A stool test is a means of analyzing the fecal matter in order to diagnose the presence or absence of some specific medical conditions. Many times, patients suffering from persistent stomach problems are prescribed for a stool analysis test by doctors. However, there are several other symptoms that make doctors recommend the test. These are:
- Diarrhea lasting for several days
- Throwing up
In addition to those mentioned above, a concerned doctor might be more involved when:
- You are having a weakened immune system functions
- You have eaten contaminated food or water
- You have travelled outside the country or away from your hometown
- Symptoms are severe in intensity
The Stool Test Sample
Doctor will provide you a special container to bring a sample of your poop for diagnosis. Sometimes, an additional urine sample might also be required along with a sample of your feces. Containers given for collecting the sample might come with a label highlighting your name and date of birth.
Tips While Collecting Sample for a Stool Analysis Test
Follow these tips while collecting a sample of your poop for the stool test:
- Don’t Use your Hands – You need to use a disposable small spoon or a spatula to place the poop sample inside the container.
- Don’t Overfill the Container – It’s not a good idea to overfill the container with poop because only a small amount of poop, resembling the size of a walnut is required.
- Ensure the Poop Doesn’t touch the Inner Surface of the Toilet – If your poop touch the inner surface of the toilet then it could pick up additional germs that might not belong to you.
- Place the Container inside a sealed plastic Bag – Once you’ve successfully filled the container with you poop, place it inside a plastic bag and seal it.
- Use something to catch your Poop – If your stool isn’t watery or loose then you could also spread some newspaper or plastic wrap over the toiler rim.
- Wash your Hands Properly–After you’ve successfully collected the poop sample, wash your hands properly with soap and clean water.
How Long you Need to Wait?
Once you deposit your sample to the lab, it is smeared inside a dedicated plate. It helps in the growth of bacteria to be identified, if any, later. Later, it is observed by placing it under a microscope. Typically, you might need to wait for 1 or 2 days for getting the results of the stool analysis test.
What the Results Mean?
The results of your stool test can be one of the any two mentioned below:
- Negative – This means that the test is perfectly normal. No germs were found in the poop and you are free from any kind of infection.
- Positive – Your feces is infected by some kind of germ, bacteria or virus. Prescription will be based on the type of infection.