Urine collection: microscopy, culture and sensitivity (MCS)

Urine in the bladder is normally sterile (containing no organisms), bacteria are usually present around the opening of the urethra (the tube that leads from the bladder to the outside of the body). Urine collection for MCS must be performed carefully in order to avoid contaminating the sample with these bacteria.


General guidelines

  • DO NOT collect the FIRST PART of the urine you pass. This urine always contains contaminating organisms.
  • DO NOT allow urine to touch other parts of your body before being collected into the container.
  • Please let the collector know if you are taking antibiotics.


Collection procedure

Obtain a jar from your doctor or your nearest Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology collection centre. For your nearest collection Centre, please refer to your request form, visit our Collection Centre Locations, or telephone Patient Services Support on 1300 732 030.

Female patients

Open the sterile jar and hold it in one hand. Sit on the toilet with your legs wide apart. Use the fingers of your other hand to hold your labia apart—the urine must not touch either your labia or your fingers. Start passing the urine directly into the toilet. After a few seconds, catch your urine in the container. Once the container is half-filled, screw the cap on tightly. DO NOT contaminate the urine with your fingers.

Male patients

Open the urine jar and hold it in one hand. If you are not circumcised, retract your foreskin. Start passing urine directly into the toilet. After a few seconds, catch your urine in the container. Once the container is half-filled, screw the cap on tightly. DO NOT contaminate the urine with your fingers.

REMEMBER: Do not collect the first portion of the urine you pass.

If you feel that you didn’t collect your urine properly, obtain another sterile jar and try again.
Refrigerate the sample after collection and bring it to your nearest Collection Centre as soon as possible.

 

Collecting an infant’s urine for microscopy, culture and sensitivity
 

Clean catch collection procedure (preferred)

  1. It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before collecting the sample, or gloves can be worn if available.
  2. The area around the genitals is to be clean. This can be done using warm tap water and cotton wool.
  3. Keep an eye on your child until they urinate and be ready to catch the urine in the specimen container provided.
  4. You can gently rub the child's lower abdomen to encourage urination for a few minutes using cotton wool soaked in cold water.
  5. It is important that the container doesn’t come in contact with the child’s skin when catching the urine.

This is important so that bacteria from your child’s skin (or your skin) don’t contaminate the urine sample.
 

Bag collection (non-preferred)

  1. Wash your baby’s perineal area (the area between the genitals and anus) with lots of warm tap water using gauze or cotton wool. Dry the area gently but thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  2. Expose the adhesive surface of the paediatric bag by removing the protective paper. DO NOT place your fingers inside the bag, as this will contaminate the sample.
  3. For male babies: insert your baby’s penis into the opening of the bag.
    For female babies: cover the upper half of your baby’s genitalia with the opening of the bag.
  4. Press the bag’s adhesive surface firmly to your baby’s skin, carefully avoiding the anus.
  5. Check every 15 minutes to see if your baby has passed urine.
  6. As soon as your baby has passed urine, carefully remove the bag. Tilt the bag to draw the urine away from the bottom corner, then cut the corner with clean scissors and pour the urine carefully into the sterile jar.

Refrigerate the sample until you return it to your nearest SNP Collection Centre.


IMPORTANT! Do not leave the paediatric bag on your baby for more than 1 hour.

Item number 34160 - Issue date February 2021