How to Test for a Urinary Tract Infection


Urinary tract infections can be painful and inconvenient. The tell-tale burn when you're going to the bathroom is often indicative of a urinary tract infection, or UTI. There are two ways to test for a UTI: with a home kit or a test that is done at the doctor's office. If you have a urinary tract infection, you may need to take antibiotics to clear it up.

Testing for a UTI

Purchase a home urinary tract infection test kit at your local pharmacy.

The kits are relatively inexpensive and are usually located on the same aisle as incontinence products. The tests are very simple to use, and usually come with multiple testing strips that can tell you whether or not you have an infection.

If you discover you do have an infection, visit your doctor. Whether you've performed an in-home test or not, your doctor will perform a quick urinalysis to confirm a urinary tract infection.

You will be asked to collect a urine specimen for the urinalysis. This requires you to urinate into a cup and return it to the nurse or lab practitioner for testing. You will usually receive the results of the test within approximately 15 minutes.

If you are prescribed an antibiotic, take it as directed.

Even if your UTI begins to feel better before you finish all of the antibiotic, it is important for you to finish all of the antibiotic medication you are given so that your urinary tract infection doesn't come back.

If your symptoms do not get better after antibiotic therapy, contact your doctor.

Tips & Warnings

  • A good indicator that you have a urinary tract infection is the sign of blood or pus in your urine. The urine may have a pinkish tinge or may appear noticeably cloudy.
  • To help ease the pain of a UTI, drink cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is soothing to the urinary tract and can help prevent the recurrence of a UTI.
  • Over-the-counter supplements like AZO are also good at relieving the symptoms of a urinary tract infection very quickly.

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