How healthy is your vagina these days? More specifically, your vaginal microbiome? Uhhhh.
Sometimes, it can feel embarrassing to get checked out (despite the fact we know that’s the patriarchy keeping our brains in a vulva-shaming chokehold), or, you simply don’t have the time to get regularly tested for anything going on down there.
Female-founded, London-based gynaecological health startup Daye has just launched a tampon-based, at-home vaginal microbiome screening kit. You might already know the brand for its CBD tampons that claim to give you a pain-free period.
Reportedly the first of its kind, the tampon kit promises to be nothing like a regular test, and saves you a trip to your GP. The kit helps to confirm if you have vaginal infections like thrush or bacterial vaginosis (BV), and it can also tell you if your microbiome is disrupted – this could leave you prone to a higher risk of STIs, vaginal infections, gynaecological cancers, and fertility and IVF complications. Keeping an eye on your vaginal microbiome as well means you’re more attune to issues like endometriosis and PCOS – health issues long sidelined by the gender health gap.
But what on earth is a microbiome and why should we consider its health, you ask? Essentially, your vagina is home to billions of good and bad bacteria, which make up your vaginal ‘microbiome’. Using a tampon can improve the accuracy of the test results, as a tampon collects a ‘bigger’ and more comprehensive sample than a scary long swab.
As Daye confirms, it’s important to raise the standards in gynaecological health and for women to monitor their menstrual, sexual, hormonal and reproductive health, as if left, you could be missing crucial health signs.
The tampon screening kit aims to make the entire experience more relaxing, easy and pleasant in the comfort of your own home - and no long swabs or speculums needed, just the small tampon
Valentina Milanova, founder of Daye, says using a tampon is a familiar item that takes the fear out of using and testing: “By redesigning the tampon, we have made testing more accessible, easy to use, and even more accurate. We want to empower women and AFAB individuals to better understand and monitor their gynaecological health. Women are often anxious about visiting a GP in relation to their vaginal health and at-home testing options have long been dominated by painful, pokey swabs which can be hard to use.”
You could think of it like the Covid test kits that became a ritual during lockdown – just for… your vulva. The testing kit gets delivered to your door, where you can gather a sample and send it back to an accredited lab to be analysed.
How does the vaginal microbiome screening kit work? A step by step guide…
Get a screening kit. Order a one-off test or subscribe for regular proactive screening.
Take the sample. Insert and remove the tampon to easily collect a sample in the comfort of your own home.
Send the sample back to Daye. The tampon will be analysed quickly and accurately in a UKAS accredited lab.
Get your results online or on your phone. Access your results and aftercare securely via your phone or online.
Book aftercare with a specialist if needed. In-person or virtual appointments with specialists can be scheduled via the Daye platform. Medication can be ordered via a digital prescribing pharmacist and people can also get personalised treatment options and lifestyle health hacks based on the results.
The Daye tampon arrives in a sustainable sugarcane applicator, ensuring smooth insertion. It is also organic, meaning it is free of dyes, pesticides or fragrances.
People with vulvas – let this be your reminder to check your health, everywhere, often!
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