by Carson-DeWitt R

Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

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.
Male Urinary System
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
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:

References

Urinary tract infections in adults. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/ . Updated January 2011. Accessed August 22, 2013.

Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/utiadult/ . Updated May 24, 2012. Accessed August 22, 2013.

Revision Information

Health Library Search

Only show results from the selected categories.











Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the stomach and intestines. It can lead to: Treatment for H. pylori is done with antibiotics and ot...

You have been admitted to the hospital for surgery. You and your family or friends may have many feelings, like anxiety or nervousness, about the surgery. Rest assured th...

Enterococci are bacteria that commonly live in: In some cases, it can cause an infection. When this happens, the antibiotic vancomycin may be given to cure the infection...

The urinary tract carries urine from the kidneys to the outside of the body. It includes the kidneys, bladder, and tubes that connect them. The tubes from the kidney to b...

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a potentially serious infection that resists antibiotics. MRSA can affect the skin, blood, bones, or lungs. A person...

If you are pregnant, you should know about group B strep infection. Find out how this infection can endanger newborns and how a simple screening test can help protect you...