How much feces can be stored in the refrigerator before being tested?

Fecal analysis collection How much to store feces in the refrigerator
Fecal analysis storage conditions

If you want a detailed answer to the question, read below >>>

A coprogram is an analysis of feces that allows you to evaluate the functioning of the digestive tract. Using the coprogram, you can get important information about the state of human health. The interpretation of the result largely depends on whether the material was taken correctly. How to collect and store feces to get a reliable diagnosis?

Tanks for collecting material for analysis

Preparation and collection of analysis

The correct collection of feces analysis significantly affects the accuracy of the diagnosis. Even if all the rules of storage and transportation of the analysis are observed, an unreliable result can be obtained. If the collection technique has been violated at any stage, you can no longer vouch for the fidelity of the diagnosis. How to collect material for research?

  1. Prepare a sterile container. It is best to purchase a special container at the pharmacy. Some laboratories provide disposable analysis collection containers. Previously used glass jars of small volume, previously sterilized and dried. This method is possible, but pharmacy packaging is more convenient and costs only about 25 rubles. What is definitely not worth doing is to use disposable plastic dishes and containers that have already been used to analyze feces.
  2. Empty the bladder. Thoroughly treat the external genitalia and the anus with soapy water or furacilin. Rinse your skin with clean water.
  3. Use a clean and dry container (pot or vessel) for bowel movements.
  4. Take a small sample of feces (5 cm3) and transfer to a pre-prepared container. In pharmacy containers, a special spoon is provided for this. Some experts recommend collecting a sample for eggs of worms and giardia in several places, so the accuracy of the analysis increases.
  5. Close the container tightly.


If necessary, the attending physician will recommend a diet, namely to exclude fatty and salty foods with an abundance of spices. If no instructions have been received, there is no need to change the diet.

Fecal analysis can not be carried out at any time. It is forbidden to collect material for research in the following cases:

  • within 2 days after the cleansing enema;
  • within 2 days after x-ray contrast study of the digestive tract;
  • when using sorbents (activated carbon and others) for several hours before defecation;
  • in case of taking laxatives a day before the planned study;
  • when using rectal suppositories for therapeutic purposes;
  • in women during menstruation.

If the patient is forced to take any medications on an ongoing basis, you need to notify the doctor who will conduct the analysis.

How to help the body before collecting tests? Eat more light sour-milk products, lean on vegetables rich in fiber, prunes, drink water.



How to store feces?

To collect feces for any study should be early in the morning of the day when the analysis is planned to be delivered to the laboratory. In the morning you need to empty the intestines in compliance with all the rules for collecting material. Within the next few hours, the sample should be delivered to the clinic or laboratory in a clean, sterile container. You can deliver the material yourself or use the courier service (if it is provided in the laboratory).

Is it possible to collect fecal analysis the night before, and take it to the laboratory in the morning? This option is allowed. It should be noted that even in this case, no more than 8 hours should elapse between the collection of material for analysis and its delivery to the laboratory. Otherwise, the expected results of the coprogram may be unreliable.

How should fecal analysis be stored? It is recommended that the collected material be kept in the refrigerator. It is best to place the analysis on the middle shelf. Do not leave the container on the side shelves of the refrigerator or place it too close to the freezer. The optimal storage temperature of the container with intestinal contents is from +4 ºС to +8 ºС.

The container is placed in a paper bag or plastic bag. In the refrigerator, the container should not be in any way in contact with food.

It is strictly forbidden to freeze stool analysis! When freezing and subsequent defrosting, the material loses all its natural properties. Obtaining reliable information from such a study is almost impossible.

How much can the collected feces be stored in the refrigerator?

  • For coprograms, analysis for egg-worm and protozoa, the material is stored on the middle shelf of the refrigerator for a maximum of 6-8 hours.
  • Try to deliver feces for analysis for occult bleeding within 5-6 hours.
  • The most difficult for dysbiosis: reliable tests are carried out within 3, at most 6 hours after defecation, such material is collected on the day of inspection.

Consider the time that will need to be allocated to the road to the place of delivery of the container. If possible, use a refrigerator bag for transportation, or wrap the container with several layers of newspaper and cloth.

How to collect baby feces

Feces of a baby can be collected directly from a diaper or diaper, while urine should not be included in the analysis. The optimal time between the collection of feces and its delivery to the laboratory is 3 hours, but not always a childish unpredictable organism can provide this opportunity. Keep your baby’s and adult’s tests in the refrigerator for up to 6-8 hours.

Fecal Analysis Results

When is stool analysis not to be stored?

Not always collected material can be stored in the refrigerator. An analysis of feces for dysbiosis is collected only in the morning and immediately delivered to the clinic or laboratory. The material for determining the intestinal microflora should be fresh: not all bacteria can survive long-term storage. When examining a sample after 6 hours or more, the result will be unreliable.

How long is it allowed to store feces collected to determine the intestinal microflora? Most laboratories recommend not delaying the delivery of the sample. Feces for dysbiosis can be stored in the refrigerator or in an ice pack for no more than 4-6 hours. Freezing of the material is not allowed.


Keep the container lid tightly closed.

In any case, the sooner the sample is delivered to the study, the more reliable the result will be. Some laboratories insist that delivery of the container occurs within 2 hours after bowel movement.

Laboratory study of biomaterial

Why do you need to follow the rules?

Many people who freeze feces or leave it in the refrigerator for more than 8 hours receive incorrect analysis results. Why it happens? During long-term storage in the collected sample, various microorganisms begin to multiply. Some bacteria, in contrast, die during storage. The chemical properties of intestinal contents are also changing. All this ultimately leads to an incorrect interpretation of the results and the formulation of incorrect diagnoses.

A violation of the technique of collecting material for dysbiosis or for the identification of specific pathogenic microorganisms may turn out to be very critical. Long-term storage and especially freezing of the sample will lead to sowing absolutely incredible combinations of bacteria. In the best case, the doctor will send the patient for re-examination, at worst, he will begin the wrong treatment.To avoid this, it is necessary to observe all the subtleties of the collection of material and take into account the peculiarities of storing samples for various studies.

Scraping of the rectal mucosa


If it is not possible to collect fresh feces or keep it in the refrigerator, you can use alternative methods of collecting material for research. Instead of using containers, in some cases, you can take a scraping from the rectal mucosa, for example, when analyzing enterobiosis. The material is collected with a cotton swab, then placed in a closed tube. The sample is delivered to the laboratory within the next two hours.

Unfortunately, scraping the contents of the rectum reveals far from all diseases of the digestive tract. In some cases, the usual collection of samples in a container is indispensable. You will receive accurate information about the study from your doctor.

Read the article on how can urine analysis be stored

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How else can you collect biomaterial for analysis if you do not want to go to the toilet in the morning?