Woodingdean Medical Centre

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Urine Tests

What are urine samples used for?

Your GP or another healthcare professional may ask for a urine sample to help them diagnose or rule out health conditions. They are also part of some annual Long Term Condition monitoring such as Diabetes. Urine contains waste products that are filtered out of the body. If it contains anything unusual, this may indicate an underlying health condition. Common reasons for being asked to provide a urine sample include;

What do I need to know about collecting a urine sample?

If a urine sample is required, you may be given a container during your appointment or asked by message or phone to provide one; in this instance you can collect a sample container from our Reception desk.

To collect a clean urine sample you should:

  • label the container with your name, date of birth and the date
  • wash your hands
  • wash your genitalia to avoid contamination
  • start to urinate but don’t collect the first part of urine that comes out
  • collect a sample of urine ‘mid-stream’ in a sample container provided by the practice
  • screw the lid of the container shut
  • wash your hands thoroughly

As long as the sample is clean and properly labelled you can drop the sample container in at the Reception desk before midday.

If you can’t hand your urine sample in within an hour, you should keep it in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge (for no longer than 24 hours) to prevent bacteria multiplying and affecting the test results.

You can collect a urine sample at any time of day unless you have been advised otherwise. If the Clinician gives you any other instructions, you should also follow these.

What is a mid-stream urine sample?

A mid-stream urine sample means that you don’t collect the first part of urine that comes out or the last part. This reduces the risk of the sample being contaminated with bacteria from:

  • your hands 
  • the skin around the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) 

How long will I have to wait for a result?

Many urine samples can be quickly analysed using dipstick analysis so you should know the result immediately if you are in the Practice or within 24 hours if you have dropped a urine sample off to us.

It is important to note that, for men and women over 65 years with suspected urine infection, we follow NICE guidelines and do not routinely perform a urine dipstick. If a sample is required it will be sent for laboratory testing at one of the local hospitals.

Dipsticks become more unreliable with increasing age over 65 years. Up to half of older adults, and most with a urinary catheter, will have bacteria present in the bladder/urine without an infection. This “asymptomatic bacteriuria” is not harmful, and although it causes a positive urine dipstick, antibiotics are not beneficial and may cause harm.

For some more complex tests we send your urine sample off for laboratory testing at one of the local hospitals. In these instances it might take up to 5 days for results to come back to the Practice. These are sent electronically and are checked every day by our GPs & ANPs. If there is a cause for concern we will phone or write to you within 24 hours of receiving the result. We will not routinely inform you if the results are normal.