Wet Mount (Vaginitis Test, Wet Prep)
"Vaginitis" is a medical term used to describe various conditions that cause infection or inflammation of the vagina. The vaginitis wet mount test is a test to detect an infection of the vagina that does not involve the urinary tract. Vulvovaginitis refers to inflammation of both the vagina and vulva (the external female genitals)
Three vaginal infections are most common. Their causes are quite different, their symptoms similar, and treatment varies:
- Yeast infection. A vaginal yeast infection is caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans. A yeast infection is also called a candida infection, or candidiasis. A vaginal yeast infection often causes itching and a white, lumpy discharge that looks like cottage cheese. It also causes pain with sexual intercourse. A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
- Trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis is an infection caused by a parasite (Trichomonas vaginalis). It is sometimes called trichomonas infection, trichomonal infection, or simply trich (say "trick"). Trichomoniasis causes a vaginal discharge that is yellow-green, foamy, and bad-smelling. Pain with sex or urination may be present. Lower belly pain may also be present. Trichomoniasis is spread by sexual contact and is an STI.
- Bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is a change in the balance of bacteria that are normally present in the vagina. The vaginal discharge is thin and milky with a strong fishy odor. Many women have no symptoms. Bacterial vaginosis is not an STI.
- Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Infections such as chlamydia, genital warts, syphilis, herpes simplex, and gonorrhea can also affect the vagina. These infections are found by doing other tests.
A vaginal sample may be tested by:
- Wet mount. A sample of the vaginal discharge is placed on a glass slide and mixed with a salt solution. The slide is looked at under a microscope for bacteria, yeast cells, trichomoniasis (trichomonads), white blood cells that show an infection, or clue cells that show bacterial vaginosis.
- KOH slide. A sample of the vaginal discharge is placed on a slide and mixed with a solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH). The KOH kills bacteria and cells from the vagina, leaving only yeast for a yeast infection.
- Vaginal pH. The normal vaginal pH is 3.8 to 4.5. Bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and atrophic vaginitis often cause a vaginal pH higher than 4.5.
- Whiff test. Several drops of a potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution are added to a sample of the vaginal discharge. A strong fishy odor from the mix means bacterial vaginosis is present.
- Direct Wet Mount and KOH preparations pdf online
- Get a slide place a drop of specimen
- Apply vaseline to edges of coverslip & place on top of specimen
- View under 4x --> 10x --> 40x --> (oil immersion) 100x
How to Label Observations
- Specimen Name
- Type of Preparation
- Total Xn
- Parts of the Specimen
- Actual Drawing
Bacterial Vaginosis - Exams and Tests
- Wet mount. A sample of vaginal discharge is mixed with a salt (normal saline) solution after placing it on a microscope slide. The prepared slide is examined to identify the bacteria present, to look for white blood cells that point to an infection, and to look for unusual cells called clue cells. The presence of clue cells is the most reliable sign of bacterial vaginosis.
- Whiff test. Several drops of a potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution are added to a sample of vaginal discharge to find out whether a strong fishy odor is produced. A fishy odor on the whiff test suggests bacterial vaginosis.
- Vaginal pH. The normal vaginal pH is 3.8 to 4.5. Bacterial vaginosis usually causes the vaginal pH to rise above 4.5.
- Oligonucleotide probes. This test detects the genetic material (DNA) of bacterial vaginosis bacteria. Oligonucleotide probe testing is very accurate but is not routinely available in most labs.