Urinalysis is a simple laboratory test to assess the physical and biochemical properties of a urine sample. The composition of urine can reflect how well the urinary tract is functioning. Urinalysis can also detect certain substances that are associated with both urine and kidney disorders, as well as other diseases such as diabetes.
Urinalysis is usually performed with a urine dipstick, which is a thin plastic strip containing various chemical pads known as reagents that react to substances like glucose, protein, and blood in the urine. The strip reacts with the urine and changes color depending on the concentration of the substance in the urine. Urinalysis can also be performed using a urine analyzer which is a small machine that can automatically read the test strip and provide a printout of the results.
If the results indicate abnormalities, sometimes urinalysis is carried out in a laboratory where the urine sample is viewed under a microscope to investigate if tiny particles such as cells or bacteria are present. This can indicate infections or abnormalities within the urinary tract.