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Urine culture - clean catch

Contents of this page:


Urine sample
Urine sample
Female urinary tract
Female urinary tract
Male urinary tract
Male urinary tract

Alternative Names    Return to top

Urine collection - clean catch; Clean catch urine specimen

Definition    Return to top

A clean catch is a method of collecting a urine sample for various tests, including urinalysis and urine culture.

How the Test is Performed    Return to top

To obtain a clean-catch urine sample, boys and men should wipe the head of the penis clean. Girls and women need to wipe between the vagina "lips" (labia) with soapy water and rinse well. Your doctor may give you a special clean-catch kit that contains a cleansing solution and sterile wipes.

To perform this test, first urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl to clear the urethra of any contaminants. Then, collect a sample of urine in a clean or sterile container. About 1 - 2 ounces of urine is needed for a test. Remove the container from the urine stream without stopping the flow. You may finish urinating into the toilet bowl. Take the sample to the lab.

For infants, the genital area is cleaned and dried, and then a collection device is attached to collect the urine. If you are asked to collect the urine, be sure the collection device is attached securely to prevent leakage. After your baby has urinated, the urine (at least 20 cc) is placed in a sterile container.

Do not use antiseptics, as they may prevent bacteria from growing during the culture.

How to Prepare for the Test    Return to top

You may receive a specimen container and instructions on how to cleanse the area and collect the urine sample. If the collection is being taken from an infant, you may need a couple of extra collection bags.

How the Test Will Feel    Return to top

Rarely, infants may have a local skin reaction to the tape used with the collection bags.

Why the Test is Performed    Return to top

The urinary tract naturally contains bacteria, which can contaminate a urine sample. The clean-catch method is used to prevent these bacteria from getting into the urine sample. The clean catch can be used for a routine urinalysis, a urine culture, or other urine tests that require pure urine for accurate results.

Normal Results    Return to top

Normal values will depend on the specific test ordered, for example, whether you've had a urinalysis or urine culture.

What Abnormal Results Mean    Return to top

If the urine sample was sent for urinalysis, abnormal results may indicate the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells, or excessive amounts of protein.

If the urine sample was sent for urine culture, abnormal results may indicate excessive growth of bacteria, a urinary tract infection, or a bladder infection.

Risks    Return to top

No risks have been noted from collecting a clean-catch urine sample.

Considerations    Return to top

This is a common method used to collect urine. You may have a false-negative urine culture if you've recently taken antibiotics.

Update Date: 6/8/2007

Updated by: Mark Levin, M.D., Division of Infectious Disease, MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, IL Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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