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24-Hour Urine Collection

Why is this procedure done?

A 24-hour urine test can help your doctor learn how much urine your body makes in a day. It can also tell the doctor how much of a substance your body gets rid of in a day through your urine. This may be something like salts, protein, or a drug you are taking. ‚  
In order for these test results to be correct, it is important that all of your urine is collected over the 24 hours. Missing some of the urine will give false results to your doctor. ‚  

What will the results be?

The results are based on the kind of 24-hour urine test. Your doctor may know more about how well your kidneys are working. Other tests show how much of a kind of hormone or mineral is in your body. These can help your doctor learn more about your illness. ‚  

What happens before the procedure?

  • Your doctor will take your history. Talk to the doctor about:

    • All the drugs you are taking. Be sure to include all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements. Tell the doctor if you have any drug allergy. Bring a list of drugs you take with you.

    • Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain drugs before or during your 24-hour urine test. Some drugs can change the results of your test.

  • Your doctor will give you a cup to collect your urine and a large bottle to hold all your urine from a 24-hour period. The doctor will talk with you about how to collect your urine and how to store it until you bring the large bottle to the lab.

What happens during the procedure?

  • First thing in the morning, empty your bladder of urine into the toilet. Do not save this urine.

  • The next time you need to go, place the small cup into your urine stream. Collect all of your urine in the cup.

  • Empty the cup into the large collection bottle. Write down what time it is on the bottle. This is the start of your 24 hours. Keep the large bottle in the refrigerator.

  • Save all of your urine in the bottle for 24 hours. Be sure to empty your bladder one last time just before the end of the 24-hour period and add it to the bottle. Also at this time, write down the time of day on the urine bottle.

What happens after the procedure?

Take your urine to the lab as soon as possible. ‚  

What follow-up care is needed?

The results will help your doctor understand more about your health. Together you can make a plan for more care. ‚  

What problems could happen?

  • Forgetting to collect some of your urine

  • Spilling some of the urine when pouring it in the bottle

  • Collecting urine for more than 24 hours

  • Keeping your urine test bottle in a place that is too warm

Where can I learn more?

KidsHealth ‚ ‚  
Up-to-Date ‚ ‚  

Last Reviewed Date

2014-02-14 ‚  

List_set bdysylist

  • Genitourinary

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about conditions, illnesses, injuries, tests, procedures, treatments, therapies, discharge instructions or life-style choices that may apply to you. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about your health and treatment options. This information should not be used to decide whether or not to accept your health care provider 's advice, instructions or recommendations. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. ‚  


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