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Step-By-Step Guide: How To Collect Urine Sample

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Collect Urine Sample

Urinalysis is one of the primary tests doctors ask for in a routine check-up, an annual physical exam, or whenever they suspect a problem with your kidneys or urinary tract. This test checks the urine’s appearance, concentration, and content, helping physicians detect a wide range of disorders, such as diabetes or urinary tract infections.

Improper urine collection may call for repeat testing as the results might be inaccurate. In this article, we’ll talk about the steps on how to collect urine sample correctly.

Before Anything Else, Determine the Type of Specimen Required

The steps on how to collect urine sample depend on the type of specimen required by your physician. Below are some of the urine specimen types:

  • Random Specimen, which you can collect at an unspecified time, usually in the clinic or hospital.
  • Clean Catch or Midstream Specimen indicates you need to clean your genital area first, pee a small amount, stop the flow, and then collect the mid-stream urine. This type of collection prevents germs from the genital area from contaminating the urine. The clean-catch method is usually incorporated in other specimen types.
  • First Morning Specimen, which collects the first voided urine upon waking up. Your doctor may prefer this specimen because it’s more concentrated and is likely to give more accurate results.
  • Fasting Specimen, which collects the 2nd voided urine after a period of fasting.
  • 24 Hour Specimen, which collects urine for 24 hours.

This article will focus on collecting a clean catch specimen because it is often used in other specimen types.

Step 1: Wash Your Hands

Remember: If the doctor suspects a bacterial infection, they will use the urinalysis result to determine the best antibiotic for you. Handwashing is crucial because it prevents contamination of the sample.

Additionally, you need to have clean hands when cleaning your genital area to reduce the risk of developing urinary tract infections.

Step 2: Clean Your Genital Area

The second step on how to collect urine sample is to clean your genital area.

If the doctor requires a clean catch specimen, they usually provide a kit that includes sterile wipes to clean your genital area. If you’re not provided with the kit, using toilet paper is enough.

For men, wipe the tip of the penis. If uncircumcised, retract (pull back) the foreskin first. For women, spread the labia and wipe from front to back.

Step 3: Collect the Sample

Pee a small amount. Stop the flow of the urine and then start urinating again. Pass the container in your urine stream to collect 30ml to 60 ml of urine. Usually, that means filling at least half of the container. Finish urinating in the toilet, and then clean your genital area.

Don’t forget to wash your hands after.

Step 4: Deliver the Specimen to the Doctor or Laboratory

The final step on how to collect urine sample is to deliver the specimen to the doctor or laboratory.

Make sure you deliver the sample as soon as possible or within 60 minutes. If that’s not possible (such as when you collected the urine at home), place the container in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate it at around 4C or follow the storage instructions given by your physician.

Finally, don’t forget to label the container properly with your full name and the time and date of collection.

Key Takeaways

Proper urine sample collection prevents contamination and promotes the accuracy of results.

The steps on how to collect urine sample depend on the type of specimen your doctor requires. For a clean-catch specimen, you need to wash your hands, clean your genital area, collect enough urine mid-stream, and deliver the specimen to the doctor or laboratory as soon as possible.

Learn more about Diagnostic Tests here.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Aug 03, 2021
Fact Checked by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza