Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
If you think you have a urinary tract infection, your doctor will want to discuss your medical history and current symptoms, as well as to perform a physical examination. You will be asked to provide a “clean catch” urine specimen. You will start by cleaning the area around the urinary urethra (the tip of the penis in men, between the labia in women) with several special wet wipes. Then, you will begin urinating in the toilet, then stop and continue urinating into a sterile specimen cup.
Male Genitourinary System
Urine tests include:
Urine Dip —This is often performed 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 very quick, but general, test.
Microscopic Urinalysis —The urine is examined under a microscope for the presence and quantity of red blood cells, white blood cells (pus), bacteria, etc. This is a more accurate way to diagnose a urinary tract infection.
Urine Culture and Sensitivity Test —A urine sample is sent to a laboratory to see if bacteria will grow. Once the bacteria have been identified, an appropriate antibiotic can be prescribed.
More extensive testing of the urinary system may be necessary for men or children who develop urinary tract infections. 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 undergo further testing.
Such testing may include:
American Foundation for Urologic Disease website. Available at: http://www.auafoundation.org/auafhome.asp .
Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/ .
Last reviewed August 2008 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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