How to Collect a Stool Sample Using a Stool Collection Kit

Time to Read: About 1 minute

This information will teach you how to collect a stool (poop) sample at home using a stool collection kit. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about what they will test your stool sample for. They’ll also give you the supplies you need.

You must bring your sample to a lab within 24 hours (1 day) of collecting it.

How to Collect the Sample

  1. Wash your hands. Wet your hands and apply soap. Rub your hands together well for at least 20 seconds, then rinse. Dry your hands with a paper towel and use that same towel to turn off the faucet.
  2. Gather your supplies. You’ll need:
  • Collection hat
  • Wooden stick
  • Biohazard bag
  • Prelabeled specimen cup(s)

Place them in the bathroom where you can reach them easily.

  1. Lift the toilet seat. Place the collection hat on the toilet bowl rim. Close the toilet seat on the collection hat. This will hold the collection hat in place.
  2. Sit on the toilet to have a bowel movement (poop) as usual. Don’t pee on your stool or in the collection hat.
  3. Using the wooden stick, place 2 to 3 small scoopfuls of stool into each specimen cup(s).
  4. Place the specimen cup(s) inside the plastic biohazard bag.
  5. Throw away the collection hat and wooden stick.
  6. Wash your hands again.

After You Collect the Sample

Store the biohazard bag with your stool sample at room temperature. Bring it to a lab within 24 hours of collecting the sample.

Your healthcare provider will tell you where to drop off the sample and when the lab is open. It’s best to bring it to a Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) lab, if you can. If you want to bring your sample to a lab closer to your home, talk with your healthcare provider.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

Last Updated

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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