Urine Dipstick Test

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.

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  • Krogsboll LT, Jorgensen KJ, Gotzsche PC; Screening with urinary dipsticks for reducing morbidity and mortality. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 28 1:CD010007. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010007.pub2.
  • Krogsboll LT; Guidelines for screening with urinary dipsticks differ substantially - a systematic review. Dan Med J. 2014 Feb 61(2):A4781.
  • Fertility Awareness Methods; Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (June 2015 - updated November 2015)
Dr Jacqueline Payne
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Document ID:
29418 (v1)
Last Checked:
02 June 2017
Next Review:
29 June 2020

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.