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The vaginal microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms that live inside your vagina. When its balance is off, it’s vulnerable to infections and other gynecological health complications.
Tampons take better, more accurate samples than a standard swab
They allow for comfortable, at-home testing
Forget the pain of fumbling with a pokey swab
Complete with an applicator designed for pain-free and smooth insertion
Get a kit delivered to your door
Activate your kit online by answering our medical questionnaire
Collect and ship back the tampon sample to our partner lab
Get easy to understand results online
Connect to vetted specialists and request treatment
Screen 2-4 times per year or when symptoms appear, to check for infection-causing microbes, as well as the amount of good bacteria.
Screen 2 times per year to make sure there aren’t any bacteria putting your fertility or future pregnancy at risk.
Screen one-off and make sure your vaginal flora isn't inhibiting your fertility.
Screen 2 times per year until you find the interventions that relieve your symptoms for good.
Your de-identified data will be used to advance gynecological care
Your medical data will be de-identified and double-encrypted. That means no one at Daye, nor any of our partners will ever be able to link your results to you personally. Your de-identified data will be shared pro-bono with research institutions like Liverpool Women’s Hospital for one purpose only: to advance gynecological health and bridge the gender gap in medical research.
Frequently asked questions
Think of it as the immune system to your reproductive tract. It contains good bacteria (lactobacilli) and disruptive microorganisms (yeasts, viruses). A healthy vaginal microbiome is one where the good bacteria keep the disruptive ones in check, preventing them from growing out of control and causing an infection. A balanced microbiome has been linked to a lower risk of vaginal infections, STIs, and reproductive difficulties. Understanding your vaginal microbiome composition can help you better manage your gynecological health.
The tampon offers a non-invasive, familiar method of obtaining a testing sample that makes the screening experience at home more comfortable and accessible. Further, tampons collect a comprehensive sample from the entirety of the vaginal canal, allowing for greater accuracy compared to traditional methods like swabs. The applicator enables smooth insertion in the vagina, and it also prevents the tampon from being contaminated during insertion.
There are several studies that show the correlation between having a healthy vaginal microbiome and a lower risk of getting vaginal infections like yeast infections and BV, a lower risk of contracting STIs, improved fertility and lower risks of miscarriage and preterm birth, and a lower risk of developing gynecological cancers. You can find more study references at the bottom of the vaginal microbiome screening page, as well as in your test results.
You should always speak with your physician before committing to purchasing a diagnostic test. However, not all physicians are experts in the vaginal microbiome or have time to keep on top of the latest research (for example, did you know that Bacterial Vaginosis was only recognized as an STI in 2021?)
The Daye screen uses novel, PCR-based technologies, and the interpretation of our data are informed by modern clinical studies, which can give you additional, richer insights into what's happening with your gynecological health. Keep in mind it can take a while (usually 10-15 years) for new research to be put into medical practice, so don’t be surprised if your doctor hasn’t heard of the vaginal microbiome yet.
Don’t let that stop you from taking charge of your health, especially if you’re experiencing recurrent infections or trying to conceive. Recent studies (we have linked some of them at the bottom of this page) have shown just how important the microbiome is for vaginal, sexual, and reproductive health.
We will analyze your microbiome for lactobacilli (the good, protective bacteria), Gardnerella vaginalis and Prevotella (anaerobic bacteria, linked to bacterial vaginosis), Candida (a yeast linked to yeast infections), Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma parvum and urealyticum, commonly linked to reproductive difficulties and vaginal infections. Our test would be able to tell you the total amount of the above microorganisms that were found in your sample, but would not identify the specific species.
Our test can help you understand what microorganisms live in your vaginal microbiome. We will also give you access to vetted specialists who could review your screening results and diagnose a condition. You can also always export a PDF of your results to send to your own doctor. STI testing and screening for other diseases are not currently available, however, we’re working hard to include these options in the near future, including HPV screening.
After your sample reaches our lab, it will be analyzed within 5–15 days. You will receive an email notification when your results are ready for review, or if there was an issue with your sample.
After you receive your results, you will be able to book a consultation with a vetted specialist and order medication (subject to additional costs and availability). We also help you make lifestyle changes to improve your gynecological health. Did you know that everything from your contraception and condoms to underwear materials, can impact the composition of good and bad bacteria in your vagina? Stay in the know with Daye's screen and invest in interventions that actually work.
