Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

There are a many types of urinary tests available.

There are a many types of urinary tests available.
beginning of content

Urine tests

3-minute read

A urine test is a good way for doctors and nurses to help understand your general health, or to diagnose some conditions.

What are urine tests used for?

Urine can be tested for many different things. You might be asked to take a urine test to:

How do I take a urine sample?

To get a clear reading, it’s important not to contaminate the urine sample. When collecting a urine sample:

  • make sure you clean your genital area before taking the sample
  • make sure the container does not touch your genitals during collection
  • take the sample from the middle of the urine stream; that is, not at the start or finish of urination (some urine tests, such as pregnancy tests, may require urine from the beginning of the stream)
  • tell the doctor or nurse about any drugs or medications you are taking as they may affect the results

Your doctor might ask you to take a 24-hour urinary collection test. This is a good way to understand how your kidneys function. You will be given containers to collect all of the urine you pass. Record the date and time of urination for each sample.

What is a urine dipstick test?

A urine dipstick test allows for instant results without having to wait for analysis in a laboratory.

The doctor or nurse puts a small stick containing coloured patches into your urine, and gets almost immediate results. The patches can change colour, depending on what’s in your urine. Dipstick tests can be used in many different circumstances.

Urine pregnancy test

Many urine pregnancy tests can be bought over the counter and used at home, but they can also be done by a doctor or nurse. Tests done in a laboratory are more accurate than home test kits.

Most pregnancy tests work by detecting a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. hCG is produced by the placenta, so is only found in the body if a woman is pregnant. hCG can be detected in your urine from about 6-14 days after fertilisation. Most pregnancy tests can detect hCG in your urine on the first day that your period is due.

Urinary drug test

Urine can be used to test for drugs. It can be done simply at the bedside (or workplace or sports venue), or it can be very complicated testing done in a laboratory.

The drugs most commonly tested for are alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine and opioids like methadone.

Urine tests for sexually transmitted infections

Urine can also be tested for sexually transmitted infections, or STIs. The tests need to be sent to a laboratory, and results usually take a few days.

Men and women of any sexuality can have their urine tested for chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Last reviewed: March 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Urinalysis | myVMC

Urinalysis is a term used to describe a process used to examine urine using chemical and/or physical means. Urinalysis consists of whole host of chemical and microscopic tests, and it is a useful screening tool for diseases such as urinary tract infections, renal disease, and other diseases of the body which result in the formation of compounds that can be detected in the urine at abnormal levels. The urinalysis has proven itself as a procedure that can be performed relatively quickly and easily while providing the doctor with lots of useful information.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Urinalysis - Lab Tests Online AU

Why, when and how urinalysis is carried out

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Pregnancy: blood tests, ultrasound & more | Raising Children Network

In pregnancy, youll be offered blood tests, ultrasound scans, urine tests and the GBS test. Find out when, why and how you have tests in pregnancy.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Confirming your pregnancy

There are several ways to find out if you are in fact pregnant: a blood test; a home pregnancy urinetest; a urine test or internal examination by your doctor.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Urine protein - Lab Tests Online AU

Why and when to get tested for urinary protein

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Toxaemia of pregnancy - myDr.com.au

Pre-eclampsia, also known as pre-eclamptic toxaemia, or just toxaemia, occurs in pregnancy, causing problems for the baby and mother.

Read more on myDr website

Kidney failure (acute renal failure) information | myVMC

Acute renal failure refers to rapid decline of kidney function which is potentially life threatening because urine production ceases.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Kidney Cysts

Cystic kidney disease is a group of diseases that cause abnormal pockets of clear,   watery fluid (cysts) to form in the kidneys. In cystic kidney disease, multiple cysts form   in both kidneys.

Read more on Kidney Health Australia website

Kidney Disease Tests & Procedures

People with kidney disease often undergo a lot   of medical tests and procedures. They are needed   to confirm a diagnosis, plan treatment or check   progress.

Read more on Kidney Health Australia website

Kidney disease

Each year, more than 500,000 Australians consult their doctors about kidney disease and urinary tract infections. One in three Australian adults is at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, and one in ten has some sign of chronic kidney disease.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo