Midstream urine (MSU) samples

Instructions for collecting midstream urine samples

First, remove and set aside any packaging from the sample bottles. In the kits we provide, the sample bottles themselves have red tops, and will need to be taken out of the larger transport tube with a white top, and the foam insert. Before you collect the sample, please make sure that your name, date of birth and the date of collection are on the bottle(s). If we have labelled them for you, do please correct the collection date if appropriate.

Please also check that the request card has been completed correctly.

We recommend collecting two samples, preferably before starting any antibiotics. The first sample should ideally be collected on the first occasion that you pass urine in the morning. If you would prefer not to wait until the next morning, please try to collect the first sample more than two hours after you last passed urine, if possible. Alternatively, if your symptoms tend to be worse later in the day, you can collect the first sample then.

The second sample should be collected on the next occasion that you pass urine.

Before collecting the sample on each occasion, women should rinse and squeeze out a clean baby wipe, and gently insert it into the lower vagina (even if on their period). This helps to prevent contamination.

Please do not part your labia or pull back your foreskin.

Now you should be ready to collect the sample. Unscrew and set aside the red cap of the sample bottle. Then start passing urine and pass the sample bottle into the stream of urine, holding it there until the level of urine in the bottle reaches the red line.

Then screw the red cap back on the sample bottle, double-check that your name, date of birth and today’s date are on the bottle, wrap the foam insert around the sample bottle, place it into the transport tube, and screw the white cap onto the transport tube.

Once you have collected both samples in this way, place them in the blue postage paid mailing bag provided along with the completed request card, seal the mailing bag and simply put it in the post. It physically takes a few days for the laboratory to culture the sample. We aim to email you the report within 5 working days.

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