Diagnostiki Athinon’s FemoScan® is a group of new specialized laboratory tests that analyses the vaginal microbiome and its disorders.
The vaginal microbiome is made up of the trillions of microorganisms found in the vagina and plays a key role in maintaining the area healthy as well as preserving reproductive health. The anatomical position and the function of the vagina make it vulnerable to many internal and external factors such as hormonal changes, menstruation, the microbiome of the adjacent gastrointestinal tract, washing with various products, sexual intercourse, the use of various contraceptives as well as taking (topically or orally) antibiotics.
Disruption of the balance of vaginal microorganisms leads to a condition called vaginal dysbiosis, which in turn leads to the appearance of vaginal infections and disorders in a woman’s reproductive health.
Vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis (fungal vaginitis), and trichomonads are the most common causes for women to visit their gynecologist. Until now, traditional microbiological techniques (microbiological cultures and optical microscopy) have been the only ways to diagnose and monitor these conditions. However, the low specificity and sensitivity of these tests, along with the subjectivity and the required experience of the laboratory medical doctor, the need for strict pre-analytical procedures (sampling, storing, and transporting samples), and even the inability to detect certain pathogens (Atopobium vaginae) had resulted in a large percentage of patients not receiving proper diagnosis and treatment, and the occurrence of serious complications. Improper therapy can lead to the continuation of annoying symptoms that disrupt the quality of life, while improper treatment can increase the risk of serious complications such as premature birth or low birthweight babies, miscarriages, pelvic inflammatory disease, etc. There are now many studies that highlight the importance of the abnormal vaginal microbiome in female infertility, miscarriages, or even in vitro fertilization failure.
Diagnostiki Athinon’s FemoScan®, the testing of the vaginal microbiome with the molecular method of RT-PCR, is a new approach in the laboratory testing of infections of the urogenital system as well as the testing of many important reproductive problems.