Common Types of Lab Tests

Common Types of Lab Tests

According to the United States National Library of Medicine, the purpose of urine-analysis is to measure and detect various compounds that the body eliminates through the urination process. Doctors use these lab tests routinely. A urine sample provides an excellent picture of overall health and helps doctors to diagnose a specific condition.

The Three Components of Urine-Analysis

Various doctors and emergency room physicians routinely rely on three components to complete your urine analysis and other common lab tests. Your doctor’s laboratory assistant evaluates the physical, microscopic, and chemical appearance of your urine-analysis to help plan your care.

1. Visual Inspection – First, the lab technician makes a visual inspection of its color and whether it looks clear or cloudy.
2. Microscopic Analysis – Next, he or she looks at the sample under a microscope for mucus, bacteria, crystals, cells, or other germs and substances.
3. Chemical Analysis – The final step involves dipping a strip laced with chemicals into the urine. The chemicals cause the strip to change colors if they connect with anything suspicious. Your doctor then receives the results from the laboratory.

Urine Test for Pregnancy

If you’re a woman who suspects you may be pregnant, a urine pregnancy test can provide a positive result in as little as 10 days after conception. During early pregnancy, women’s bodies produce a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This hormone is present in the urine and blood.

Urinating onto a pregnancy test strip yields either a positive or negative result within minutes. However, some women who test very early may get a negative result when they are indeed pregnant. If this happens to you and you’re well past due for your period, schedule a repeat appointment for a urine pregnancy test.

Laboratory Strep Test

When your doctor suspects strep throat, he or she inserts a long cotton swab into the back of your throat to retrieve a bacteria sample. Although the swab is painless, it can cause a gag reflex. He or she then sends the results for testing, which can come back in as little as 15 minutes.

These are just a few typical examples of laboratory tests your doctor may order for you. The specific lab test depends on the severity and number of your symptoms. Your doctor or board-certified emergency room physician should explain the purpose of the analysis and set the expectation for when you should receive results.