Do you ever feel like there’s so much to know about your heritage that you could alphabetize it? It can be overwhelming, and it’s something that a lot of people struggle with.
Discovering the origins of your paternal line, your ethnic heritage, and even your family medical history could all be pretty important in determining where you want to live and how to spend your golden years.
DNA testing has become one of the most popular ways for consumers to find out more info on their history and paternity. There are literally thousands of companies out there making home DNA testing available at this moment in time. And all it takes is a cheek swab.
So, if you’ve ever wondered what goes into the swabbing process, here’s a tell-all guide on how it works.
Open Your Kit
Your home DNA test kit should come with everything you need to do the test. If it’s a swab test kit, there will be a plastic container that holds the vials of swabs, each one labeled with a number. If it’s a cheek swab test kit, there will be a plastic container that holds the vials of cheek cells collected from your mouth, each one also labeled with a number.
The other materials in your kit include the instructions for using the kit and any paperwork you may need to fill out if you want to order more tests or make changes to your account.
Read The Instructions Carefully
Read all of the instructions carefully so that you know what to do with everything in your kit. Pay special attention when they tell you how long each step should take or how long after taking an action before proceeding to another step; these are important details because they will help ensure that your sample is collected correctly and isn’t contaminated by anything else besides your DNA sample.
The swabbing process is easy and fast. All you need to do is rub the sample material provided with the kit on the inside of your cheek. After you’ve rubbed the swab in your mouth for about 30 seconds, place it back into its protective cap and place both items back into your home DNA test kit. You’ll also want to take care of your DNA sample by not leaving it out in direct sunlight or heat sources as this can cause damage to your DNA sample over time.
Once you’ve collected the sample, send it back to the lab for analysis. There’s no risk of contamination and you don’t have to worry about being away from home during testing because we can still get your results even if you’re on holiday.
Getting the Results
Once you’ve mailed off your sample, you’ll receive an email when it arrives at the lab along with instructions on the next steps like how long it takes before results are available and whether or not there is an additional fee for expedited shipping.
You’ll also receive an email once results are available online or by phone call if requested by you at the time of purchase or during the registration process (some labs offer this service).
Note that most companies offer an interpretation of your results via an online account or email (if not both). These interpretations explain what your results mean, and help you get answers to questions that made you seek a DNA test in the first place.
The Final Word
Swabbing your cheek is easy and painless. Just follow the instructions in the kit. To make sure that you’re collecting enough DNA, you may have to swab multiple areas of your mouth or cheeks. Once you’ve completed the swabbing process, place the swabs in the provided envelope or tube with a cap and mail them back to the lab.