A variety Test checks whether your vagina (vaginal flora) has a natural bacterial balance. If the test reveals that you have a healthy vaginal flora, you have a higher chance of conceiving. Additionally, a balanced vaginal flora can reduces the risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and premature delivery. The variety test is not covered by your insurance and costs € 250.
Frequently asked questions about the Variety Test
The Variety test is a vaginal swab with a special type of cotton swab. You will receive the results after 10 days. The test is not covered by your insurance and costs € 250.
Bacteria, some fungi, and viruses are the microorganisms that form a community in the female reproductive tract. This is known as the vaginal microbiome. Just as in the gut microbiome, the microorganisms in the vagina play a key role in keeping women healthy. Therefore, an optimal balance of these microorganisms is very important.
Your vagina can be disturbed through menstruation, sexual activity, lubricants, hormonal contraceptives, and antibiotics, which can disrupt the balance of the microbiome. A domination of lactobacilli is a clear feature of a healthy vaginal microbiome. Different types of lactobacilli function to keep the environment of the vagina acidic and discourage the colonization of other potentially harmful bacteria, yeast, and viruses. This can now be tested with the Variety test.
A negative microbiome does not mean that you are unhealthy, but it can correlate with certain conditions and leave you at risk of developing infections and other problems. Women who do not have a dominant lactobacillus in their microbiome may have a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and other conditions such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis, which usually does not cause any great discomfort but is known to increase the risk of premature birth. A vaginal microbiome profile will help you understand what state the community of microorganisms is in and how, if imbalanced, to restore a good, healthy microbiome.
No, the variety test cannot tell how fertile you are or if you will have a pregnancy without any complications. However, it can portray different state types of your vaginal microbiome that may correlate with medical conditions affecting conception success or avoidance of preterm delivery.
A vaginal microbiome consists of various Lactobacillus. There are several possibilities categorised in communities: Community Stage Type (CST). There are 5 common CSTs. Some are associated with good health, and others with symptoms such as itchiness and odour. See the table below for an overview of the various stage types:
- CST 1 Healthy microbiome
One of the most common CSTs and is associated with a healthy state and term birth.
- CST 2 Healthy microbiome
Uncommon and is associated with a healthy state and is highly stable.
- CST 3 Healthy microbiome
Very common microbiome and is associated with a healthy state.
- CST 4 Healthy microbiome
For 5-10% of women, this is an unhealthy microbiome. This may indicate bacterial vaginosis and an increase risk of infection and may contribute negatively to fertility.
During a pregnancy, CST 4 may lead to miscarriage, slow growth, gestational diabetes, and preterm birth.
If your results indicate CST 4, contact your physician for antibiotics specifically for bacterial vaginosis. You are also advised to begin with probiotics with lactobacillus.
- CST 5 Unhealthy microbiome
This unhealthy microbiome status occurs in 5% of women. We advise beginning with probiotics with lactobacillus for at least 2 months.
A healthy lifestyle ensures an improved vaginal microbiome. Ensure healthy nutrition and sufficient exercise. Vaginal douches, tampons, smoking, unhealthy diets, stress and use of antibiotics or anti-fungal cream can have a negative influence. Would you like to improve your CST? Our midwifes can provide you with personal advice.
Probiotics are live bacteria which can have a positive influence on your health. They can, however, they can also disrupt a healthy vaginal flora. This is why we only recommend using probiotics if you have received abnormal results concerning your vaginal microbiome via the Variety test. In this case, we advise the use of probiotics with 90% lactobacillus. You can take probiotics as a suppository or orally. These do not form a risk to your health during pregnancy or delivery. They can cause side effects such as diarrhoea and stomach pain. After using probiotics for two months, you can conduct a new Variety test free of charge to confirm a healthy vaginal microbiome.