Our test uses quantitative PCR technology, which is able to quantify the relative amounts of microorganisms in your microbiome. While most GP/GU clinics use a method called microscopy to evaluate samples for pathogens causing BV or yeast infections, this requires a skilled technician to identify the presence of specific bacteria and differentiate them from one another. Microscopy is hence more subjective than DNA-based methods (like PCR) which detect the DNA of all microorganisms found in the sample in an automated way. Studies have shown that PCR is a more accurate way of assessing the bacterial composition of the vaginal canal than microscopy.
In practice, the PCR-based Daye screening results can point out if Gardnerella vaginalis (a common cause of BV) makes up 1% or 40% of a microbiome. Their amount is important because even though these bacteria are commonly found in a healthy microbiome, they can cause inflammation if they grow excessively.
We’re partnering with several UKAS-accredited labs in the UK.
In order to take a sample at least 5 days must have passed since your last period ended. There are a few other requirements: no antibiotics or antifungals in the last 30 days, no douching, penetrative vaginal sex, and vaginally applied meds or creams in the 24 hours before. That will ensure your microbiome is in a stable state and that your results are not inconclusive.
Using the kit at home is super easy — you just need to insert the provided tampon, wear it for at least 20 minutes (and up to 8 hours), and then put it in the pouches you have received in the kit, freeze it overnight and ship it back to us in the same box you received initially. We’ve prepared detailed video instructions which you’ll see after completing the test activation questionnaire in your account.
At Daye, we believe in building products that are rooted in scientific rigour. This means that we never want to get ahead of the science available. Like many other areas of gynecological health, vaginal microbiome research has been underfunded for decades.
Vaginal microbiome screening is also not a common practice in clinical care today unless you go private.
A vaginal microbiome screen is used to understand the composition of bacteria in your vaginal microbiome. This can help you identify the presence of pathogens, which could be causing you recurrent vaginal infections (Candida, Gardnerella) or preventing you from becoming pregnant (Ureaplasma, Mycoplasma). If you're peri-menopausal or menopausal, you may want to increase your lactobacilli count so as to fight off vaginal dryness. If you have suffered recurrent UTIs, you may find a disrupted vaginal microbiome to be the cause. Knowing that you have a low lactobacilli count can also help you and your physician make informed decisions on your risk of a recurrent miscarriage or preterm labor.
Not every physician, however, will recommend a vaginal microbiome screen, due to the method not being widespread yet. Please feel free to consult with your doctor before purchasing this test. If you require a simple bacterial vaginosis or candida test, you can get one for free from your local sexual health clinic.
It's also important to note that by testing your vaginal microbiome you are contributing to an increased global understanding of the best ways to detect and manage gynecological health diseases, in turn bridging the gender gap in medical research and innovation.
The first screening kit in each subscription is sent out immediately after ordering, and the remaining tests are received as credits. They can be redeemed until the end of the subscription term. Subscriptions automatically renew on the same day each year. By ordering VMS kits you agree to our Daye Health Platform Terms and Conditions.
Tampons can potentially stretch or tear the hymen, but it's not a guaranteed or common occurrence. The hymen is a thin membrane that partially covers the opening of the vagina in some individuals. It can vary in thickness and elasticity from person to person. When inserting a tampon, if done carefully and gently, it typically shouldn't cause damage to the hymen. However, if a person's hymen is particularly thin or if they have a medical condition called imperforate hymen (where the hymen completely covers the vaginal opening), there is a slightly higher chance of the tampon causing some stretching or tearing.
It's important to note that the hymen can naturally stretch or tear over time due to various activities such as physical activity, horseback riding, gymnastics, or even normal vaginal development. Sexual activity can also impact the hymen, but it's not the only factor in hymen integrity. In many cultures, there is a misconception that an intact hymen is a sign of virginity, but this is not a reliable indicator. Hymens can vary greatly in appearance and resilience, and not all individuals with intact hymens have never engaged in sexual activity.
We recommend avoiding the use of the tampon for vaginal diagnostics for a period of six weeks following vaginal birth. This allows ample time for the body to heal and reduces the risk of potential complications. Please consult with your healthcare provider for guidance specific to your individual situation.
In addition to the mail.artum period, we advise against using the tampon for vaginal diagnostics if you have any open wounds, sores, or other vaginal irritations. It is essential to prioritize your comfort and well-being, and if you have any concerns, please consult your healthcare provider.
If you experience any discomfort, unusual symptoms, or adverse reactions while using the tampon for vaginal diagnostics, we recommend removing it immediately and consulting with your healthcare provider. Your health and safety are our utmost priority, and it is essential to address any concerns promptly.
