Urine Dipstick Test

Authored by Dr Jacqueline Payne, 02 Jun 2017

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr Adrian Bonsall, 02 Jun 2017

A urine dipstick test is a test of urine, using a special strip of paper that is dipped into a sample of urine. The result is available almost immediately. It is sometimes called a rapid urine test.

You have an appointment to see a doctor and your letter asks you to take a sample of urine. You're pregnant and your midwife tells you always to take a sample of urine with you for any antenatal appointments.

Why is this? Well, urine is normally sterile - this means it's completely free of germs (bacteria) - and only has in it waste chemicals from all of the millions of chemical reactions that go on in your body all of the time.

Or that's how it should be. But in some conditions chemicals that shouldn't normally be there get through the filtering systems in your kidneys and get into your urine. This is where urine dipstick testing comes in.

Further reading and references

  • Krogsboll LT, Jorgensen KJ, Gotzsche PC; Screening with urinary dipsticks for reducing morbidity and mortality. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 281:CD010007. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010007.pub2.

  • Krogsboll LT; Guidelines for screening with urinary dipsticks differ substantially - a systematic review. Dan Med J. 2014 Feb61(2):A4781.

  • Fertility Awareness Methods; Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (June 2015 - updated November 2015)

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