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Home Test for Urinary Tract Infections

How It Is Done

Do not urinate for at least 4 hours before testing. A first morning urine sample (that has collected in the bladder overnight) provides the most accurate test results.

Test the urine within 15 minutes of collecting the urine sample, or place the dipstick in the urine stream as you are urinating.

Use a clean-catch midstream urine sample for testing:

  • Wash your hands to make sure they are clean before collecting the urine.
  • If the collection container has a lid, remove it carefully and set it down with the inner surface up. Avoid touching the inside of the container with your fingers.
  • Clean the area around your genitals.
    • A man should retract the foreskin, if present, and clean the head of his penis thoroughly with medicated towelettes, wipes, or swabs.
    • A woman should spread open the folds of skin around her vagina with one hand, then use her other hand to clean the area around her vagina and urethra thoroughly with medicated towelettes or swabs. She should wipe the area from front to back to avoid contaminating the urethra with bacteria from the anus.
  • Begin urinating into the toilet or urinal. A woman should continue to hold apart the folds of skin around the vagina while she urinates.
  • After the urine has flowed for several seconds, place the collection container into the stream and collect 45 mL (3 Tbsp) to 60 mL (4 Tbsp) of this "midstream" urine without interrupting the flow.
  • Avoid touching the rim of the container to your genital area, and avoid getting toilet paper, pubic hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the urine sample.

Test the urine sample according to the directions included in the test kit package.

How It Feels

There is no pain while collecting a urine sample. If you have pain or burning when you urinate, tell your doctor immediately.

Risks

There is no chance for problems while collecting a urine sample. If your symptoms continue or if your home test is positive and you do not follow up with your doctor, you may increase your chances of complications from a urinary tract infection (UTI).

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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