Exams and Tests
If you have symptoms of a
urinary tract infection (UTI), your first evaluation
by a doctor will likely include:
Your doctor may order a
urine culture to confirm the diagnosis of a suspected
UTI. But if your symptoms, medical history, and urinalysis make the presence of
an uncomplicated urinary tract infection likely, your
doctor may have you begin treatment with antibiotics without waiting for the
results of a urine culture.
A doctor may order a urine
- For women with unusual UTI symptoms, such as
symptoms that last longer than 7 days, or symptoms of a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
- For men before and after
treatment for a UTI.
- For anyone older than 65 with UTI
- If you have diabetes, an
impaired immune system, or structural problems in your
- If your UTI symptoms return after 3 days of
treatment. A urine culture can identify what type of bacteria is causing the
infection, so that the most effective antibiotic for that bacteria can be
- After treatment for a UTI in people who have kidney
infections (pyelonephritis), to make sure the infection is
- To screen young girls for
If you are pregnant, your doctor may order a urine
- If you have UTI symptoms.
- After treatment for a
- To screen for asymptomatic bacteriuria.
Tests used less frequently
If the infection does
not respond to treatment with antibiotics or recurs rapidly, if the infection
complicated by other factors, or, in some cases, if
the kidneys are infected, your doctor may order other tests to:
- Look for the cause of recurrent or chronic
- Check for other kidney problems.
structural problems of the urinary tract that might make you more likely to get
- Find out whether the infection is caused by unusual
- Find out whether you have an
impaired immune system.
If you get UTIs often, your doctor may write you a
standing prescription for antibiotics that you can fill without a doctor's
appointment. Then when you first have symptoms of a UTI, you can start taking
medicine right away. You may want to use a
home test for UTI to make sure you have an infection
before you start antibiotics.