Laboratory Tests: Surviving the Embarrassment of Unconventional Tests

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How do I keep from embarrassing myself when my doctor wants a urine, stool, sputum or semen sample?

Laboratory Tests: Surviving the Embarrassment of Unconventional Tests

No one is thrilled to hear they need laboratory tests, but it is even more disconcerting if the doctor wants to test something besides blood. To properly diagnose some conditions, your doctor may need to test urine, stool, semen or sputum. How does a patient collect these samples with a minimum of embarrassment?

You can take comfort in the knowledge that your doctor is a professional. These are everyday matters in a doctor's office, and whatever it is, the doctor has probably seen it before. Still, finding a facility that works to maximize patient comfort in these situations is important. Before choosing a doctor, ask how they ensure your privacy and minimize any embarrassment.

Urine, stool and sputum can often be collected in the privacy of your own home. Be sure, however, that your doctor has given you detailed instructions so you don't contaminate your sample. And finally, be sure to wash your hands after collecting any sample.



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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.