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What is a urinalysis?

A urinalysis is a very common test in which a sample of urine is examined in a laboratory. Your doctor may order a urinalysis as part of an overall physical exam or wellness check, or to test for certain specific conditions (especially if you have symptoms of those conditions) or to monitor your health if you have certain health problems such as diabetes or kidney or liver disease.

To have a urinalysis you may need to urinate into a sterile cup, usually provided by your doctor's office. The sample will then be sent to a laboratory where a medical professional may do several different kinds of tests on it, including chemical tests, a microscopic examination and a simple visual examination. Some common reasons why a doctor might order a urinalysis include:
  • To check for blood in the urine.
  • To diagnose a suspected case of diabetes.
  • To determine the cause of certain symptoms, including abdominal and/or back pain, or frequent or painful urination. These symptoms may signal a urinary tract infection or kidney damage.
  • To determine if a woman is pregnant.
A urinalysis takes only a few minutes to perform and can give your doctor important information about your health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.