How to Do a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

A FIT is a test used to check your stool for blood. There are many reasons you may have blood in your stool. Your healthcare provider will tell you why you’re having the test.

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Getting Ready for Your FIT

Follow these instructions to get ready for your FIT:

  • You don’t need to avoid any foods or medications before your FIT.
  • If you have any toilet cleaners or chemicals in your toilet bowl or tank, take them out and flush the toilet 2 to 3 times. They may affect the results of your FIT.

Don’t collect stool samples for your FIT if you have any of the following:

  • Your test card is expired. Check the expiration date on your test card before collecting your stool sample.
  • Your test card is damaged or dirty.
  • You have hemorrhoids (swollen veins in your anus) that are bleeding.
  • You have blood in your urine (pee) or you see blood in the toilet bowl. If you see blood, call your healthcare provider.
  • You have your period, had your period in the past 3 days, or are expecting your period.
  • You have cuts on your hands that are bleeding.
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Collecting Your Sample

Follow these steps to collect your stool sample and do your FIT:

  1. Gather your supplies. Place them in the bathroom where you can reach them easily. You will need your:
  • Test card
  • Brush kit with 2 brushes and 1 waste bag
  • Return envelope
  • Label
  • Specimen bag
  • Trash can
  1. Flush the toilet 2 to 3 times before you collect your sample.
  2. Sit on the toilet to have a bowel movement (poop) as usual. Don’t flush the toilet after your bowel movement.
  3. Lift the front flap of your test card. You will see 2 white squares labeled “1” and “2” (see Figure 1).
    Figure. 1: Lift the flap on your test card

    Figure 1. Lift the flap on your test card

  4. Using one of the brushes from your brush kit, gently brush the surface of your stool for about 5 seconds (see Figure 2).
    • If your stool is loose, stir the water around the stool with your brush for 5 seconds.
      Figure 2. Brush the surface of your stool

      Figure 2. Brush the surface of your stool

  5. Remove the brush from the water. Gently shake it over the toilet to remove extra water and any clumps of stool.
  6. Rub the brush inside the square marked “1” on your test card (see Figure 3). Place the brush in the waste bag.
    Figure 3. Rub the brush inside the square marked “1”

    Figure 3. Rub the brush inside the square marked “1”

  7. Using the other brush, repeat steps 5 to 6. Then, rub the brush inside the square marked “2” on your test card. Place the brush in the waste bag and throw it away.
  8. Flush the toilet.
  9. Wash your hands. Wet your hands with warm water, then rub them with soap for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands well under warm running water.
  10. Close the flap of the test card. Check that the information on the label your healthcare provider gave you is correct. Place the label on the test card. Make sure to place it within the dotted lines so the flap doesn’t open.
  11. Write the date and time of your collection on the label on the specimen bag.
  12. Place your test card in the specimen bag. Then, place the specimen bag in the pre-paid envelope your healthcare provider gave you. The mailing address is on the envelope.
  13. Mail the envelope.
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