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 sterile collection container (specimen cup)
Procedure for Urine Collection
- Wash your hands well with soap and water.
- Place supplies so they are within reach of the toilet.
- 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.
- Gently grasp your child's penis and pull back his foreskin if he is uncircumcised (keep foreskin pulled back until after specimen is obtained). Pick up one of the soapy wipes and make a stroke around the urethral opening (end of the penis) toward his stomach. Discard the wipe.
- Repeat this procedure with each of the two remaining soapy wipes, discarding each after one use.
- Pick up the specimen cup and have it ready. Position your child in front of the toilet and ask him to urinate. If he has difficulty, try turning on the water faucet.
- Once the stream begins in the toilet, position the cup under the stream. Try to hold the cup close enough so the urine doesn't splash, but not so close that the child's penis touches the cup. Take the cup away when it's about a third full (don't let it overflow), and let your child finish urinating.
- Place the lid tightly on the container. Remember not to touch the inside of the cup or lid with your fingers. If uncircumcised, pull the foreskin forward after the child has finished urinating.
- If taking a sample at the hospital:
Set the cup down in a safe place. Help your child dress and wash both your and his 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.