Urine Samples: Why, How, When, & 6 More Facts You Should Know

doctorWhy is a Urine Sample Necessary?

There are many reasons a person may need to have a urine test done; and it’s more than likely you have, or your child has, already had one done at some point in life. The younger a patient is, the trickier it is to collect a usable sample.

Most urine tests are performed to discover if a patient has an infection and to make sure the bladder, kidneys, and urinary tract are working correctly.  Tests can also reveal diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, and kidney stones, among other results. Red and white blood cells are also measured, along with glucose amounts and PH. 

The most common reason for a urine test in children is to determine whether or not they have a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTI’s are quite common bacterial infection in children and can become serious if not treated.

Signs You May Need a Urine Test Done

  • dark or strange colored urine
  • urine that has a foul smell
  • having a hard time passes urine, or experience pain when doing so
  • blood in urine
  • high fever

How to Prepare for Testing

It is not usually necessary to fast before a urine test, but it is recommended to collect the sample as early in the morning as you can. While all methods of collecting urine can result in contamination with bacteria from outside the bladder, the chances are significantly lowered by washing hands and the genital/rectal area before starting the process.

Urine Collection Methods

There are four methods for collecting a urine sample. Which one to choose really depends upon the patient’s age. The preferred, and least invasive, way to collect a sample is known as the “clean catch method.”

Did you know your body produces urine in order to remove waste materials from your blood? What you eat, drink, and even how much you exercise can affect your urine!

This method works best with older children and adults, and is also sometimes called a midstream urine specimen (MSU). The patient begins to urinate and then stops, midstream, and then begins again into the collection container. For younger children, it can be difficult to judge when they will have to go to the bathroom in order to be ready to “catch” the urine, but it can be done.

The second way to collect urine is through a specialized sanitized bag, which is taped to the skin around the genital area. This works well for younger kids, but has the drawback of possible leakage and contamination.

The other, more invasive, ways are through catheterization and supra-pubic aspiration (SPA). A catheter is inserted into the urethra, and SPA involves inserting a needle in to the lower stomach that goes directly into the bladder. Both of these collection methods are uncomfortable and are options when the other two methods will not work.

6 Points to Remember

  1. A urine test is the only way to know if a urine infection is present.
  2. Urine infections can be extremely serious in babies, toddlers, and children.
  3. If a urine infection is found, other tests and treatments may be ordered.
  4. Do not exercise strenuously before a urine test.
  5. For the most accurate results, bathe before the testing is attempted.
  6. Sometimes the results can be wrong depending upon variables like dehydration and such.

 

What do you think?

Urine Samples: Why, How, When, & 6 More Facts You Should Know

Tell us what you think!

3 comments

  1. Tahkaney says:

    I wonder what degree of dehydration affects the accuracy of urine testing…

  2. Diana says:

    Great information!

  3. very interesting and intriguing

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