Urinalysis Q&As

When should I take a urinary tract infection (UTI) test?

If you are experiencing the some or all of the symptoms listed below, we recommend you take a UTI test:

  • Pain and/or burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Bladder spasm
  • Lower back pain
  • Fever
What do these parameters test for?
  • Leukocytes: white blood cell presence may signal infection
  • Nitrites: Presence may point to urinary tract infection or other infection
  • Urobilinogen: checks for liver disease
  • Protein: tests for functioning kidneys
  • pH: Measures acidity level of urine, may indicate risk of kidney stones
  • Blood: May show up due to infection, injury, inflammation, cancer or kidney stones.
  • Specific gravity: evaluates the body's water balance and urine concentration.
  • Ketones: Caused by unbalanced diets such as high protein/low carb or disorders of increased metabolism.
  • Bilirubin: could indicate liver or gallbladder problems such as gallstones, hepatitis, cirrhosis or tumors.
  • Glucose: Commonly tests for diabetes
Why is morning urine the best for testing?

The urine test tests specifically for nitrites, and bacteria require time to convert nitrates to nitrites. Assuming you have slept for at least four hours without urinating, means that the bacteria has had sufficient time to complete the conversion and provide a rich sample for testing.

What does a spotty result mean?

The urine sample test was most likely contaminated. We recommend testing again, making sure the sample is clean and free of soap, vaginal discharge, menses or some other contaminant.

Why is there more than one possible color for a positive test result? Does a darker colored test result mean I have a more severe UTI?

No. Each person's body chemistry is unique and will create a different shade of color on the test pads.

Can I have a UTI without symptoms?

Yes. This is more common in young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Your doctor may suggest that you test your urine periodically to detect a UTI.

Can I get a positive result even though I do not have a UTI?

In general, no. However, the WBC test can be positive if:

  • The genital area is not cleaned thoroughly;
  • There is vaginal discharge or menstrual blood in the urine; or
  • If there is an inflammation in the urinary tract.

However, with any positive result, please contact your healthcare professional.

How do I check my urine?
  1. Dip the test strip into the urine for two seconds.
  2. Tap the test strip on the side of the container to remove urine excess. You don't want the urine to mix the different chemicals between panels.
  3. Wait 30 seconds and check the panel that is second from the bottom (pH) first.If the reagent is orange, that’s probably too acidic to help your body get rid of an infection. If it is deep green remember that high alkalinity may irritate the bladder as much as high acidity. You can adjust your urine pH by diet --see/call a dietitian.
  4. Immediately then check the middle panel (protein). Any greenish-turquoise colouration indicates the presence of protein. This could indicate a kidney infection or or that kidneys not working efficiently. See a medical professional.
  5. Check the bottom panel (blood)next. If within 60 seconds of dipping a strip the bottom indicator becomes green , it means there is blood in your urine. It could have been visible in the sample of urine. This can be caused by a number of different things. See a medical professional for advice.
  6. Next, look at the second to top panel (nitrates). If it is pink, it means there are nitrites in your urine sample.Nitrites are derived from nitrates from bacteria,so any pink coloration means you may have a bacterial urine infection.
  7. Finally, check the top panel (leukocytes). If it is pink within two minutes of dipping the strip, this indicates that bladder or urethral inflammation might be present.
When is the expiration date from the time I buy it?

The strips are good for 90 days from the time you open the bottle.

What parameters test for a UTI or bladder infection?

A UTI or bladder infection is when there is a presence of bad bacteria (infection) of the urinary tract or bladder. There are often symptoms associated, such as abdominal pain, urge to urinate frequently, blood in the urine, etc. A urinalysis can detect those infections by testing the white blood cells, red blood cells and certain chemicals. Our urinalysis can test nitrite and leukocytes found in the urine as a determining factor of those infections. A higher than normal presence of nitrites and leukocyctes can indicate bacteria found in people suffering from an UTI or bladder infection. The nitrites detects the sodium nitrites in the urine. Leukocytes measure the level of white blood cells. We include other parameters, such as Protein that can detect kidney impairment. Always follow-up with a doctor if you believe you may have these symptoms so proper treatment can be administered. Usually antibiotics are given to clear up the infection.

What is the time frame that the results can be read accurately?

The results can be read at 2 minutes even if the parameter's specified time is less than 2 minutes. The recommended read time is specified for each parameter. The best time to read is specified as 2 mins, but reading the test after 2 minutes can be acceptable. For example, Leukocytes has a specified time as 2 minutes, but the acceptable read time is 4 minutes.

Can taking Vitamin C supplements interfere with test result parameters of the reagent urine test?

Vitamin C supplements, also referred to as ascorbate contain ascorbic acid. The ascorbic acid can interfere with the chemical reaction and cause false negatives for various parameters of the urinalysis test. It is recommended to obstain from taking Vitamin C supplements at least one day in advance before testing to help avoid false negative result. The analytes affected and the level of ascorbic acid that is needed before interference occurs are listed in the following table:

Analyte
Interference Level of Ascorbic Acid

Bilirubin

>25 mg/dL

Glucose

>50 mg/dL

Nitrite

>25 mg/dL

Leukocytes

Unspecified

Blood

Unspecified

Urobilinogen

Unspecified

Source: ”Error Free Urinalysis”. Massey, Laura D. Advance for Medical Laboratory
Professionals. March 13, 2000, pp. 19-22