Clean-Catch Urine Sample: Women

What is a clean-catch urine sample?

A clean-catch urine sample is a way to collect urine that helps keep bacteria that are normally on your skin out of the sample. Your healthcare provider can then test the urine for bacteria in your urinary tract. Other tests may also be done on the urine sample. The urinary tract includes your:

  • Kidneys, which make urine
  • Ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
  • Bladder, which stores urine
  • Urethra, which is the tube that drains urine from the bladder

How do I collect the sample of urine?

Your healthcare provider will give you a cup and cleaning wipes to use for collecting the urine sample. Some providers may have you urinate in one cup, and then pour the urine into another cup with a lid. Follow your provider’s advice for how to collect the sample. Some general guidelines are listed below.

  • In the bathroom, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • If the cup has a plastic wrapper and lid, remove it. Do not touch the inside of the lid or the inside of the cup. Place the lid top side down on a clean counter or paper towel.
  • Wash your genital area from front to back with the cleaning wipe provided. Do not use soap. Separate your genital folds (folds of skin around the vagina) with your hand. Clean gently inside the folds with another cleaning wipe. Use each wipe only once and then throw it into the trash.
  • Hold the cup and start urinating into the toilet. Do not touch the cup to your skin. After the first part of the urine has gone into the toilet, put the cup under the stream of urine. Try to fill the cup at least half full. Then move the cup away from the urine stream and finish urinating into the toilet.
  • Put the lid on the cup tightly and wash your hands.
  • If you collect the urine sample at home, write your name on the cup with a permanent marker. Follow any directions your healthcare provider gives you for taking the sample to the lab.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-11-04
Last reviewed: 2014-10-30
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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