Factors Affecting Accuracy of Urine Test

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on October 16, 2012

A urine test is used to measure the components of urine. The results of the test provide information that helps doctors to diagnose, monitor, and treat a number of diseases. In the case of women, these tests also help determine if a woman is pregnant or ovulating. A urine test is used to test a person for a range of substances which are to do with drug abuse and in subsequent rehabilitation programs.

A urine test is quite simple and involves dipping a chemical impregnated strip of plastic in the urine sample immediately after it is collected. Any abnormalities in the urine such as protein, sugar and blood can be detected. If your doctor requires more tests then the analysis will be done in a laboratory. There are more than a hundred different tests that could be carried out on your urine.

The following factors may affect the accuracy of a regular urine test. It is important that your urine test results are accurate because based on these result you doctor will be able to diagnose other abnormalities in your body.

  • It is important that the test strips are correctly stored - if you have forgotten to close the container's lid tightly, exposure to light and moisture may affect the strips accuracy.
  • Care has to be taken not to remove the desiccant (this is the small white packet that is found in the bottle) as this could affect the strips as well.
  • The strips have to be stored in a place that is cool and dry else they get affected by heat; a cool dry place does not mean the refrigerator.
  • Your test results may not be accurate if the expiry date of the strips has passed. These strips usually have a validity of 90 days from the time the vial is opened. In the alternative you could buy ketone strips which come wrapped in foil. These strips last for about two to three years or so. These strips are quite expensive but work out fine for those who need to test their urine less frequently.
  • Using strips with discolored pads may give you inaccurate results.
  • If you have for some reason touched the area of the strip which is used for testing, chances are that it might be contaminated. Also make sure that you do not place the strip down on any surface as it might lead to inaccurate results.
  • Make sure that you collect the urine sample in a container that is sterilized; else your results may get affected.
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