Urine samples are quantities of urine collected to investigate the function of different body systems, particularly the kidneys and urinary tract.
Urine tests can provide information about the condition of the urinary tract to help to confirm a diagnosis. Urine also reflects changes in blood chemistry associated with disorders of other systems, such as diabetes mellitus.
How are urine samples obtained?
Urine samples are collected in a sterile container. Before collecting the sample, clean your genital area with soap and water. Then pass a small amount of urine into the toilet and stop urinating. When you start to pass urine again, collect some of the urine in the container. For some tests, you may need to collect all the urine you pass over 24 hours.
If you need to collect a urine sample from a baby or a small child, your doctor may give you an adhesive bag and a sterile container. Wash your child's genital area, dry it, and attach the bag around his or her genitals, then transfer the urine to the container. Or the doctor may pass a catheter through the urethra and into the child's bladder.
Your doctor may make an assessment of your urine in the surgery by carrying out simple dipstick tests to detect evidence of infection or traces of protein or blood, but in many cases, the sample is sent to the laboratory for analysis.
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