Lab Test

Specimen Collection Manual: Urine for Urinalysis


  1. Collect at least 20 mL of clean-catch urine in a sterile collection-transfer container. Replace the blue cap on the container. Note: This container is used ONLY for collection and transfer of the urine specimen. It should NOT be used to transport specimen to the Laboratory because these containers often leak.
  2. The patient should cleanse themself with the towelettes as follows:
    • Males:
      • Wipe the head of the penis in a single motion with the first towelette. Repeat with the second towelette. Uncircumcised patients should hold back the foreskin throughout the whole cleansing and urine collection process.
      • Urinate a small amount into the toilet. This flushes most contaminants from the urethra.
      • After a single stream is achieved, pass the specimen cup into the stream and obtain urine sample.
    • Females:
      • Sit comfortably on the toilet and swing one knee to the side as far as possible.
      • With the forefingers of one hand, spread the outer folders of the labia and keep them apart during the rest of the collection procedure.
      • With the other hand, wipe the inner labial folds front to back in a single motion with the first towelette.
      • Wipe down through the center of the labial folds with the second towelette.
      • Keep the labia separated and urinate a small amount into the toilet. This flushes most contaminants from the urethra.
      • After a single stream is achieved, pass the specimen cup into the stream and obtain sample.
  3. The cup should be at least 1/4 to 1/2 full.
  4. To prevent contamination of specimen with skin flora, the patient should remove the cup before the flow of urine stops and before releasing the labia or penis.
  5. The patient should then completely empty their bladder of urine into the toilet.
  6. Wipe off the outside of the container after replacing the cap.
  7. The patient must wash their hands.
  8. Label the specimen and deliver to the Laboratory within 30 minutes of collection. If delivery is not possible within 30 minutes, the specimen must be refrigerated.


Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

  1. Peel back the yellow protective label to reveal the collection needle on top of the sterile urine container's blue screw cap.
    urine collection cup blue top
  2. Invert the 8 mL Yellow-top conical Urinalysis evacuated tube, shown below, onto the collection needle. Firmly press the tube onto the collection needle.
    930-UA Tube
  3. The tube will fill with urine. When the tube is full, or 3.0 mL minimum required is transferred, remove the tube from the collection needle.
  4. Replace the yellow protective label over the collection needle on the container's blue screw cap.
  5. Properly label the evacuated Yellow-top conical tube with an LIS collection label for Urinalysis.
  6. Send the Yellow-top conical tube to Urinalysis Laboratory.
  7. If a Urine Culture specimen is requested with Urinalysis, fill a Gray-top Urine Culture evacuated tube shown below (contains lyophilized urine maintenance formula) following the instructions given above in steps 3 and 4. Invert the tube several times to mix.

    1. Clinical Pathology requires SEPARATE specimens for Urine Culture and Urinalysis.
    2. Should urine volume be insufficient (less than 3.0 mL) to fill the recommended Yellow-top evacuated tube for Urinalysis (8 mL) and Gray-top tube for Culture (3 mL), see acceptable MINIMUM requirement below:

      Test Minimum Volume Container
      Urinalysis 1.0 mL Yellow-top tube (or Orange sterile screw-top container, tightly capped)
      Culture 0.5 mL Orange sterile screw-top container, tightly capped (shown below)

    3. Test requests for Urinalysis will be cancelled as "Quantity Not Sufficient (QNS)" for specimen volumes less than 1.0 mL received.
    4. It is imperative that unpreserved urine be delivered promptly to the Lab.
  8. Properly discard any remaining urine. Dispose of the blue screw-cap container into an appropriate sharps container.


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