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How do I collect a urine sample?

The aim is to get a specimen (sample) of urine from the middle of your stream when you pass urine (this is called a midstream sample). Urine is normally sterile (no bacteria present). If bacteria are found in the sample, it means that the urine is infected. A midstream sample is best as the first bit of urine that you pass may be contaminated with bacteria from the skin.

Prior to obtaining a sample, wash your hands.

Firstly, hold open your labia (skin at the entrance to the vagina). Pass some urine into the toilet. Then, without stopping the flow of urine, catch some urine in a sterile bottle. (The bottle is usually provided by a doctor or nurse.) Once you have enough urine in the bottle, finish off passing the rest of your urine into the toilet.

Do not open the sterile bottle until you are ready to take the sample. You do not need to fill the bottle to the top, a small amount will do. Avoid touching any part of your genitals with the bottle, as this will increase the risk of contamination. Put the cap back on the container. The sooner the sample is given in to the doctor's surgery, or to the laboratory, the better. Within two hours is best. If that is not possible, put the sample in the fridge until you take it to the doctor or laboratory.