When you visit your NYC gynecologist or ob/GYN, you may be asked to take a urine test as part of your physical exam. This is a regular test conducted by your health care provider to help take care of your overall health. Urine tests are especially common during prenatal visits and pregnancy visits, but they can be performed during an annual checkup too. While they can be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing, urine tests can tell your doctor a lot about your health and wellness and are nothing to be embarrassed about.
What can a doctor tell from a urine sample?
Urine tests can provide a lot of helpful information about women’s health. They can be used to screen for health issues such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), bacterial infections in the urethra or vulva, kidney stones, bladder cancer, liver disease, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea, and other abnormalities. Urinalysis can also be used to monitor health indicators such as glucose levels, ketone levels, white blood cell and red blood cell counts, nitrites, and bilirubin levels. Urine tests are also a reliable method for pregnancy tests and can be more accurate when performed by a doctor than at-home tests.
For prenatal visits and pregnant women, frequent urine tests are critical for ensuring the overall health of the mother and the child. They can be used to screen for health issues such a preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
How is a urine test performed?
Providing a urine sample for a urine test can feel a little strange or embarrassing — but luckily they can be provided quickly, easily, and in privacy. Your gynecologist or a nurse will provide you will a sterile urine cup and sanitary wipe. You will take these items into a private restroom.
Use the sanitary wipe to clean yourself and then begin peeing over a toilet like you normally would. Hold the urine cup underneath you and collect the urine inside the cup as best as you can. Once you are finished, seal the cup with the provided lid and place the cup in the designated location specified by your nurse or doctor. Remember to wash your hands when you’re finished.
What does the color, clarity, and odor of urine mean?
In addition to testing your urine for diseases and health indicators, simply the appearance of your urine can tell gynecologists a lot about women’s gynecological health. The color, clarity, and odor of urine can provide information about your hydration levels, diet, and overall health.
Dark-colored urine can indicate dehydration, especially when there is only a small amount at one time. Cloudy urine can indicate a UTI, especially when combined with discomfort, pain, or burning sensations while urinating. Red-tinted urine may indicate that there is blood in the urine, which may require additional testing to diagnose if you are not on your period. Bright yellow urine can be caused by taking vitamin B supplements and is not usually anything to worry about. Clear or pale yellow urine is a good indicator of good health and hydration levels.
Urine odors can change depending on your diet. Certain foods can cause your urine to smell differently, such as asparagus or coffee. Fasting can cause urine to have a sweet or fruity smell to it. Very bad or unusual odors can indicate bacterial infections and may require additional testing to diagnose.
What Can an Abnormal Urine Test Indicate?
Urine testing is typically a very fast process. After taking a urine test at your ob/GYN’s office, you can expect to get your test results back within 3 days Your doctor’s office will likely send your urine sample out to a laboratory to do the testing and call you as soon as the results come back.
In pregnant women, abnormal glucose (sugar) levels in the urine may indicate gestational diabetes. Abnormal protein levels, especially when combined with other symptoms like high blood pressure and headaches, may indicate preeclampsia. Frequent urine tests are important during this time to closely monitor for these and other health risks.
In all women, abnormal ketone levels may be a sign of undereating or dehydration. Abnormal white blood cell counts may be a sign of a bacterial infection, and abnormal red blood cell counts may be a sign of kidney stones or a bladder infection. Abnormal nitrite levels may indicate a urinary tract infection, especially if you are also experiencing burning, pain, or discomfort during urination. Abnormal bilirubin levels may be a sign of liver disease. If you receive abnormal urine test results for any of these factors, your doctor will likely ask you to come back and follow up with additional testing before making a diagnosis or treatment plan.
Make an appointment for a urine test today
It might be a little embarrassing, but urine testing is a routine and important part of gynecological care. These tests can tell you a lot of information about your reproductive health and overall health!
If you would like to get tested for STDs, UTIs, pregnancy, or other health conditions, or you are experiencing any unusual smells, colors, or pain while urinating, contact us about urine testing today. Call us to make an appointment with our team of women’s health professionals and take control of your gynecological health. If you already have an appointment scheduled, a urine test can also be performed as part of your annual checkup and pelvic exam.