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Urine Test: About This Test

Kidneys, ureters, bladder

What is it?

A urine test checks the colour, clarity (clear or cloudy), concentration, and acidity (pH) of your urine. It also checks your levels of protein, sugar, blood cells, or other substances in your urine. This test is sometimes called a urinalysis.

Why is this test done?

A urine test may be done:

  • To check for a disease or infection of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), and the bladder. It also includes the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body (urethra).
  • To check the treatment of conditions such as diabetes, kidney stones, a urinary tract infection (UTI), high blood pressure, or some kidney or liver diseases.
  • As part of a regular physical examination.

How do you prepare for the test?

  • Before the test, don't eat foods that can change the colour of your urine. Examples of these include blackberries, beets, and rhubarb.
  • Don't do heavy exercise before the test.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may change the results of your test. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the test and how soon to do it.

How is the test done?

A urine test can be done in your doctor's office, clinic, or lab. Or you may be asked to collect a urine sample at home. Then you can take it to the office or lab for testing.

Clean-catch midstream urine collection

You will be asked to collect a clean-catch midstream urine sample for testing. The first urine of the day is best because the level of bacteria and chemicals in your urine will be higher.

  1. Wash your hands before collecting the urine.
  2. If the container has a lid, remove the lid and set it down with the inner surface up.
  3. Clean the area around your penis or vagina.
  4. Start to urinate into the toilet or urinal.
  5. After the urine has flowed for several seconds, place the collection container in the stream. Collect about 60 mL (a quarter-cup) of this "midstream" urine without stopping the flow.
  6. Don't touch the rim of the container to your genital area.
  7. Finish urinating into the toilet or urinal.
  8. Carefully replace the lid on the container.
  9. Wash your hands.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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