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Canestest (1 test)

Order before 3pm for delivery from Fri. 30 Jul and Mon. 02 Aug.

Description for Canestest

Vaginal infections are never pleasant – they can be deeply uncomfortable and make it hard to go about your day-to-day life. What’s more, it’s not always easy to work out which one you have, since many of the symptoms are similar. Using the Canestest BV or thrush test kit, you can diagnose yourself quickly and independently, allowing you to seek the appropriate treatment and clear the infection as swiftly as possible. 

Buy a Canestest thrush & BV test online from The Independent Pharmacy and receive fast, tracked delivery to your door (guaranteed next day UK delivery available).

Product Information

  • Age: N/A

    Maximum per order: 2

  • Pregnancy: N/A

    Breastfeeding: N/A

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and thrush are often hard to distinguish from each other, especially if you haven’t encountered them before. Knowing the difference is important, as each requires a different kind of treatment. Canestest was developed to provide a safe and reliable way for women to self-diagnose and choose the right course of action. 

How does it do this? The test identifies whether your vaginal PH levels are unusually high, which the user then interprets along with the symptoms chart displayed on the pack. By knowing your vaginal PH and observing your symptoms, it’s possible to work out exactly which infection you’re suffering from – and what’s needed to treat it. 


What is Canestest?

In a nutshell, the Canestest test kit offers women a cheap and convenient way to interpret whether they’re suffering from BV or thrush. You can take this BV test at home. The results are immediate and over 90% accurate. 

With a simple swab test, you will be able to see if your vaginal PH levels are within the normal range. This, alongside observation of your other symptoms, will help you to understand which vaginal infection you have – and what the steps are for treating it. In addition to identifying BV and thrush, it will also identify trichomoniasis: a common STD.


Thrush & bacterial vaginosis: what’s the difference?

BV and thrush and both common infections, and while they exhibit similar symptoms, they’re not the same and require separate types of treatment. Identifying which infection you have is not always straightforward, especially if you haven’t had one before. So what are the differences?

Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of yeast, leading to itchiness, soreness, and usually some white discharge. By contrast, BV is a bacterial infection, leading to a fishy smell and often accompanied by a grey-white watery discharge. Canestest eliminates the guesswork so you know exactly what you’re dealing with.


How does Canestest work?

Canestest works by measuring your vaginal pH level. The vagina is normally slightly acidic, helping to maintain bacterial balance. Changes to your natural pH level can indicate which infection you’re most likely to have – if your pH levels are high, it’s more likely that you’re suffering from BV. However, if they’re normal, then your symptoms are probably due to thrush. Canestest detects changes in vaginal pH with more than 90% accuracy.

Taking the test, as well as checking your symptoms, will allow you to be clear about whether you have a yeast or bacterial infection, so you can select the appropriate treatment. It’s easy to use and works within seconds, changing colour to indicate the outcome.


Natural treatments for BV and thrush symptoms

If you find yourself suffering from BV or thrush, we recommend choosing a proven medical treatment that will clear the infection quickly, like Metronidazole tablets or Zidoval vaginal gel (for BV) or a Fluconazole capsule or Canesten pessary (for thrush). 

*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.

How do you use Canestest?

Using the Canestest self test kit is very straightforward, and no more uncomfortable or complicated than using a tampon. The test should not be used less than 24 hours before or after your period. Additionally, you should leave 12 hours following sex or vaginal douching to ensure accurate results.

Canestest instructions

Instructions for use:

  1. Unwrap the swab, ensuring that it doesn’t come into contact with anything before insertion.
  2. Holding the swab by the handle, insert the yellow tip into your vagina, rotate and remove.
  3. After 10 seconds, check the tip of the swab to see if the colour has changed.

Interpreting the results

  • No colour change after 10 seconds – you may be suffering from thrush. Check the symptoms indicated by the symptoms table. View our range of thrush treatments, such as Canesten Duo, here.
  • Swab becomes blue or green – you may be suffering from BV. Check the symptoms indicated by the symptoms table. View our range of BV treatments, such as Canesbalance vaginal gel, here
  • <Swab becomes yellow-green – you may be suffering from trichomoniasis. This is usually accompanied by symptoms such as frothy discharge, bad odour and pain while urinating. If you think you have trichomoniasis, consult your doctor. You may need to undergo a screening test.

