Instruments, consumables, and setup required for self-collection of samples for HPV testing
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The greatest advantage of self-collection of samples (also known as self-sampling) for HPV tests is that there is no requirement for a pelvic examination by a trained provider. Hence, there is no requirement for an examination table or any special instruments. The women can self-collect sample from her upper vagina either at home or in a clinic (stationary or mobile). Self-collected specimens cannot be used for cervical cytology because they do not sample the transformation zone of the cervix, which is a prerequisite for cytology.
The following consumables are required for self-collection of samples:
Brush or swab for self-collection of specimens for HPV testing: Special types of brushes or Dacron swabs are available for self-collection. Some of the devices have an indicator to help women understand how far the brush has to be inserted into the vagina. The Christmas-tree-shaped brush with soft bristles used for cervical specimen collection can also be used for self-collection.
The next section describes the steps for collection of cervical samples for HPV testing.