Alternate Names : Culture of the Endocervix
An endocervical culture is a test designed to detect microorganisms within the endocervix. The endocervix is the upper part of the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that extends into the vagina.
Who is a candidate for the test?
An endocervical culture may be ordered for women with the following symptoms:
dyspareunia, or pain with intercourse
foul-smelling vaginal discharge
itching or burning of the vagina or vulva
low back pain
vaginal bleeding after intercourse or exercise
How is the test performed?
The healthcare provider takes an endocervical smear during a pelvic examination. First, the provider places a speculum within the vagina. This instrument enlarges the opening of the vagina and allows the provider see the cervix and vagina. Then, the healthcare provider places a dry, sterile swab within the small opening of the cervix. The swab may be left in place for several seconds to absorb cells. The swab is sent to a laboratory. It is grown in special media that shows the presence of any abnormal bacteria or viruses.