From A to Z in Complete Urine Analysis (Urinalysis) – part one

From A to Z in Complete Urine Analysis (Urinalysis) — Part One

(I) Introduction 

IIn this part we will talk about the test done with urine strips and the confirmatory tests for each item tested by the urine strip and explaining the results for each result

1) Names

Formal name: urinalysis

Other names: urine test – urine analysis (UA)

2) Why it is required?

Urinalysis is a common test that’s done for several reasons:

  • To assess your overall health: Your doctor may recommend urinalysis as part of

==> a routine medical examination,

==> pregnancy checkup,

==> pre-surgery preparation,

==> hospital admission to screen for a variety of disorders, such as diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease

  • To diagnose a medical condition: Your doctor may suggest urinalysis if you’re experiencing abdominal pain, back pain, frequent or painful urination, blood in your urine or other urinary problems. Urinalysis may help diagnose the cause of these symptoms.
  • To monitor a medical condition: If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition, such as kidney disease or urinary tract disease, your doctor may recommend urinalysis on a regular basis to monitor your condition and treatment.

Other tests, such as pregnancy testing and drug screening, also may require a sample of urine. These tests are separate from urinalysis. They test for substances in the urine that urinalysis typically doesn’t include. For example, pregnancy testing measures the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Drug screening tests are tailored to detect specific drugs or their metabolic products, depending on the purpose of the testing.

3)  Who should have a urinalysis?

Everyone should have a urinalysis as a child and then periodically as an adult.

It’s especially important for people who have an increased risk for kidney disease to be tested for protein in their urine where persistent protein in the urine (two positive tests for protein over several weeks) is one of the earliest signs of chronic kidney disease.

You may be at increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have a family history of chronic kidney disease
  • are an older adult

4)  What are the needed preparations?

No advance test preparation is needed.

However, at the time of sample collection, patients should follow instructions for a clean catch urine sample as we shall see.

5)  What does the test result mean?

Urinalysis results can have many interpretations:

Abnormal findings are a warning that something may be wrong and should be evaluated further

Generally, the greater the concentration of the atypical substance, such as greatly increased amounts of glucose, protein, or red blood cells, the more likely it is that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

But the results do not tell the doctor exactly what the cause of the finding is or whether it is a temporary or chronic condition.

A normal urinalysis does not guarantee that there is no illness where some people will not release elevated amounts of a substance early in a disease process, and some will release them sporadically during the day, which means that they may be missed by a single urine sample. Also In very dilute urine, small quantities of chemicals may be undetectable.

(II) Sample Collection 

If possible, collect the sample when urine has been in your bladder for 2 to 3 hours to get more concentrated urine.

A) The Method or precaution during sample collection Before collection, wash your hands with soap and warm water.


Girls and women need to wash the area between the vagina “lips” (labia). You may be given a special clean-catch kit that contains sterile wipes.

Sterile precautions before collection:

  • Sit on the toilet with your legs spread apart. Use two fingers to spread open your labia.
  • Use the first wipe to clean the inner folds of the labia and Wipe from the front to the back.
  • Use a second wipe to clean over the opening where urine comes out (urethra), just above the opening of the vagina.

To collect the urine sample:

  • Keeping your labia spread open, urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl, then stop the flow of urine (this is to reduce the bacterial contamination).
  • Hold the urine cup a few inches from the urethra and urinate until the cup is about half full.
  • Stop the flow and place the cup on the sink. You may finish urinating into the toilet bowl.
  • Don’t touch the inside of the sterile cup by your fingers.


Clean the head of the penis with a sterile wipe.

If you are not circumcised, you will need to pull back (retract) the foreskin first.

Sterile precautions before collection AND collection:

  • Urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl, and then stop the flow of urine.
  • Then collect a sample of urine into the clean or sterile cup, until it is half full.
  • You may finish urinating into the toilet bowl.
  • Don’t touch the inside of the sterile cup by your fingers.


how to collect a baby’s urine on demand. click here
You will be given a special bag to collect the urine. It will be a plastic bag with a sticky strip on one end, made to fit over your baby’s genital area.

If the collection is being taken from an infant, you may need extra collection bags.

Wash the area well with soap and water, then dry. Open and place the bag on your infant.

Bags for urine collection from infants

Bags for urine collection from infants

  • For boys, the entire penis can be placed in the bag.
  • For girls, place the bag over the labia.

You can put on a diaper over the bag.

Check the baby often and remove the bag after the urine collects in it.

Once the collection is completed, the urine is poured into a collection cup or transferred directly into an evacuated tube with a transfer straw (we will see the collection tools in the next sections) and return it to the health care provider as directed.


==> Active infants may displace the bag, so you may need to make more than one attempt.

==> Urine collected from a diaper is not recommended for laboratory testing since contamination from the diaper material may affect test results.


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