Side effects of using Canestest 

There are no side effects associated with using the Canestest self test kit. If the results are in any way confusing, consult a pharmacist or doctor before selecting a treatment. Should the swab be at all stained or damaged on opening, do not use. 

Canestest ingredients

The Canestest vaginal self test kit contains one self-diagnostic swab, designed for easy interpretation and 90% accurate results within 10 seconds of use, subject to some exceptions.

Canestest usage warnings

Should you be in any way confused about the result when using the Canestest self test kit, consult a medical professional before choosing a course of action. It’s also important to remember that the accuracy of the result can be affected by the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Taking the test less than one day before or after your period
  • Taking the test less than 12 hours after intercourse or vaginal douching

Delivery & Shipping Information

Please note that due to the current situation with COVID-19, Royal Mail are experiencing some delays. This may mean that your order takes longer to arrive than you would normally expect. We are working hard to ensure that, where possible, all orders placed before 15:00 are still dispatched the same working day.


UK Orders

We offer FREE standard tracked delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Tracked Delivery - 2 - 3 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Tracked Delivery - 1 - 2 day delivery - £4.45
  • DPD Next Day - 1 - 2 working days - £6.95
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 21:00) - £8.95
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 21:00 - £10.45

Important Delivery Information

All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail (unless stated). We always aim to dispatch all Royal Mail & DPD orders received before 15:00 the same working day. Any orders received after 15:00 or over the weekend will be dispatched the next working day. Orders will not be dispatched on weekends or bank holidays.

All orders are subject to approval by our team of doctors and pharmacists. Your delivery date in the checkout is subject to your consultation being approved by our healthcare team.

All orders can be fully tracked from your dispatch email, in your online account and from any notifications from your courier.

We ensure all parcels are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods. Where possible, we will attempt to size all parcels to fit through your letterbox in tamper-proof packaging. By placing an order on our website, you confirm that it is safe and appropriate for a package containing medicines to be posted through your letterbox, if the carrier is able to do so. You should notify our customer support team if it is not safe for the package to be posted through the letterbox, for example due to animals or small children.

Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt. 

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.


Royal Mail


  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • Four-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with Royal Mail
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local Post Office or Royal Mail Customer Service Point.

Royal Mail are the most widely recognised mail delivery company in the UK. Being on the UK’s 29 million doorsteps six days a week means they offer unparalleled price and convenience. The Independent Pharmacy uses Royal Mail’s Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery Guaranteed parcel services to offer reliable, fully-tracked delivery at very competitive prices. Your Royal Mail parcel will arrive with your normal daily delivery of post.

Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

If you are not home to accept your delivery, a card should be left by the Royal Mail representative. This card will provide details of where you can collect the order or how to arrange re-delivery.

Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a 30 day window.

Once a package has been shipped with Royal Mail we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.




  • Fully tracked delivery
  • SMS & email notifications
  • One-hour delivery window
  • Change delivery date directly with DPD
  • Update delivery location - add a Safeplace, preferred neighbour, or update your delivery location to a local collection point.

DPD Local is the most innovative parcel carrier around. Thanks to their industry-leading Predict service, they provide parcel recipients with a one hour delivery window, notified by email, so you don't have to wait in all day. What's more, it enables receivers to watch the progress of their delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15 minute time-slot. 

As well as keeping customers informed at every stage of the journey, DPD believe in maximising choice and convenience. That's why DPD provide access to a suite of options both on the day of delivery and the night before, allowing customers to take delivery of their goods in a way that suits. If you wish to reschedule, you can:

  • Select an alternative delivery date
  • Opt for delivery to a nominated neighbour
  • Have the parcel left in a specified safe place
  • Collect the parcel from your local DPD Pickup Shop
  • Upgrade delivery to By 12

Please note: DPD do not deliver on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

Once a package has been shipped with DPD we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.


