Page last updated April 2020

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Video Library

Vaginal Wet Mount

Yeast (Candida, Monilia) is best identified with the KOH slide. After the cell membranes are dissolved, the typical branching and budding yeast cells can be seen. Sometimes, it has the appearance of a tangled web of threads. At other times, only small branches will be seen. Yeasts are normal inhabitants of the vagina, but only in very small numbers. If you visualize any yeast in your sample, it is considered significant.

Trichomonas is best seen on the normal saline slide. These protozoans are about the same size as a white blood cell (a little smaller than a vaginal epithelial cell), but their violent motion is striking and unmistakable.

Bacterial vaginosis (also known as Gardnerella, HTHEYemophilus, or non-specific vaginitis) is characterized by the presence of "clue cells" visible at both low and medium power. These clue cells are vaginal epithelial cells studded with bacteria. They resemble flat pancakes that have fallen into a bowl of poppy seeds, but on a microscopic level. A normal vaginal epithelial cell is clear, with recognizable contents, and sharp, distinct cell borders. A clue cell appears smudged, with indistinct contents and fuzzy, poorly defined borders.