Urinalysis is a test of your urine. It checks for infection and substances in the urine that indicate kidney or other diseases.
This test may be done to look for signs of diseases of the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder, and the tubes that connect them). It can also help your healthcare provider check for diseases that affect not only your urinary tract but other parts of your body as well. For example, diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and some autoimmune diseases can damage the kidneys. A urinalysis can detect sugar in the urine, which is a sign of diabetes. It can detect protein or blood in the urine, which may be signs of a kidney problem.
There are 2 methods for collecting a urine specimen: the clean-catch method and the catheterization method.
The urine is sent to the lab and tested for blood, sugar, protein, and signs of infection or illness. The urine is also examined under a microscope to look for crystals, blood cells, and bacteria. If your healthcare provider thinks you may have an infection, the urine is cultured to see if any (and what kind of) bacteria grow from the urine.
Ask your health care provider when and how you will get the result of your test.
The results of the 3 tests (the chemical test strip, the microscopic exam, and the urine culture) can show the presence of diseases of the urinary tract (kidneys or bladder). These tests help check for problems such as bladder or kidney infections, cancers, autoimmune diseases (nephritis and nephropathies), and kidney stones. They can also provide evidence of other diseases, such as diabetes.
Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your medical history and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your healthcare provider about your result and ask questions.
If your test results are not normal, ask your healthcare provider: