Home Test for Urinary Tract Infections
How To Prepare
Most home test kits for urinary tract
infections (UTIs) were originally designed for use in a health professional's
office or lab. Some pharmacies stock these test kits or can order them for you
without a prescription. Many types of home test kits can be ordered over the
A UTI test kit usually contains a clean collection cup,
special plastic dipsticks, and instructions that explain how to perform the
test. You will also need wipes or towelettes (to clean your genital area before
collecting a urine sample) and a clock that measures time in seconds.
For any home test, you should
follow some general guidelines:
- Check the expiration date on the package and
do not use a test kit after its expiration date. The chemicals in the kit may
not work properly after that date.
- Store the test kits as directed.
Many kits need to be stored in a refrigerator or other cool
- Read the instructions that come with your test carefully and
thoroughly before doing the test. Look for any special preparations you need to
take before you take the test, such as avoiding certain foods or limiting your
- Follow the directions exactly. Do all the steps,
in order, without skipping any of them.
- If a step in the test needs
to be timed, use a clock. Do not guess at the timing because this could change
- If you are
color-blind or have trouble telling one color from
another, have someone else read the test results for you. Most test results
depend on being able to see color changes on a test strip.
down the results of the test so you can talk to your doctor about them.
How It Is Done
Do not urinate for at least 4 hours
before testing. A first morning urine sample (that has collected in the bladder
overnight) provides the most accurate test results.
Test the urine
within 15 minutes of collecting the urine sample, or place the dipstick in the
urine stream as you are urinating.
Use a clean-catch midstream
urine sample for testing:
- Wash your hands to make sure they are clean
before collecting the urine.
- If the collection container has a lid,
remove it carefully and set it down with the inner surface up. Avoid touching
the inside of the container with your fingers.
- Clean the area
around your genitals.
- A man should retract the foreskin, if
present, and clean the head of his penis thoroughly with medicated towelettes,
wipes, or swabs.
- A woman should spread open the folds of skin
around her vagina with one hand, then use her other hand to clean the area
around her vagina and urethra thoroughly with medicated towelettes or swabs.
She should wipe the area from front to back to avoid contaminating the urethra
with bacteria from the anus.
- Begin urinating into the toilet or urinal. A
woman should continue to hold apart the folds of skin around the vagina while
- After the urine has flowed for several seconds, place
the collection container into the stream and collect 45 mL (3 Tbsp) to
60 mL (4 Tbsp) of this
"midstream" urine without interrupting the flow.
- Avoid touching the
rim of the container to your genital area, and avoid getting toilet paper,
pubic hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the
Test the urine sample according to the directions included
in the test kit package.