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What Is a Routine Urinalysis?

Blood in the urine may be detected during an urinalysis.
Urine is viewed under a microscope.
Blood in the urine can indicate an enlarged prostate.
A specimen container with urine.
A routine urinalysis may detect kidney stones.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2014
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The procedure for a routine urinalysis involves examining a sample of urine that is taken from the patient to determine that all basic functions within the body are operating normally. The standard method of analyzing the patient's urine is typically done by close examination under a microscope at a laboratory. In most cases, routine urinalysis is recommended on a yearly or semi-annual basis as part of a general examination—doctors might recommend this procedure be done in people over the age of 40. Many conditions that are present, yet go undetected by the patient, can often be traced and diagnosed through urine testing. Some physicians feel this is also a means of prevention, as detecting high levels of enzymes or proteins in the urine can indicate a need for an intervention of some sort.

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When a patient visits the doctor complaining of symptoms that might indicate a urinary tract infection, the doctor might recommend having a routine urinalysis to see if bacteria are present. By the same means, if a female patient shows symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection, the physician might ask for a routine urinalysis to determine if excessive amounts of yeast cells are present. By having a routine urinalysis as part of a physical exam, the patient can also receive knowledge of any potential disease within the liver, kidneys or bladder. Urine testing can also be done to determine if pre-existent conditions or diseases are evident in the patient, such as diabetes. It can also show an abnormality of increased levels of white blood cells, which could be indicative of several conditions, such as anemia.

If a laboratory technician finds blood in the urine sample during microscope testing, this could indicate several conditions which might require special treatment. The physician might diagnose an enlarged prostate in a male patient or perhaps kidney stones or an infection within the kidneys itself. Routine urinalysis is indicated for most pre-surgical procedures. This is to ensure there is no presence of infection evident at the time of a scheduled surgery. If the doctor or surgeon suspects infection, the operation might need to be postponed.

Many employment agencies require routine urinalysis work to be completed before the hiring process can be fulfilled. This is to ensure that there are no illegal substances in the potential employee's system. There are certain drugs or prescription medications that could interfere with the accuracy of the test results of a routine urinalysis. For this reason, it is best for the patient to advise the doctor of any medications he or she might be using at the time of the urine test.

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