Are self-swabs as effective for screening for vaginal STIs as swabs collected during a speculum exam?

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EVIDENCE-BASED ANSWERYes. Self-obtained vaginal swabs are nearly equivalent to clinician-collected cervical specimens in the diagnosis of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (SOR: A, based on a meta-analysis). Self-obtained vaginal swabs are the preferred method of collection for detection of chlamydia and gonorrhea (SOR: C, expert opinion).

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