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Urinalysis

Getting a urinalysis is important for getting valuable information about your general health status and detecting different conditions such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections (UTIs), cancer, hydration, liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. Many walk-in clinics, laboratories, and pediatric urgent care centers offer urinalysis. Solv can help you locate quality testing centers near you that provide urinalysis and can assist you in scheduling an appointment right away.

Who should get a urinalysis?

According to the Urological Science and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), your doctor may request a urinalysis for your child because of the following:

  • Unexplained fever, particularly in an infant
  • Symptoms of a UTI such as lethargy, prolonged jaundice, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, new onset urinary incontinence, abdominal or suprapubic pain, and failure to thrive
  • Abnormal results from a rapid urine test
  • Screening is needed to identify disorders in the early stage
  • Monitor or identify the cause of bleeding in the urinary tract, UTI, liver or kidney disease, bladder stones, diabetes, and some blood diseases

You may also get a urinalysis if you suspect that you or your child has a UTI or disorder.

How to get a urinalysis

You can get a urinalysis from a healthcare provider at a walk-in clinic or an urgent care center. Your primary care provider may request a urinalysis to examine your urine and determine if your child has an infection or disorder in the urinary tract or kidneys. Solv can help you get a urinalysis done. Contact Solv to find a testing facility close to you and schedule an appointment immediately.

What to expect during a urinalysis

You are likely to collect the urine sample in your doctor’s office or a laboratory. A healthcare professional may provide you with a sterile container and cleaning wipes and instruct you on the method of collection. You or the provider may collect the sample depending on the collection method.

How to collect a urine sample for urinalysis

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) describes several strategies for collecting urine samples from children. However, the method of urine collection will depend on your child’s continence.

Midstream urine

You can collect a midstream urine sample if your child has attained urinary continence. Bacteria and other substances in the genital area can easily contaminate urine samples, notes the NLM. You should collect a urine sample after cleaning the genital area with water and soap before collecting the sample. You can avoid bacterial contamination by collecting a clean midstream sample. To collect the midstream sample, interrupt the urine flow after a few seconds and collect the middle part of the urine in the sterile container.

According to the NLM, strategies for a child who cannot control voiding include bag urine, clean-catch urine, suprapubic bladder puncture, and catheter urine.

Bag urine

Inspect, clean thoroughly and dry your child’s genitals. Attach a self-adhesive urine bag. The ideal time to collect the urine sample is after you give your child fluids.

Clean-catch urine

After cleaning, hold your child on your lap with their genitals exposed and catch spontaneous urine right after drinking in a sterile container.

Catheter urine

A healthcare professional may perform a one-time catheterization. This may involve placing a urinary catheter, a special tube for collecting urine from the bladder, through your child’s urethra into the bladder to collect urine.

How is a urinalysis performed?

According to the NLM, the laboratory will examine your urine sample to determine the physical appearance, chemical composition, and microscopic components.

Assessment of urine appearance, color, and cloudiness

Normal urine is yellow, clear, and without a foul odor. The laboratory will check to see if the sample has an abnormal color, cloudy, or has an abnormal odor like honey, fruity, sulfuric, burnt sugar, fecal, or pungent. These abnormalities may be suggestive of a specific disorder.

Examination of the urine chemical components

According to the NLM, the chemical examination in a urinalysis includes the following:

  • pH
  • Proteinuria—proteins in the urine
  • Blood cells, glucosuria—glucose
  • Metabolic products such as ketones, bilirubin and urobilinogen, nitrites, and leukocyte esterase
  • Microscope examination of urine to identify cells, bacteria, crystals, and remnants of cells

What information does the urinalysis provide?

  • The appearance of your urine can provide information about your health status. Very dark urine indicates that your child may be dehydrated or the kidneys are not working properly. Cloudy urine may be indicative of a UTI.
  • High protein levels may be a sign of a kidney disorder, heart failure, dehydration, or strenuous exercise.
  • Your urine may have abnormal levels of sugar and ketones from elevated blood sugar levels. Glycosuria is associated with diabetes, pregnancy, and Cushing Syndrome.
  • Inflammation and infection may be present when your urine has abnormal levels of nitrite and leukocyte esterase.
  • Metabolic products are concentrated in the urine. Your urinalysis results may show crystals from high concentrations of metabolic products.
  • Cylindrical structures known as casts, typically absent in the urine, are indicative of kidney disease.
  • Epithelial cells may line the urethra, bladder, and ureter.

What if the results are abnormal?

An abnormal urinalysis result does not mean you have a health disorder, reports the NLM. Food, medications, vitamins, and menstrual blood can affect your test results. You need to tell your doctor about any health conditions, medications, supplements, or medical conditions to help them interpret the results correctly.

Your doctor will discuss abnormal results with you and develop an appropriate plan. You may have to repeat the test, undergo additional testing, or receive medication to prevent and treat a condition if the results indicate you have a disorder. The treatment will depend on the doctor’s diagnosis. According to the NLM, you can expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics if you test positive for a UTI.

Meaning of some common abnormal urinalysis results

According to the American Family Physicians, the following urinalysis abnormalities may be associated with certain disorders:

  • Glucosuria is typically an indication of uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Urine-specific gravity provides information about your child’s hydration status.
  • Ketones may indicate nutritional insufficiency or an illness.
  • Bilirubin and urobilinogen, from the breakdown of red blood cells, are suggestive of hemolysis or hepatobiliary disease.
  • A urinary pH greater than 5.5 may be indicative of hyperventilation, kidney disease, vomiting, or a vegetarian diet.

Find Urinalysis near you

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Urinalysis FAQs

Sources

Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

  1. Urinalysis (May 8, 2022)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557685/
  2. Office-Based Urinalysis: A Comprehensive Review (July 2022)
    https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2022/0700/office-based-urinalysis.html
  3. Urinalysis Urine Tests (October 24, 2019)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279350/
  4. Urinalysis, Complete With Microscopic Examination (2022)
    https://www.labcorp.com/tests/003772/urinalysis-complete-with-microscopic-examination
  5. Diagnosis of Pediatric Urinary Infections (September 2016)
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1879522616303918

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