Prepare for my Test

Sample Taking

The guidelines below are very important for your accurate test results.
Please read carefully the guidelines you should follow for correct sample taking.

Urine Sample Taking

All urine samples should be collected into a clean and preferably sterile container with caps, which can be tighten securely. A clean catch collected during urination is sufficient for a routine test.

An early morning sample:

An early morning urine sample is appropriate for a routine urine test.

The following procedure should be followed to collect a urine sample.

Sample Taking

  • A mid-stream urine sample

    Wash your urogenital area with tepid water and soap and then,

    Wipe 3-4 swabs with tepid water
    Women - Spread labia and Men - retract the foreskin.
    While the vestibule is open use the wiped swabs to clean the area.
    Begin cleaning the vestibule, by making movements downwards with each wet swab.
    After cleaning, urinate a small amount into the toilet and stop.
    Then urinate into the clean container-2/3 full
    Tighten cap securely
    Write your name, date and time of urine collection on the label.
  • Urine 24hr Collection


    • You should collect every drop of urine during each 24-hour period. It does not matter how much or little urine is passed each time, as long as every drop is collected.
    • Begin the urine collection in the morning after you wake up, after you have emptied your bladder for the first time.
    • Urinate (empty the bladder) for the first time and flush it down the toilet. Note the exact time (eg, 6:15 AM). You will begin the urine collection at this time.
    • Collect every drop of urine during the day and night in an empty collection bottle. Store the bottle at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
    • If you need to have a bowel movement, any urine passed with the bowel movement should be collected. Try not to include feces with the urine collection. If feces does get mixed in, do not try to remove the feces from the urine collection bottle.
    • Finish by collecting the first urine passed the next morning, adding it to the collection bottle. This should be within ten minutes before or after the time of the first morning void on the first day (which was flushed). In this example, you would try to void between 6:05 and 6:25 on the second day.
    • If you need to urinate one hour before the final collection time, drink a full glass of water so that you can void again at the appropriate time. If you have to urinate 20 minutes before, try to hold the urine until the proper time.

      Please note the exact time of the final collection, even if it is not the same time as when collection began on day 1.


      The bottle(s) may be kept at room temperature for a day or two, but should be kept cool or refrigerated for longer periods of time.

Blood and other Samples

The following instructions are very important in order to have correct Laboratory results. Please read the instructions carefully:

Sample taking, correct sample storage and submission, as well as fasting from food and drink for special tests are essential to get reliable Laboratory results.

Blood and
other Samples

  • Blood Sampling

    Will the blood draw hurt?

    Patients will often feel a quick 'pinch' when the needle is inserted, but there is no pain with the blood being drawn into the tube.

    How much blood will you need?

    It will depend on the tests required. On average 5ml.

    Will I have a bruise after the procedure?

    The phlebotomist will apply pressure to the puncture site once the needle is removed to help prevent any bruising, and a bandage will be applied to the puncture site.

    Fasting for a blood specimen collection

    An overnight fast is required for a number of laboratory tests.  If your provider has instructed you to fast prior to the collection of your blood specimen, please follow these instructions to ensure optimal results.

    • Do not eat or drink anything except normal amounts of plain water for 8-10 hours before the blood draw (8 hours for glucose testing).
    • You may drink normal amounts of water, but no coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, or juice.  In addition, you should avoid alcoholic beverages for 48 hours if lipid testing is ordered.
    • Do not smoke, chew gum, or exercise the morning of the test.
    • Take your medications, unless your provider has instructed you otherwise.
  • Stool sample collection

    How to collect a stool specimen at home:

    1. Place a clean wide mouth container (for example empty plastic food container/one-litre ice cream carton, or a potty) in the toilet bowl or place a clean newspaper or plastic wrap over the toilet seat opening (If the stool is very watery this may not be possible).
    2. Pass the stool into the potty, plastic container or onto newspaper or plastic wrap.
    3. Place small scoopfuls of the stool into the specimen container using the spoon built into the lid of the specimen container (or the wooden stick, if supplied). Try to make sure that any parts of the stool which appear bloody, slimy or watery are put into the specimen container.
    4. Deliver to the laboratory as soon as possible (preferably the same day).
  • Semen analysis

    You’ll need to refrain from any sexual activity for at least two days, but not more than 10 days before you collect your sample. This means no sex or no ejaculation of any kind, including masturbation. Longer or shorter periods of abstinence may result in a lower sperm count or decreased sperm motility. Samples produced after two days of abstinence will usually have the highest numbers of motile sperm with the greatest forward velocity, when compared to samples produced after shorter or longer abstinence. Some men think saving up all their sperm for the day of their test is what’s preferable, but waiting too long between ejaculates is a big mistake: Older sperm begin to die if ejaculations are infrequent and the percentage of live sperm decreases with increasing abstinence.

    Clean up your act. No smoking, drinking, or drugs during the 10 days preceding you sperm collection (of course, you may want to consider these lifestyle changes even further in advance). Specific things that could affect the quality of your sperm sample include:

    • Medicines, such as cimetidine (Tagamet), male and female hormones (testosterone, estrogen), sulfasalazine, nitrofurantoin, and some chemotherapy medicines.
    • Caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and tobacco.

    Collecting the Sample

    • Shower and wash your hands with soap and water.
    • Refrain from using lubricant, saliva, or any product that may contain spermicidal agents.
    • Ejaculate directly into the sterile sample cup. Try to capture the first part of the ejaculate and do not attempt to collect any spilled semen.
    • Cap the container as soon as you have finished. Make sure your name and the time and date of your sample is clearly printed on the cup.

Contact Us

Contact us for any questions you may have regarding sample preparation.
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