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Urine collection - infants

It is sometimes necessary to get a urine sample from a baby to do testing. Most the time, urine is collected in the doctor’s office. A sample can also be collected at home.

How the Test is Performed

To collect a urine sample from an infant:

Thoroughly wash the area around the urethra (the hole where urine flows out). Use the soap, or cleansing wipes that your health care provider gave you.

You will be given a special bag to collect the urine. It will be a plastic bag with a sticky strip on one end, made to fit over your baby's genital area. Open this bag and place it on the infant.

  • For males, place the entire penis in the bag and attach the adhesive to the skin.
  • For females, place the bag over the two folds of skin on either side of the vagina (labia).

Put a diaper on the baby (over the bag).

Check the infant often, and change the bag after the infant has urinated. (An active infant can cause the bag to move, so it may take more than one try to collect the sample.)

Empty the urine from the bag into the container provided by your doctor. Do not touch the inside of the cup or lid. If at home, place the container in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you return it to your health care provider.

When finished, label the container and return it as instructed.

Thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Clean from the front to the back on a female infant, and from the tip of the penis down on a male infant.

How to Prepare for the Test

There is no preparation for the test. If you collect the urine at home, have some extra collection bags available.

How the Test will Feel

There is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

The test is performed to get a urine sample from an infant.

Normal Results

Normal values depend on what tests will be performed on the urine after it is collected.

Risks

There are no major risks to the infant. Rarely, a mild skin rash from the adhesive on the collection bag may develop.

References

Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 3.

Updated: 8/22/2013

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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