How It Is Done continued...
You may need to collect more than one sample. Follow the same steps
for each sample.
To collect the sample:
- Urinate before you collect the stool. That way, you won't get any urine in the stool sample. Do not urinate while you pass the
- Put on gloves before handling your stool. Stool can contain
germs that spread infection.
Wash your hands after you take off your gloves.
- Pass stool (but no
urine) into a dry container. You may be given a plastic basin that you can place under the toilet seat to catch the stool.
- Either solid or liquid stool can be
- If you have diarrhea, a large plastic bag taped to the
toilet seat may make the collection process easier. The bag is then placed in a
- Do not collect the sample from the toilet
- Do not mix toilet paper, water, or soap with the sample.
- Place the lid on the container. Label it with
your name, your doctor's name, and the date the stool was collected. If you need more than one sample, use a separate container for each sample. Collect
a sample only once a day unless your doctor gives you other directions.
Take the sample to your doctor's office or the
lab as soon as you can. You may need to take your sample to the lab within a certain time, usually within 30 minutes or less of collecting it. Tell your doctor if you think you may have trouble
getting the sample to the lab on time.
Samples from babies and young
children may be taken from diapers (if the stool does not have urine mixed with it). Or a narrow tube may be put into the baby's rectum
while you hold the baby on your lap.
Sometimes a stool sample
is collected using a rectal swab. The swab is
inserted into the rectum, rotated gently, and then pulled out. It is placed in a
clean, dry container and sent to the lab right away.