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Home Test for Urinary Tract Infections

How It Feels

There is no pain while collecting a urine sample. If you have pain or burning when you urinate, tell your doctor immediately.

Risks

There is no chance for problems while collecting a urine sample. If your symptoms continue or if your home test is positive and you do not follow up with your doctor, you may increase your chances of complications from a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Results

You can buy dipstick test kits without a doctor's order (nonprescription) to check for urinary tract infections (UTIs) at home. Results are ready right away.

Home test for urinary tract infections
Normal:

Nitrite dipstick test:

No nitrite is found in the urine. Normal results are called negative.

Leukocyte dipstick test:

No white blood cells (leukocytes) are found in the urine. Normal results are called negative.

Abnormal:

Nitrite dipstick test:

Nitrite is found in the urine. These results are called positive.

Leukocyte dipstick test:

White blood cells (leukocytes) are found in the urine. These results are called positive.

Call your doctor if the test result is positive.

What Affects the Test

There may be reasons you are not able to have this test or reasons why the results may not be helpful. One of the main reasons results may not be helpful is that the urine tested was not in your bladder for at least 4 hours before collecting the test sample.

What To Think About

  • A home test for a urinary tract infection (UTI) should be done under the direction of your doctor, so that abnormal test results caused by a problem other than a UTI will not be missed. Although a home test kit may detect the presence of a UTI, it can't provide information about the location of the infection. The infection may be in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra, or, in men, in the prostate gland camera.gif. More tests may be needed to determine the location and cause.
  • Positive test results do not always mean that you have an infection. If you have a positive test result, be sure to talk to your doctor. If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection but your self-test is negative, contact your doctor for an evaluation.
  • Home test kits are not 100% accurate. If you continue to have symptoms of a urinary tract infection even though the test results show you do not have an infection (negative result), tell your doctor. Painful urination can be caused by other problems, such as a vaginal yeast infection or sexually transmitted infection. Frequent urinary tract infections can be a symptom of a serious problem, such as kidney stones, a tumor, or infection of the prostate gland. Do not use a home test as a substitute for regular medical checkups.
  • Some doctors may order another UTI test through a laboratory before prescribing antibiotics to treat an infection found using a home test kit.
  • Do not use medicine left over from treating another infection to treat a new UTI. Also, if your doctor has given you antibiotics for a UTI, be sure to take all of the antibiotics in your prescription, even if your symptoms go away before the prescription is gone. A UTI can return or get worse if you do not take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Many types of home test kits can be ordered over the Internet. If you have access to the Internet, you can find this information by searching for the type of test or the name of the manufacturer.
  • Some home test kits may come with cranberry or blueberry capsules or other medicine for use after the test. Any medicines that are included in your kit are not a substitute for follow-up with your doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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