Urine testing

A urine test is a simple test to screen or investigate for a range of conditions such as infection, kidney problems, glucose and ketones in the urine.

Common urine tests include:

  • Midstream urine
  • 24 hour urine
  • Chlamydia urine

Midstream urine test

A midstream urine test is used for most urinalysis and when a culture is needed to look for urinary infections. This means the middle part of the urinary flow is collected into a clean container for testing. Each laboratory will give you instructions of how this needs to be done.

undefinedExamples of instruction sheets for NZ regions include:

There are several phases to examining a urine test. These are:

  1. Visual examination. By looking at the colour, clarity (cloudy or clear) and concentration, key information can be learnt.
  2. Chemical examination. Dip sticks, contain small squares of reactants and can test for glucose, ketones, drugs, protein, red blood cells, and more.
  3. Microscopic examination. By looking at the urine under the microscope,  one can count the type of cells, look for casts, crystals, bacteria and mucus.
  4. Culture. If the dip stick test suggests infection is possible, the urine is cultured to see if any bacteria grow.

The first two phases are often completed in a doctor or nurse's office when you present with symptoms of possible urine infection, kidney problems or as part of a routine checkup. If these phases show any positive results, then a sample is sent to the laboratory for culture and/or microscopy. It is common for a doctor or nurse to do the first two phases in The first two phases of urinalysis may be completed in the laboratory or doctor's office. A microscopic examination is then performed if there is an abnormal finding on the visual or chemical examination, or if the doctor specifically orders it.

Specimen collection instructions in other languages

A range of brief instructions sheets for collecting various laboratory specimens have been created by Aotea Pathology.

Learn more

Urinalysis Lab Tests Online
Urine dipstick analysis Patient.co.uk

Credits: Editorial team.