A urine analysis or urinalysis as it’s commonly referred to by physicians and nurses is a screening test used to detect some of the most common conditions seen in the United States. This test is often performed during physical exams for both men and women, and might also be requested if your physician noticed symptoms that need further explanation. Urine analysis is also a common method used to screen for drugs because of how simple it is to collect and analyze specimens.
What should I expect?
A urine analysis is a simple, pain-free procedure that takes minutes. Arrive at your doctor’s office with a full bladder. He or she will provide you with a clean, sterile cup to take to the bathroom with you. Sometimes they will provide you with a disposable sanitation close to clean your genital area prior to urinating in the cup. This helps keep the specimen and clean and untarnished as possible.
Once you’re cleaned up, you urinate into the cup to the fill line (usually a half an inch from the top of the cup). After the cup is filled with your specimen you’ll close the lid and place it in the receptacle in the bathroom, where it will be collected by the nurse or medical assistant. This is an important part of completing the test, as it ensures your specimen isn’t tampered.
What is a urine analysis used for?
This screening test includes several chemical, microscopic, and visual cues used to detect substances, cells, and cell fragments. Protein and glucose tend to appeal in urine even before people are aware of issues. This is why the urinalysis is so helpful in early detection.
If test results indicate abnormalities, your physician might order additional tests. Urinalysis is particularly helpful for physicians treating patients with acute and chronic problems like kidney disease and diabetes.
Why would my doctor order a urinalysis?
If you’ve been suffering from issues like abdominal pain, back pain, painful or frequent urination, or blood in the urine, your physician might order a urine analysis. They also might use it to rule out things like urinary tract infection, STDs, or pregnancy.
What do my results mean?
The results of your urine analysis will depend on the screening done and the scales of comparison. However, for certain tests, like screening for bacterial infections or pregnancy, you will get a clear negative or positive. Your doctor will take all test results, walk through them with you, and prescribe you with the proper course of action for treatment.
Similarly, a negative urinalysis doesn’t mean nothing is wrong with you. Your doctor may prescribe other tests to check for additional issues that might not be found in urine analysis. This could include drug screening, venipuncture, or an overall physical exam.