Contributed by – Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
Most of us hardly give any attention to one of the most important character of our health story; URINE is hardly waste. It is a mirror to our health that very clearly reflects a lot about our health condition.
The colour, odour of urine and also the frequency of visits to the washroom reveals a lot of secrets about our health. Urine routine and microscopy test is one of the most common, really inexpensive and simple test that can provide a lot of knowledge about one’s health status.
What Is Routine Urine Microscopy?
Also referred as urine analysis or microscopic examination of urine is simply the process of analysing the urine sample. The test includes examination of urine sample under a microscope to monitor cells, cellular debris, bacteria and crystals in the urine. It is beneficial in the diagnosis and screening of several diseases like:
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney diseases and stones
- Liver diseases
- Diagnosing and monitoring the progression of diabetes mellitus
- Helps in keeping a check on high blood pressure
Routine Urine Test Procedure
Routine urine test procedure involves various steps starting from the collection of urine sample in a specimen cup to complete diagnosis. A proper collection technique and sanitation steps are required to avoid contamination. A sufficient amount of sample is required to conduct the tests, few things have to be kept in mind during the collection process:
- Men should make sure to cleanly wipe the tip of the penis
- Women should spread their labia of the vagina and make sure to properly clean from front to back
Once the cleansing is over the collection process begins; discard some of the initial urine by letting it fall into the toilet and then collect an adequate amount in the container. Approximately 10-15 ml of urine is needed to be collected in the sterile cup. This technique is termed as the mid-stream clean catch urine sample collection. The sample collected in the sterile cup is sent over to the laboratory for evaluation.
Before getting the test it is essential to drink plenty of water, fasting or diet change is not required but certain medications can affect the test results.
There are different ways used to do urine analysis, the examination process generally includes:
- Visual exam
- Microscopic exam
- Dipstick test
Let us discuss the urine anaylsis processes to further understand the process.
This process is used for checking the abnormalities in the color and clarity of the sample by visually examining the sample for:
- Cloudy appearance: this is indicative of an infection
- Any abnormal odor
- Urine can be of a variety of colors that mostly includes shades of yellow which can vary from very pale or colorless to very dark or amber. A reddish or brownish color might be indicative of presence of blood in the urine
The process includes the process of examining the urine sample under the microscope to evaluate:
- Any abnormalities in red blood cells and white blood cells can be a sign of infections, blood disorder, kidney infection or bladder cancer
- Crystals are indicative of kidney stones
- Infectious bacteria or yeast
- Epithelial cells
In this analysis is a simple process where a thin plastic strip treated with chemicals is dipped in the urine. The chemicals present in the strip reacts with the urine and will change color if the levels are above normal and will indicate towards the abnormality. This is used to check:
- Acidity or pH, urine is usually acidic (pH about 6, ranging from 4.5-8)
- Presence of protein is an indicator of kidney problem
- Glucose is a marker for diabetes
- White blood cells
- Bilirubin an indicator of liver disease
When is the test advised
Urine routine and microscopy is recommended by the doctor when a patient shows the following symptoms:
- Painful or frequent urination
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Back pain
- To check pregnancy
- Hospital admission
- Pre-surgical work-up
The test is also a part of regular routine checkup. Getting a routine urine and microscopy test can help diagnose a lot of health problems and keep us alert about our health conditions.