Urinalysis is the physical, chemical, and microscopic examination of urine. It involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine.
Urine appearance and color; Routine urine test
How the test is performed
A urine sample is needed. Your health care provider will tell you what type of urine sample is needed. For information on how to collect a urine sample, see:
24-hour urine collection Clean catch urine specimen
The sample is sent to a lab, where it examined for the following:
Physical color and appearance:
- What does the urine look like to the naked eye?
- Is it clear or cloudy?
- Is it pale or dark yellow or another color?
- The urine sample is examined under a microscope to look at cells, urine crystals, mucus, and other substances in the sample, and to identify any bacteria or other germs that might be present.
Review Date: 02/01/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.