Urinalysis is a common test that's done for several reasons:

  • To assess your overall health. Your doctor may recommend urinalysis as part of a routine medical exam, pregnancy checkup, pre-surgery preparation, or on hospital admission to screen for a variety of disorders, such as diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease.
  • To diagnose a medical condition. Your doctor may suggest urinalysis if you're experiencing abdominal pain, back pain, frequent or painful urination, blood in your urine or other urinary problems. Urinalysis may help diagnose the cause of these symptoms.
  • To monitor a medical condition. If you've been diagnosed with a medical condition, such as kidney disease or urinary tract disease, your doctor may recommend urinalysis on a regular basis to monitor your condition and treatment.

Other tests, such as pregnancy testing and drug screenings, also may require a sample of urine, but they test for substances that urinalysis typically doesn't include. For example, pregnancy testing measures a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Drug screenings detect specific drugs or their metabolic products, depending on the purpose of the testing.

Feb. 15, 2014