How It Works

As a crowd-funded project, support for this project is provided through citizen scientists and other donors. A major goal of the project is to collect microbiome data that will be accessible to other scientists interested in the genital microbiota and how it relates to health. Citizen scientists who purchase a kit and submit their sample(s) will receive a report that describes their microbiome. This report is not a clinical report that participants’ care providers could act on. It is simply research data for the participating citizen scientists. The analysis of the data from all participants will create new knowledge and ultimately benefit women’s and men’s health.

Here are the steps you will need to take to participate:


Step One

Select your kit and complete your purchase. You will receive the sampling kit(s) and each kit can be used by yourself or gifted to someone else.

While you can withdraw at any time from the project by contacting the research team and your samples and associated data will be destroyed and excluded from the study, the purchase is not refundable.

Step Two

  • You can use the unique ID from the sampling kit to enroll in the study by activating the kit and creating a secure account on the Your Private Biome website. You will be asked to fill out the following:

a) The online consent form

b) The online questionnaire

  • To sign the consent form, you must agree to use an electronic format for your signature in accordance with the United States' eSIGN Act.
  • Your answers to the online questionaries will not be linked to your identity and are confidential. Although we will retain your record to send you the project report, none of your answers to the questionaries will be traced back to you.
  • If you are collecting more than one sample, you will be asked to complete a short follow-up survey before you collect each additional sample.
  • You must complete the consent and questionnaire to join the project. If either is not signed or filled out, we cannot process your samples. A paper version of the consent form is included in the sampling kit and must also be signed and returned to us in order for us to process your samples.


Step Three

Follow the instructions in the sampling kit and use the prepaid envelope to return the sample(s) and the signed consent form back to us.

What Else?

When we complete your microbiome analysis, we will send you an email with a link to securely access a report of the results from the project and how your microbiome compares with other people in the study.

If you decide that you no longer want to participate in this study, you must email your request to Your Private Biome (  Just let us know that you’d like to withdraw from the study.

DISCLAIMER: The report we will provide to you should not be used by yourself or your physician to make medical decisions.