2002 • P D J Sturm, P Moodley, G Nzimande
Results of the tampon and vaginal smears showed excellent agreement for both observers (Spearman >0.80). The overall sensitivity and specificity were 91.7% (95% CI: 81.6-96.5) and 79.3% (95% CI: 67.2-87.8), respectively, using the Amsel criteria as reference standard. The tampon provides a specimen for the combined diagnosis of non-ulcerative STIs and BV.
1997 • Sepehr N. Tabrizi, Barbara Paterson, Christopher K. Fairley, Francis J. Bowden, Suzanne M. Garland
The detection of each organism was significantly greater by PCR in tampon-collected samples than by routine conventional methods (P < .01).
2010 • P T Kimmitt, S N Tabrizi, M Crosatti, S M Garland Frcpa, P C Schober, K Rajakumar, C A Chapman
Besides near-universal acceptability of tampon sampling, the tampon sampling–PCR approach described in this study appeared to have enhanced sensitivity compared with conventional testing.
2011 • Rebecca M. Brotman
Vaginal bacterial communities are thought to help prevent sexually transmitted infections. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common clinical syndrome in which the protective lactic acid-producing bacteria (mainly species of the Lactobacillus genus) are supplanted by a diverse array of anaerobic bacteria. Epidemiologically, BV has been shown to be an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes including preterm birth, development of pelvic inflammatory disease, and acquisition of sexually transmitted infections. Longitudinal studies of the vaginal microbiome using molecular techniques such as 16S ribosomal DNA analysis may lead to interventions that shift the vaginal microbiota toward more protective states.
2018 • Emmanuel Amabebe, Dilly O. C. Anumba
Lactobacilli and their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory products along with components of the epithelial mucosal barrier provide an effective first-line defence against invading pathogens including bacterial vaginosis, aerobic vaginitis-associated bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. An optimal host-microbial interaction is required for the maintenance of eubiosis and vaginal health.
2017 • P Cools
Vaginal dysbiosis has been associated with increased susceptibility to and transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, preterm birth and maternal and neonatal infections.
2014 • Marina R. S. Walther-António, Patricio Jeraldo, Margret E. Berg Miller, Carl J. Yeoman, Karen E. Nelson, Brenda A. Wilson, Bryan A. White, Nicholas Chia, Douglas J. Creedon
Our analyzes indicate normal pregnancy is characterized by a microbiome that has low diversity and high stability. While Lactobacillus species strongly dominate the vaginal environment during pregnancy across the two studied ethnicities, observed differences between the longitudinal dynamics of the analyzed populations may contribute to divergent risk for pregnancy complications. This helps establish a baseline for investigating the role of the microbiome in complications of pregnancy such as preterm labor and preterm delivery.
2020 • Sam Schoenmakers, Joop Laven
The vaginal composition prior to the start of hormonal treatment for ART seems to be predictive of in vitro fertilization/in vitro fertilization-intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/IVF-ICSI) outcome, with mainly a highly negative predictive value.
2017 • Molly J. Stout, Yanjiao Zhou, Kristine M. Wylie, Phillip I. Tarr, George A. Macones, Methodius G. Tuuli
In a predominantly African-American population, a significant decrease of vaginal microbial community richness and diversity is associated with preterm birth. The timing of this suppression appears early in pregnancy, between the first and second trimesters, suggesting that early gestation may be an ecologically important time for events that ordain subsequent term and preterm birth outcomes.
2017 • M Champer, A M Wong, J Champer, I L Brito, P W Messer, J Y Hou, J D Wright
Human microbiome research has shown commensal bacteria to be a major factor in both wellness and disease pathogenesis. Interest in the microbiome has recently expanded beyond the gut to include a multitude of other organ systems for which the microbiome may have health implications. Here, we review the role of the vaginal microbiome in health and disease, with a particular focus on gynecologic malignancies. Further, we suggest that it may be possible to expand the use of probiotics in the treatment of gynecological cancers.
2020 • Xiang Hong, Pengfei Qin, Kaiping Huang, Xiaoling Ding, Jun Ma, Yan Xuan, Xiaoyue Zhu, Danhong Peng, Bei Wang
There was significant difference in vaginal bacterial structures between PCOS and healthy control women. The relative abundance of Lactobacillus crispatus in the PCOS group was significantly lower than controls (P = .001), and the relative abundance of Mycoplasma and Prevotella was higher than controls (P < .001, P = .002, respectively). The Mycoplasma genus could be a potential biomarker for PCOS screening, as ROC analysis showed that the area under the curve (AUC) for the relative abundance of Mycoplasma was 0.958 (95% CI: 0.901-0.999).