Screening for High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Using Passive, Self-Collected Menstrual Blood : Obstetrics & Gynecology

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Contents: Original Research

Screening for High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Using Passive, Self-Collected Menstrual Blood

Naseri, Sara MD; Young, Stephen MD; Cruz, Giovanna PhD; Blumenthal, Paul D. MD

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Obstetrics & Gynecology 140(3):p 470-476, September 2022. | DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004904


To assess concordance and acceptability of a modified menstrual pad compared with a clinician-collected high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) sample.


This was a prospective observational study. Women presenting for either cervical cancer screening or with a history of high-risk HPV positivity were eligible. Three samples were requested from participants: 1) clinician-collected cervical specimens; 2) self-collected vaginal swabs; and 3) a modified menstrual pad, which was taken home for use during the next menstruation. All samples were processed using the Cobas HPV test. Menstrual pad dried blood spots were eluted, then similarly processed.


Of 153 women enrolled in the study, 106 provided menstrual pad samples and clinician-collected cervical specimens for high-risk HPV analysis. For samples in which the interval between the clinician-collected specimen and the menstrual pad sample was less than 2 months, the concordance was 94% (95% CI 83–98). For women who tested positive for high-risk HPV who presented for general screening and those with more than cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2, menstrual pad and clinician-collected specimen agreement was 100% (95% CI 32.5–100). Among participants, 22.9% expressed discomfort with the self-collected vaginal swabs and opted out of collection. Overall, 94.0% of participants preferred the menstrual pad over clinician-collected sampling. Twelve patients were found to be positive for HPV on the menstrual pad sample but negative on the clinician-collected specimen.


Among women who tested positive for HPV, the menstrual pad showed highly concordant results compared with clinician-collected sampling. This collection approach shows promise for integration into cervical cancer prevention programs.

© 2022 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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