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An endocervical gram stain (EGS) is a diagnostic test that is used to check for abnormal bacteria around the cervix.
For this test, a small sample of tissue is taken from the cervical canal (the opening of the uterus) and then sent to a laboratory. At the laboratory, a specialist applies a number of different stains (gram stain) to the sample, which helps him or her to better view any bacteria that are present. The specialist will check the shape, size, and color of the bacteria to determine if it is abnormal.
EGS is commonly used to check for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. It may also be used to check for gonococcal arthritis, a complication of gonorrhea that causes joint inflammation (swelling).
EGS may also be called a gram stain of cervix.
An EGS is done to check for abnormal bacteria around the cervix. Your health care provider may also administer this test if he or she suspects you have an STI. An EGS can detect STIs such as:
An EGS is very similar to a pap smear, which is also done using a swab and a speculum. You may find the test to be a little uncomfortable or awkward. However, you should not feel any pain.
You should not douche (clean your vaginal area with special washes) for 24 hours before the EGS. Douching may mask the bacteria in the cervix.
An EGS will generally consist of a few basic steps:
Your healthcare provider will contact you with any abnormal test results. Some doctors do not call when test results are normal. You may want to ask your doctor about his or her notification procedures.
There are no risks associated with an EGS. However, an EGS may cause a little bit of bleeding if your cervix is inflamed.
An EGS is a simple test. There are no complications associated with it. However, complications may occur if STIs are left untreated.
A normal test result means that no abnormal bacteria were detected on your EGS. Normal test result ranges may vary depending on the laboratory.
If you receive an abnormal test result, follow the guidance of your doctor. He or she may ask you to come back in for a follow-up examination or further testing.
Many STIs can be treated with antibiotics.
If you do have an STI, you should contact any sexual partners and encourage them to seek testing and treatment. They may have no symptoms and unknowingly spread the STI.
Ask your health care provider if you have any questions about your EGS results.
Written by: Natalie Phillips
Published on: Jul 19, 2012on: Jan 11, 2016
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