Your Health

What is a Urine (MSU) TEST?

A midstream specimen of urine (MSU) is tested to look for infection. Symptoms of a urine infection can include pain when you pass urine and passing urine frequently. However symptoms are not always typical, particularly in children and elderly. 

How is it collected?

If the doctor or nurse has asked you to do a midstream specimen of urine, they will either provide you with a sterile container to urinate into, or ask you to collect a container from reception.  A midstream sample (urine from the middle of your bladder) is best as the first bit of your urine that passes may be contaminated with bacteria from the skin.

Prior to doing an MSU test, please read the actions points as follows:

  • Wash your hands and genitals
    • WOMEN - hold open your labia (entrance to the vagina)
    • MEN - Pull back your foreskin
  • Pass some urine into the toilet, then without stopping the flow of urine, catch your urine in the sterile bottle/container provided
  • Finish passing the rest of your urine in the toilet
  • You do not need to fill the bottle to the top, any amount is better than none
  • Avoid touching any part of your genitals with the bottle/container, as this will increase the risk of contamination
  • Put the cap back the sample bottle/container
  • MAKE SURE YOU LABEL your sample, Including your NAME and DATE OF BIRTH. This is prevent your sample becoming misplaced from your requesting form when being sent to the laboratory.

for Children and Babies:

It can be difficult to get a pure MSU sample from children and babies, the following points will help you get a good sample:

  • Young Children
    • Be ready with the bottle open as the child passes urine, being careful not to touch the open rim of the bottle with your fingers, as this could contaminate the sample with bacteria.
  • Babies
    • The requesting doctor or nurse will provide you with a special absorbent pad that is placed into the nappy, and will tell you how to use it.
    • If no pad is available, take off the nappy about one hour after feed. Tap very gently with a finger (about once a second) just above the pubic bone. (the bone at the bottom of the abdomen above the genitals) Have ready the open bottle ready to catch some urine, quite often within about 5 minutes of doing this the baby will pass urine.

How do I find out my results?

The sooner the sample is given to the surgery the better, within 2 hours at least of taking the sample is best. If you are unable to do so within this timeframe, put the sample into your fridge until you can bring it to the surgery.  Please make a final check of your bottle being correctly labelled, placed along with your requesting test form into the plastic wallet (this can be provided by reception).

If your sample is being sent to the laboratory to be tested, we recommend 5-7 days after your test is handed to reception to contact the surgery for your results. Please call after 10.00 am for results.

*If a nurse within surgery has requested to test your sample, you will be asked at reception of your name, date of birth, contact number and the reason for sample i.e pain when passing urine. The nurse will test your urine, and contact you on the number provided of the results. *Some test results may require a further investigation, so a second test may be asked upon when speaking to the nurse, which will require the above process.