Who knew that urine was so important?  Not only can it tell you that you’re pregnant, e.g. by urine hcg, but it can also reveal a host of other information throughout your pregnancy.  Before the birth of your baby your OB or midwife is likely to ask you to pee in a cup several times or during every monthly checkup.  In fact, urinalysis tests have become so routineduring prenatal care that you’ll be an expert at aiming into that little white cup in no time.  So why do you need to collect your pee?  Read on.

Urinalysis BasicsPrenatal Tests 101 Urinalysis and Urine hCG
This test can be a quick indicator of more serious issues.  Once your urine is collected in a cup, your OB or midwife can insert testing strips that then screen for indicators.  Urinalysis tests are very simple.  At the office, you’ll be handed a small, sterile white cup and directed towards the bathroom.  They will usually also hand you a pen to write your name on the cup. Then you sit on the golden throne and fill the cup.  It’s a good idea to aim to fill it 2/3rds of the way full;  while some offices have a designated spot in the bathroom to place the cup, others ask that you return the cup, which means you’ve got to walk with your pee down a hallway—and who wants to get pee on their hand?  Typically, urinalysis tests are completed in the doctor’s office, so you should have the results before the end of your exam.  If any results appear abnormal, your doctor will recommend further testing to confirm or rule out a variety of possibilities which may range from gestational diabetes to a urinary tract infection.

What can Urinalysis Tests Screen For?
As far as tests go, urine testing acts as a fortune teller of sorts.  Since urine contains cells leaving the body, these cells can provide a wide variety of valuable information.  The urinalysis is most focused on testing for varying levels of urine hcg, bacteria, ketones, sugar, and proteins.  Urinalysis can screen for:

  • Bladder Infections
  • Dehydration
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Infections, including UTIs
  • Preeclampsia

How do Urinalysis Tests Identify Problems?
Urinalysis tests screenfor four elements in the urine: bacteria, ketones, sugar, and protein.  Healthcare professionals test for bacteria to determine if a UTI, or urinary tract infection, is present.  If you test positive for bacteria, your doctor or OB will most likely recommend antibiotics.  If your urinalysis reveals high levels of ketones, this suggests you may be experiencing dehydration.  On the other hand, high levels of sugar may indicate gestational diabetes.  Finally, if protein is found in your urine, this may be the result of a kidney infection, which further tests can confirm.  If protein is detected late in your pregnancy, this may be a warning sing of preeclampsia, which is a serious condition that your doctor will discuss with you.

Risks Associated with Urinalysis
There are no known risks of urinalysis.  There are risks however if you don’t submit your urine to be screened.  The whole aim of urinalysis tests is to identify any potential problems and correct them before they become serious issues.

Although it may be uncomfortable, always remember to drink a full glass of water before your monthly check-ups to ensure that you can provide enough urine to comfortably make it to the 2/3rds full mark.  If you can’t provide urine for the test, you’ll most likely be asked to return so the test can be completed at a later date.  Remember: being proactive is always a winning strategy when it comes to your health.  And best of all?  Regular urinalysis tests allow you to monitor your health or urine hcg without the pins and pricks of needles.