FAQ Urine Test Strips

Frequently asked questions about strips for testing urine 

Here are the most frequently asked questions our customer support team receive about urine test strips, where to buy them and how to use and read the results.

Where can I buy urine test strips?

Urine test strips can be bought online. We have an extensive range of urine testing strips available to buy through this website. They can also be purchased online through other medical supplier websites. 

What can urine test strips detect?

Urine test strips can be used to detect the following:

  • Urine infections
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Dehydration
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking detection (Cotinine test)
  • Ovulation
  • Pregnancy 
  • Menopause
  • Ketosis

How to use a urine test strip?

urine test strip how to use

To use a URS urine test strip as shown aboveincluding a glucose or ketone tests strip simply collect a fresh urine sample and dip the test strip in the urine for 5-10 seconds. Make sure to wet all the reagent pads  so that all the tests run. Then remove the test strip from the urine and read the results at the time specified in the instructions. This is usually between 30-120 seconds for most urine reagent test strips. 

To use a lateral flow urine test strips such as a drug test strip, a pregnancy test strip, an ovulation test strip, a menopause test strip dip the test strip into the urine to the marker indicated on the test strip, but no further. Keep the test strip immersed in the urine for 5-10 seconds to absorb sufficient urine to run the test. Then remove the tests trips from the urine sample and lay it flat on a clean surface. The result should be read at the time specified in the instructions. This will vary depending on what the urine testing strip tests for.

How to read urine tests strips results?

how to use urine test strips

How to read the results on the urine test strips depends on the type of urine test strips that you are using.

All URS urine reagent test strips are read in a similar way. To read the result you compare the colour of the pads to the corresponding chart on the side of the container at the specified read time for the correct pad. See colour chart on urine test strips bottle.

To read a urine drug test strip you should have a clear white background in the results zone of the test strip, and a clear control line showing at the specified read time (usually between 2-5 minutes after starting the test). On a urine drug test strip two lines ( a control C line and a test line T) is a negative result ie no drug was detected. One line (control line C only and no test line T) is a positive result meaning the drug was detected. No lines visible at the read time for the urine drug test strip is an invalid result.

urine ovulation test strips result

All other lateral flow urine test strips including pregnancy test strips, ovulation test strips (shown above) and menopause FSH test strips (excludes drug tests) are read differently. The read time for the urine test strip is usually between 2-5 minutes but two lines ( a control C line and a test line T) is a positive result. One line (control line C only and no test line T) is a negative result. No lines visible at the read time for the urine test strip is an invalid result.

What do the colours mean on a URS urine test strip ?

Each pad on the URS urine test strip corresponds to a different test and the colour change indicates the level. To interpret the colour changes you need to refer to the container that the urine testing strips where supplied in.

How to read urine test strips for UTI?

To detect a UTI using a urine test strip you need to look for the following:

  • Leucocytes (white blood cells a sign of urine infection)
  • Protein (usually elevated in a urinary tract infection)
  • Nitrites-produced when there is a UTI

In severe infection red blood cells (blood) may also be present. Although if a woman is menstruating this will also show as red blood cells. Red blood cells (known as microscopic haematuria) may also be caused by other conditions such as kidney stones, kidney and bladder diseases including cancer, and are not specific for UTI. 

How accurate are urine test strips?

If used correctly, and the manufacturer's instructions followed, urine test strips can be relied upon to give very accurate test results. They are widely used globally to provide rapid onsite screening for many common conditions and have a proven track record having been available for many years.

However all urine test strips have a small failure rate, and if the results do not match clinical symptoms or suspicions, then further testing and investigations should be moved to without delay. To obtain the most accurate results with urine test strips, ideally never use urine test strips beyond their use by date, always store them correctly and only remove them from their packaging immediately prior to use.

How do urine test strips work?

URS urine reagent strips, have chemical agents embedded into the pads on the urine test strip, which react with the chemicals in the urine being tested, causing a colour change that varies with the concentration of the chemical in the urine sample. 

Lateral flow urine test strips, utilise the flow of urine and a dye chemical reagent, across a test membrane, embedded with binding sites in a line, either blocking or binding a dye reagent to the test area.The result shows as one or two lines. This is similar to how a lateral flow Covid test works. 

Where to buy urine glucose test strips?

Urine glucose tests strips are available to buy online either individually, or as part of a multi test urine test strips for example a URS8 8 parameter urine test strip which tests for 8 substances including glucose, or a URS10 10 parameter urine test strip which tests for 10 substances including glucose.

Can you use human urine test strips on dogs?

Are human and dog urine test strips the same? As vets bills can be expensive in the UK, this is a common question about urine tests strips that our customer support team are frequently asked. Many customers wish to know if they can use human urine test strips to test their dogs for general health conditions like diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease. 

While the interpretation of the results may be different for dogs and humans, the human urine test strips will usually give a good indication of the levels of the different substances tested for in dogs. 

What is SG on a urine test strip?

SG on a urine test strips stands for specific gravity. this is an indication of how concentrated the urine sample is. If the specific gravity is high it means the urine is more concentrated than usual and may be an indication that an individual is dehydrated or not drinking enough. A test for specific gravity SG is on most URS 10 urine test strips

If the specific gravity is low it can be an indication that too many fluid are being consumed. This can be useful if someone is on IV fluids, as it can be as sign that too much fluid is being given. 

SG specific gravity is a also a useful indicator to measure when performing urine drug testing, as it can be an indication that a urine sample has been diluted with tap water, or that over consumption of fluid has occurred, maybe in an attempt to wash the drugs out of system. A test for specific gravity of urine is included on most urine drug test adulteration test strips, and is also now included in many urine drug test cups.

Are ketone urine test strips accurate?

Ketone urine test strips give you an indication of whether or not you are have been in ketosis, and are a reasonably accurate way of monitoring this. However they are not as accurate a ketone test as a blood test for ketones. 

Can urine test strips detect pregnancy?

Simple answer is yes, provided that the urine test strip detects beta hcg  (known as the pregnancy hormone) which is the hormone that all home pregnancy tests detect. During early pregnancy this hormone is excreted in increasing amounts in the urine, and can be detected on a pregnancy test strip. This is how most pregnancies are diagnosed. 

Can you buy urine test strips over the counter or from a chemist?

can you buy urine test strips over the counter

Urine test strips are widely available to buy over the counter online in the UK in small packs, however the URS 10 parameter urine reagent test strips in pots of 100 are not widely available in pharmacies and chemists in the UK, and will usually need to be purchased through a medical supply company.

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