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Beaumont Laboratory

Specimen Collection Manual: Urethral Swabs



  • ESwab Collection System.
  • UTM or UVT transport medium.

Specimen Collection Criteria

  • The patient should not have urinated for at least 1 hour prior to specimen collection.
  • Position the patient so that the urethra is readily accessible.
  • Cleanse the urethral meatus as for collection of clean catch urine.
  • Insert a mini-tip, flocked swab 2 to 4 cm into the urethra.
  • Carefully rotate the swab three times and remove the swab from the urethra.

Rejection Criteria

  • Urethral discharges are not acceptable specimens.
  • Do not use expired media. Check expiration date on all media prior to use.  


  • For viral cultures, chlamydial cultures, and molecular testing, place the swab in viral transport medium (UTM or UVT) and cut the shaft of the swab so that it fits into the tube. Send the specimen to the Laboratory on wet ice. Do not freeze. Specimens may be stored refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) for up to 72 hours. If longer delays are anticipated, specimens should be frozen at -70°C.
  • For bacterial cultures (routine and Gonorrhea culture), place ESwab into transport medium and transport to the Laboratory at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F).

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Microtainer® and Vacutainer® are registered trademarks of Becton, Dickinson and Company.
UroVysion® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. ThinPrep® is a registered trademark of Hologic, Incorporated.

This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.