Genital Tract Swabs

Genital tract swabs look for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) such as Chlamydia or Gonorrhoea. These can easily be done in the outpatient setting within a couple of minutes. Results can usually be returned within 3 working days.


Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the UK. It’s passed on from one person to another through unprotected sex (sex without a condom).

The tests for chlamydia are simple and painless. The swab is used to gently wipe the area where you might have chlamydia, to collect some cells. The cells are then tested for infection. If a woman has a swab test,it can be taken from the cervix, or inside the lower vagina.


Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus. The bacteria are mainly found in vaginal fluid. The bacteria can infect the cervix (entrance to the womb), the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body), the rectum and, less commonly, the throat or eyes. The infection can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby.

Gonorrhoea can be easily diagnosed by testing a sample of discharge picked up using a swab.

If you have concerns about have been exposed to either of these conditions it is important to get tested as soon as possible. Both of these are treatable conditions but if undiagnosed or untreated can lead to more serious long-term health problems if not treated, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or infertility.