If you think you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), your doctor will want to discuss your medical history and current symptoms. A physical exam will be done. You will be asked to provide a clean catch urine specimen. You will start by cleaning the area around the urethra with wipes. This area is the tip of the penis in men and between the labia in women. Then, you will begin urinating in the toilet, then stop and continue urinating into a sterile specimen cup.
Urine tests include:
- Urine dip—This is often done right in your doctor’s office. A dipstick coated with special chemicals is dipped into the urine sample, and areas on it change color to indicate the presence of blood, pus, bacteria, or other materials. This is a quick, but general, test.
- Microscopic urinalysis—The urine is examined under a microscope for the presence and quantity of things such as red blood cells, white blood cells (pus), and bacteria. This is a more accurate way to diagnose a UTI.
- Urine culture and sensitivity test—A urine sample is sent to a laboratory to see if bacteria will grow. When the bacteria have been identified, an appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed, or your doctor can make sure that you are on the right antibiotic.
More extensive testing of the urinary system may be needed for men or children who develop UTIs. Additionally, if your doctor is concerned that you have any structural problems with your urinary tract system, or other conditions such as urinary stones, vesicoureteral reflux, enlarged prostate, tumors, or polyps, you may be asked to have further testing.
Such testing may include:
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -