Question

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

How does a doctor find out if I have a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

A Answers (2)

  • To find out if you have a UTI, your doctor will need to test a clean sample of your urine. The doctor or nurse will give you a clean plastic cup and a special wipe. Wash your hands before opening the cup. When you open the cup, don't touch the inside of the lid or inside of the cup. Put the cup in easy reach. Separate the labia, the outer lips of the vagina, with one hand. With your other hand, clean the genital area with the wipe. Wipe from front to back. Do not touch or wipe the anus. While still holding the labia open, pass a little bit of urine into the toilet. Then, catch the rest in the cup. This is called a "clean-catch" sample. Let the rest of the urine fall into the toilet.

    If you are prone to UTIs, your doctor may want to take pictures of your urinary tract with an x-ray or ultrasound. These pictures can show swelling, stones, or blockage. Your doctor also may want to look inside your bladder using a cystoscope (SISS-tuh-skohp). It is a small tube that's put into the urethra to see inside of the urethra and bladder.

    This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center
  • AKevin Windom, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered

    The most common way to test for urinary tract infections is by a urine culture.  This is when the urine is sent to a lab to see if any bacteria grow in the culture medium.  In addition, your physician can run a urinalysis to look for traces of bacteria or leukocytes (white blood cells in the urine). 

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What if I take a home test for urinary tract infections?