The first known laboratory test originated by simply studying human urine around 6,000 years ago. It was known as uroscopy, a primary diagnostic tool by ancient physicians. Today, it is known as urinalysis, used to diagnose selective medical conditions and identify the use of certain illegal drugs and prescription medications. but why do you really need to pee in a cup?

Primary care doctors usually order urinalysis if you have a suspected urinary tract infection which, contrary to popular belief, is unlikely you’ll get from public restrooms. 

Suppose you exhibit unusual or threatening behavior in an emergency room. In that case, the doctor may require a urine drug test to prove you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Pyrrole disorder, a condition that is sometimes present in some mental health conditions, also uses urinalysis to check urinary pyrrole count. 

When your job requires you to be alert and focused at all times, like driving and guarding, you’ll need to pass a urine drug screening before you get hired.

Regular testing is done in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers to ensure the effectiveness of the drug treatment program.

These are just a few of the reasons why urinalysis is done. 

One way of collecting a urine sample is doing the clean catch method, which helps prevent microorganisms from contaminating the urine sample.

Since men and women have different anatomies, there is a slight difference in getting urine samples. Therefore, the important thing is to follow the proper way to collect the urine sample. 

Guidelines for Urine Test:

  • Check if your urine collection container is clean and free of possible contamination to ensure accuracy. 
  • Label your cup with your name and place the specimen immediately in the collection bags. Set the label on the container and not on the lid to avoid mismatch if the cover is mistakenly put on a different container. 
  • Always wash your hands and dry them before and after the urine test. 
  • It would help if you also prepared yourself before doing the urine test. This is to make sure you will get a sufficient amount of sample during the urinalysis.

Instructions For Women:

  1. Wash your hands. Dry them thoroughly.
  2. Spread your labia ( the two folds of skin that protect your urethral opening ) with your thumb and forefinger before you pee in a cup.
  3. Use sterile wipes to clean the area starting from front to back on both sides.
  4. You can begin urinating in the toilet bowl first. Then at midstream, pee in a cup. Make it at least half full.
  5. When you finish urinating, return the lid on the cup and wash your hands.
  6. Give the urine cup to the medical staff. 
  7. Consult with any of the medical team if you have questions regarding your lab test.

Instructions For Men:

  1. Wash your hands and let them dry.
  2. Pull your foreskin ( the retractable roll of skin covering the head of the penis) to expose the urinary opening.
  3. Use a sterile wipe to clean the head of your penis. Make sure to include the area around your urinary opening at the tip of your penis.
  4. You can start urinating on the toilet bowl first. Then at midstream, pee in a cup until it is half full.
  5. Return the lid to the cup when you’re done. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  6. Give the urine cup to the medical staff. 
  7. Your healthcare team should be able to help you if you have any questions.

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How long should the urine stay in the cup before it expires?

Urine has several unstable components, so it’s best if you get it tested within the first hour after collection. If it’s not possible, you should keep it refrigerated at a low temperature. Do not use it if it’s over 24 hours.

What to do next?

It is essential to follow up for results. No news is no good news. Ask your care provider if they have your valid email address to send your lab results or request a phone call to inform you if the result is already out. 

Want to learn more about urine tests? Visit the Ovus Medical Blog. We have a lot of information you can benefit from.

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