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Other Factors in Choosing a DNA Test Kit

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Spit or Swab when it comes to DNA Testing? Find out which method is best!

Spit or Swab when it comes to DNA Testing? Find out which method is best!

Besides the type of DNA test and the research goals, there are practical considerations to review in terms of administering a DNA test.

Age of Person Being Tested

  • DNA test kits use either the saliva collection method (aka “spit test”) or the cheek swab collection method (aka “swab test”). Keep in mind that many older relatives may have trouble producing enough saliva, so a swab test might be easier for them. 

Recommendation: Autosomal DNA test kits from 23andMe and AncestryDNA use a saliva collection method; FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage DNA use a swab collection method.

Medical Conditions and DNA Testing

  • It is recommended that chemo patients wait six months until taking a DNA test.
  • If you are taking antibiotics for an infection, wait until you have recovered before taking a DNA test.
  • Some DNA test vendors, such as FamilyTreeDNA, allow you to contact them before purchasing a test to see if the condition will impact the test results such as “known genetic disorders, bone marrow transplants, and/or facial reconstruction with donor skin grafts in the mouth.”
  • The saliva collection method gathers DNA from cells that are mostly white blood cells; the swab method collects DNA from epithelial cells.

Editor’s Note: Visit DNA Bargains at for the latest, up-to-date coupons and promo codes BEFORE you purchase any DNA test kit.

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