Your Comprehensive Guide to Urinalysis

Urinalysis is a urine test that can assess different aspects of your health with a urine sample. Your healthcare provider may use a urinalysis test to diagnose urinary tract infections or screen for certain health conditions. Below are some reasons your doctor at St. Michael’s Elite Hospital may order a urine test.

When would I need urinalysis?

There are several reasons why your doctor may need to test your urine sample. For instance, urinalysis may be part of a pre-surgery preparation, routine medical exam, or pregnancy checkup. The test can also help your doctor screen various disorders like kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes. Healthcare providers also use urinalysis to diagnose medical conditions, especially if you have blood in your urine, painful urination, back pain, abdominal pain, or other urinary problems. Using a urine test, your clinician can diagnose the cause of these signs and symptoms. Urinalysis also helps monitor certain medical conditions like kidney disease and urinary tract infections. Your doctor may recommend regular urine tests to monitor these conditions.

Although other tests like drug screening and pregnancy testing rely on a urine sample, they look for substances not included in a typical urinalysis.

Preparing for urinalysis

Before the test, your healthcare provider will give specific instructions about what you can and can’t do. For example, you can eat and drink before the test, but you might need to fast if you are having other tests. It is also important to tell your doctor about the nonprescription medications and supplements you might be taking since they can affect urinalysis results.

Your healthcare provider may ask you to stop taking medications that affect the test results; only discontinue medications use if your provider says so. It is also important to inform your provider if you are on your period since blood and vaginal discharge can interfere with certain urinalysis test results.

What to expect during urinalysis

You will collect a urine sample at home or your healthcare provider’s office. Usually, healthcare providers give out small containers to deposit your sample. Depending on the reason for the test, you may need to collect the urine sample at home, fort thing in the morning, when your urine concentration is high. Your doctor will instruct that you collect the sample midstream, with some directives to follow.

Before collecting the sample, you should spread your labia and clean it from front to back or wipe the tip of your penis. Start to urinate in the toilet, then pass the container into your urine stream. Collect at least 30 to 60 milliliters of urine, then finish urinating in the toilet. Delivering the sample as directed by your healthcare provider and within 60 minutes of the collection is important. If you can’t get the sample to your healthcare provider within the designated time, refrigerate it unless your doctor instructs otherwise.

Sometimes, your provider can insert a catheter into your bladder through the urinary tract opening to collect the sample, which is sent to a lab for analysis. Urinalysis does not interfere with your ability to resume normal activities.

Book an appointment with your healthcare provider at St. Michael’s Elite Hospital if you need a urinalysis test.