Stool Sample Collection

Q: How many samples do I have to submit for the test?

A: Two samples from three different bowel movements.

Q: Do I have to take the samples on three different days or can the samples be taken on the same day?

A: It does not matter, as long as the samples are taken from three separate bowel movements.

Q: How do I get a sample?

A: Your kit has three wooden sticks inside the envelope. When you have a bowel movement, use the end of one applicator stick to glide over a section of the stool. Only a very small amount is needed (enough to place a thin smear) which is then placed in the box labeled "A" of the test slide. The other end of the applicator stick is then used to glide over another section of stool, which is placed in the box labeled "B" of the test slide. Do not perform this test if there is visible blood in the stool or bowl. See your physician.

Q: Do I take two samples from the same stool?

A: Yes, for each bowel movement to be tested simply take a sample from each end of the stool. Place the first sample in Box A and the second sample in Box B.

Q: What if I have diarrhea? How can I take a sample?

A: Only a small smear will be needed, so use the stick to dip into an area of the stool. The other end of the stick can then be used to dip into another area. Diarrhea will not affect the accuracy of the test.

Q: If I only have a bowel movement once every three days will the first two samples still be good?

A: Most likely, yes, but in order for the test to be reliable, stool samples should be processed as soon as possible. We recommend a high fiber diet to increase your number of stools.

Q: Is it all right if the stool is in urine or water when I take the sample?

A: Yes. The simplest way is to take a sample directly from the stool in the toilet bowl.

Q: Will bowl cleaner affect the sample?

A: It may. It would be best to flush your toilet several times before defecating if you are concerned.

Last modified: 07/31/97

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