At certain times in your life, your doctor will ask you to provide a stool sample. This procedure can be used to diagnose a variety of serious gastrointestinal (related to the stomach and intestines) diseases, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, and even cancer. Even though it may feel uncomfortable, examination through feces can ensure that the body's health is in optimal condition.
Part 1 of 2: Preparing for Sampling
Step 1. Avoid using drugs that can affect the sample
Stool samples should be solid so avoid taking certain medications before collecting them. The drugs in question are anything that can soften stools, such as Pepto Bismol, Maalox, mineral oil, antacids, and Norit. Also, delay taking a stool sample if you have recently ingested Barrium Swallow, a metal compound used to look for abnormalities in the esophagus and stomach during X-ray procedures.
Step 2. Consult a doctor
The doctor will provide the equipment needed to collect the stool sample, including a container to store it. Ask about the stool sampling procedure and whether you will get a toilet “cap”. Follow the doctor's instructions and carefully read all instructions on the equipment received.
Keep in mind that latrine water, urine, toilet paper, and soap can damage stool samples so be sure to find ways to protect the feces from becoming contaminated by these things. Set up a way to catch the dirt sample first
Step 3. Equip the toilet with a toilet cap
A toilet cap is a plastic device that is shaped like the name suggests, and is used to catch feces from getting into the toilet water. Ask if your doctor has one available, as this will make the stool removal process easier. The size of the toilet cap will fit the top of the toilet seat.
To put the toilet cap in place, lift the toilet seat, then place the cap on the pot, and close the seat again. Position yourself on top of the pot that is covered by the toilet cap
Step 4. Cover the vase with plastic wrap
If the doctor does not provide a toilet cap, the urn can also be covered with plastic wrap. To use plastic wrap, lift the toilet seat and place the plastic stretched over the pot. Cover the toilet seat over the plastic wrap to help lock it.
- Plastic can also be glued to the sides of the pot for added protection.
- Push the plastic to form a small hollow for the sample to be collected before defecating.
Step 5. Spread a sheet of newsprint over the vase
As a last resort, large newsprints can also be used to collect dirt samples. To use it, lift the toilet seat and place the newspaper stretched over the urn, then close the toilet seat again to lock it.
- Newspaper can also be glued to the side of the vase so it doesn't move out of place.
- Also, push the center of the newspaper down to create a place to collect the sample.
Step 6. Perform defecation on the collection device
Be sure to urinate first so that the sample is not contaminated. Cover the toilet with plastic wrap or a toilet cap, both at home and at the doctor's office. Check whether all samples have been collected and not exposed to latrine water.
Part 2 of 2: Handling Samples
Step 1. Store the sample in the stool pot
Open one of the stool pots the doctor gave you. There should be a small spade-shaped tool pinned to the lid of the pot. Use the small shovel to scoop some dirt into the pot. Try to pick up dirt from both ends and the middle.
The sample size required will vary depending on the tests performed. Doctors will sometimes give you a stool pot with red lines and fluid in it. You will need to put enough dirt into the pot so that the liquid level rises until it reaches the red line. If not, try to take a sample that is about the size of a grape
Step 2. Dispose of the sample collector
Throw the contents of the toilet cap/plastic wrap into the latrine. Flush the dirt in the latrine, then throw the toilet cap/plastic wrap and other trash into the trash can. Tie a plastic trash knot, and place it out of your olfactory reach.
Step 3. Store the sample in the refrigerator
The sample should be returned to the doctor immediately if possible. Otherwise, the sample should be stored in the refrigerator. Put the pot containing the dirt in a plastic seal and put it in the refrigerator. Provide a label containing the name, date and time of sampling. Consider using opaque plastic (not translucent) so others can't see the contents of the stool.
Step 4. Return the sample to the doctor as soon as possible
You should not delay the return of the sample to the doctor for more than 24 hours for any reason. Bacteria in feces will grow and develop. Doctors will generally request that the sample be returned within two hours to get an accurate result.
Follow developments with the doctor to find out the results of the stool sample examination
- For hygiene reasons, wear latex gloves when collecting samples.
- The rectal swab procedure is sometimes considered a more practical and convenient alternative to stool sampling. However, there are several questions regarding the success rate of this method in detecting some health problems. Follow the advice given by the doctor.
- The liquid contained in the collection device is highly toxic. Wash hands thoroughly when finished collecting samples and don't drink the liquid.