Forwarding houses

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.


BFPO Postcodes

Unfortunately we are unable to deliver medicines to BFPO postcodes.


Remote Areas

Please be aware that Royal Mail Guaranteed services are not available to all customers in the UK, especially those that live in remote postcodes. Royal Mail advise customers of the following:

We deliver by 17:30 the next working day in the following postcode areas:
AB30 - 39, 41 - 45, 51 - 56
GY9 Alderney (Channel Islands)
HS1, 3 - 9
IV21 - 28, 40 - 49, 51 - 56
KA27, 28
KW1 - 3, 5 - 15
KW16 Stromness Town only
PA20 (0&9)
PA28 - 38, 41 - 49, 76, 77
PH15, 17 - 26, 31 - 40, 49, 50


We deliver within two working days by 17:30 to the following postcodes areas:
GY1 Herm (Channel Islands)
GY9 Sark (Channel Islands)
PA60 - 75, 78
ZE2, 3


We deliver within three working days by 17:30 to the following postcode areas:
KW16 - non-Town
PH30, 41 - 44


Please note: This applies to our 'Special Delivery' and 'Saturday Guaranteed' services.


International Orders

We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.

Need to know more about Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)?

Visit our advice area or contact our support team

Canestest Reviews

Unsure about a treatment?
Ask our medical team for impartial information and advice about any treatment we provide or medical condition that we treat before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes thrush?

    Thrush is a yeast infection caused by fungus that already exists in the body. It often develops when conditions in the vagina change: hormonal shifts, taking antibiotics, a weakened immune system. To avoid getting thrush, avoid perfumed soaps and douches, latex condoms, and tight-fitting, non-breathable underwear.

  • What causes BV?

    Bacterial vaginosis is vaginal inflammation caused by an excess of bacteria naturally found in the vagina. It’s more common in females during their reproductive years – around 15-44. Douching, having multiple sexual partners, or a natural lack of good lactobacilli bacteria can make contracting BV more likely. To avoid getting BV, don’t douche, adopt safe sexual practices, and take steps to minimise vaginal irritation.

  • Can you get Canesten on prescription?

    The Canesten range of products do not require a prescription and can be bought online or over the counter.

  • Does Canestest work?

    The Canestest self test kit has been shown to have 90% accuracy at determining vaginal pH balance linked to BV and thrush.

  • Does Canestest test for chlamydia?

    Canestest does not test for chlamydia – only for bacterial vaginosis, thrush and trichomoniasis. If you think you may have chlamydia, don’t delay getting tested. Find out more about the chlamydia test here.

  • How to use Canestest

    To use the Canestest test kit, you unwrap and insert the swab into your vagina, taking care not to let it touch anything else. Rotate the swab, then remove. After waiting 10 seconds, the swab tip will either remain unchanged or change to a blue-green or green-yellow colour, indicating abnormal vaginal pH levels. This could be a sign of BV or trichomoniasis.

  • How accurate is Canestest?

    Canestest is 90% accurate at detecting vaginal pH balance, provided it is used correctly and under the right conditions (see warnings).

  • What does Canestest test for?

    Canestest helps to differentiate between bacterial vaginosis (BV) and thrush in women. It can also be used to detect trichomoniasis – a common STD. Both BV and thrush can be treated with non-prescription treatments sold here at the Independent Pharmacy (see Thrush and BV treatments). If you think you have trichomoniasis, consult your GP.

  • Where to buy Canestest

    Canestest can be bought over the counter or online through The Independent Pharmacy. We offer a discreet packaging service with same-day dispatch and next-day UK delivery.

Authored By:

A photo of  Scott McDougall

Scott McDougall


Published on: 14-06-2020

Last modified on: 14-06-2018

Scott is one of the two founders of The Independent Pharmacy. He is a registered pharmacist and the registered manager of our service with the CQC.

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Chris Newbury

Chris Newbury

BPharm IP

Reviewed on: 14-06-2020

Next review date: 14-06-2022

Chris is a vastly experienced clinical pharmacist and has been registered as an Independent Prescriber since 2014.

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