special lighting, to detect the presence of the organisms associated with BV. They can make a diagnosis based on the absence of lactobacilli, the presence of numerous "clue cells" (cells from the vaginal lining that are coated with BV organisms), a fishy odor, and decreased acidity or change in pH of vaginal fluid. 2

1. excerpt from Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): DSTD
2. excerpt from Vaginitis Due to Vaginal Infections, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID

Last revision: June 23, 2003

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Last updated: 24 March, 2005