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Urinalysis: What could be tested? Summary on Procedures and report (Cost included for Ref.)

Urinalysis (commonly known as a urine test) is a simple and non-invasive examination that is part of routine health check-ups. The indices in a urinalysis report can reflect different health conditions. It is also commonly performed during prenatal care and gynecological examinations. Let the Bowtie team explain the correct methods and procedures for urinalysis and teach you how to interpret your health condition from the "urine" sample.
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2023-07-25
Updated on 2023-09-12
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When is urinalysis necessary?What health problems can urinalysis detect?Precautions before urinalysis:Procedure and proper urine collection methodWhere can urinalysis be performed in Hong Kong?Comparison of urinalysis feesHow to interpret urinalysis reports?FAQ

When is urinalysis necessary?

Urinalysis, also known as a urine test, involves laboratory examination of a urine sample. Even without any urinary symptoms, urinalysis is typically included as part of routine physical examinations.

Doctors commonly request urinalysis for pregnant women during prenatal checks or for patients before undergoing surgery to screen for conditions such as diabetes, kidney or liver diseases. Urinalysis can also be used for diagnostic purposes when symptoms like abdominal pain, back pain, frequent urination, difficulty or pain during urination, blood in the urine, or other urinary symptoms are present.

Furthermore, patients with kidney or urinary tract diseases may undergo regular urinalysis to monitor the progression of their condition and assess the effectiveness of treatment.

What health problems can urinalysis detect?

Urinalysis can help diagnose conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, and liver diseases. After the urine is sent to the laboratory, urinalysis can also detect urinary tract infections, dehydration, sexually transmitted infections, or kidney stones under a microscope.

Precautions before urinalysis:

To ensure accurate test results, there are several things to keep in mind during the urine collection process:

1. Ensure cleanliness of the container:

If the container is contaminated, it can directly affect the test results. For urine cultures, it is necessary to use a sterilized sterile container. Before collecting the urine sample, thoroughly clean your hands.

2. Timing of urine collection:

Generally, there are no specific time restrictions for urine collection. However, for certain tests like pregnancy tests or bacterial cultures, it is recommended to collect the first-morning urine sample. If a woman is menstruating, it is advisable to avoid urine testing to prevent interference with the results.

3. Avoid foreign substances in the sample:

Before collection, thoroughly clean the genital area to prevent vaginal secretions from mixing with the urine. If pubic hair falls into the container, do not try to retrieve it with your fingers or any instrument. If a midstream urine test is required, carefully start urinating, discard the initial portion of urine (the first part of the stream), and then collect the midstream urine in the container, avoiding any contamination.

Procedure and proper urine collection method

  • Thoroughly clean hands before and after urine collection.
  • To prevent contamination of the urine sample with bacteria from the penis or vagina, clean the urethra or the surrounding area of the external genitalia with a disinfectant wipe before urinating.
  • If collecting a midstream urine sample, start by emptying a portion of the urine (the initial stream), then collect the midstream urine in the container, taking care to avoid the risk of container contamination.
  • Avoid touching the inside or outside of the container during urination to prevent bacteria on the hands from contaminating the urine sample.
  • Carefully seal the container with the collected urine sample to prevent leakage and place it in the designated location.

Where can urinalysis be performed in Hong Kong?

Urinalysis is a commonly included test in physical examinations and can be conducted in clinics and various hospitals.

Comparison of urinalysis fees

  • The above fees are obtained from the official websites of the hospitals and are updated as of July 8, 2022.

How to interpret urinalysis reports?

Through the process of interpreting urinalysis reports, we can gain insights into one’s health. The following are common parameters in a urinalysis:

  • Urine concentration
Urine ConcentrationReasons
High concentration Dehydration, diabetes, nephrotic syndrome, multiple myeloma, or contrast agent injection may cause high urine concentration.
Low concentrationLow concentration Acute or chronic kidney failure, hypokalemia, hypercalcemia, or urinary obstruction may cause low urine concentration.
  • Presence of red blood cells in urine

Conditions such as acute nephritis, cystitis, urinary tract infection, urolithiasis, or tumors can lead to the presence of red blood cells in urine.

  • Presence of glucose in urine

Normally, urine does not contain glucose. The presence of glucose in the urine is highly indicative of diabetes.

  • Presence of urinary protein

The presence of protein in urine indicates a high probability of acute or chronic nephritis, cystitis, urinary tract infection, or renal disease. Additionally, urinary protein increases in the case of urinary tract infections or renal pathology.

FAQ

Does the timing of urine testing affect accuracy?

For general urine testing, there is no specific time requirement for urine collection. However, if the test is for purposes such as pregnancy testing or bacterial culture, it is recommended to collect the first-morning urine sample. This is because in early pregnancy, the concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the body is usually lower, and drinking excessive water before the test can dilute the concentration of hCG in the urine. Therefore, using the first-morning urine is ideal for such tests.

Can urine testing be done during menstruation for women?

It is generally recommended to avoid urine testing during the menstrual period in women to prevent the interference of blood in the urine sample, which can lead to a false diagnosis of hematuria (blood in the urine).

Why is urine testing done during each prenatal check-up?

Pregnant women undergo regular urine testing during prenatal check-ups to assess kidney function and overall nutritional status during pregnancy. Additionally, the urine is checked for the presence of bacteria, red blood cells, protein, or glucose, among other things. This helps monitor for acute issues such as urinary tract infections and the development of conditions like gestational hypertension or gestational diabetes. Early detection of these conditions allows for appropriate treatment to be provided promptly, ensuring the health of both the mother and the baby.

 

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