You can collect a urine sample at any time of day, unless your GP or practice nurse advises you otherwise.
The types of urine sample you might be asked for include a random specimen, first morning specimen or timed collection.
To collect a clean urine sample:
- label the container with your name, date of birth and the date
- wash your hands
- start to urinate, but don’t collect the first part of urine that comes out
- collect a sample of urine "mid-stream" (see below) in a sterile screw-top container
- screw the lid of the container shut
- wash your hands thoroughly
If your doctor gives you any other instructions, follow these.
What is a mid-stream urine sample?
A mid-stream urine sample means that you don’t collect the first or last part of urine that comes out. This reduces the risk of the sample being contaminated with bacteria from:
- your hands
- the skin around the urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body)
Storing a urine sample until you hand it in
If you can’t hand your urine sample in within an hour, you should keep it in the fridge at around 4C (39F) for no longer than 24 hours. Put the container of urine in a sealed plastic bag first. If the urine sample isn’t kept in a fridge, the bacteria in it can multiply. If this happens, it could affect the test results.