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Urine specimen cup: Who invented this ish?

Ladies, how often have you had to give a urine specimen? In early pregnancy, it’s at least once a month for each visit and can be more depending on if they need a urinalysis or urine culture. Have you ever said to yourself “why is this an obstacle course? A comedy of errors.” If somebody had it on tape how we manage to give this sample, it would be as funny as the Three Stooges. I’ll share one of my recent experiences.

One day at the lab, the dr ordered a UA and urine culture. Mind you, I was 6 months preggers at that point in time. Back in the day, you used to could perform a clean catch into one container to knock out both tests. Why did this lady give me TWO cups and multiple sterile wipe packets instructing me to urinate in one of the cups, then cut the stream of urine off to then rip open the 3 wipes to wipe 3 times and then release the remainder of my bladder into the second cup. Huh? You should’ve seen my face. I’m like “ma’am, I will try but you do realize that I have a belly and am expecting right?!” By the grace of God and a strong history of Kegel exercises, I was able to successfully accomplish this goal. I think I should be in the Guinness Book of World records lol. Now as I approach 9 months, if they were to ask me, I probably would not be able to “turn the motor off”. I can barely even see the cup and thank goodness for hand soap. I know some of us have missed a drip or two outside of the cup.

So back to the original question, who invented this cup? It had to be a man as it would seem so simple for them to collect specimen into this cup. Urine collection and analysis dates all the way back to the times of Hippocrates. Here’s a little history for you. Although Hippocrates is credited with being the original uroscopist, urine diagnosis is believed to pre-date Hippocrates. But how was urine collected back in the ancient days. I’ve read about tablets being used to collect urine back in the BC times and seen pictures of urologists/scientists/doctors with glass flasks or graduated cylinders in AD times. Analyzing it by taste, smell, and even seeing how ants react to it in order to provide a diagnosis. Around the 17th century, “uroscopy” or the use of urine as primary source for diagnosis started to decline and not be encouraged. Apparently, some folks started using urine for fortune-telling and author Thomas Brian wanted no parts of it. Ever wonder where the term “pissy” comes from? It actually stems from Brian who wrote published a book called “Pisse Prophet” that focused on why many were against using urine for medical analysis and other ways. Just a little urine background history for you. Show off at Thanksgiving dinner with that piece of knowledge. (For more info, visit https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0085253815523806. “Urinalysis in Western culture: A brief history”. J.A. Armstrong, 1 March 2007. Kidney International)

Reflecting back even to my childhood, I think my first sample was when I was like 6 or 7. My grandma escorted me to the bathroom and held the cup as I went. She ended using every curse word in her vocabulary because I pretty much went all over her hand lol. The good ole days. So it was even a challenge with assist.

In closing, I think that’s going to be my next task. To invent a better cup or way to obtain urine especially for us women/moms. What do you guys think? Is it easy or a challenge?


~Yo! Mama

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