Urine Culture: Adult Assisting a Female Child

A urine culture is a test that is done to see if there are bacteria (germs) that cause infection in the urine. A "clean catch" urine specimen (one that has no outside bacteria in it) is necessary for an accurate urine culture.

For the specimen to be "clean," careful cleansing of the area is important.

  • Three soapy wipes for cleansing
  • One wet wipe for rinsing
  • One sterile collection container (specimen cup)
  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
  2. Place the supplies so they are within reach of the toilet.
  3. Remove the lid from the specimen cup and place it flat side down. Make sure you don't touch the inside of the lid or cup.
  4. Help your child sit on the toilet and spread her legs apart.  
  5. Using the fingers of one hand, gently separate her labia (the folds of skin around the opening where the urine comes out). Keep the labia separated for the rest of the procedure.
  6. With the other hand, take one of the soapy wipes and clean directly over the meatus (opening where the urine comes out), using one stroke from top to bottom. Discard the wipe.
  7. Take another soapy wipe and clean down one side of the meatus. Again, use only one stroke and discard the wipe afterwards.
  8. With the last soapy wipe, clean down the other side of the meatus.
  9. Repeat using the wet wipe to rinse the labia and meatus down the center.
  10. Tell your child to lean forward.
  11. While still holding the labia apart, ask your child to urinate into the toilet. If she has difficulty, try turning on the water faucet.
  12. After she has urinated a small amount, position the cup under the stream. Try not to touch the cup's rim to her skin. Take the cup away when it's about a third full, and let her finish urinating.
  13. Place the lid tightly on the urine specimen container. Remember not to touch the inside of the cup or lid with your fingers.
  14. If taking a sample at the hospital:
    Set the cup down in a safe place. Help your child dress and wash both your and her hands. Leave the urine cup in the bathroom.

    If taking a sample at home:
    The sample may be refrigerated but must be taken to the lab in less than two hours from the time of the collection.


Last Updated 09/2012