A genital culture allows the organisms present in the vagina to grow to
levels enabling identification.
The vagina is not sterile, but contains a mixture of aerobic, anaerobic,
coliform, and skin bacteria, as well as a few fungi. Normally, these are in
balance with no particular predominant organism.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are usually not included in a genital culture as
both require special media to detect.
Significant growth of any one organism usually indicates a clinical or
subclinical infection. Common types of overgrowth include:
- Yeast (candida albicans)
- E. Coli
||Normal Vaginal Flora
*These are general values taken from a variety of
sources. The actual normal values may vary from lab to lab and from one
type of testing protocol to another.