Urinary Tract Infections in Teens and Adults
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 Reference urine culture to confirm the diagnosis of a suspected UTI. But if your symptoms, medical history, and urinalysis make the presence of an Reference 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 culture:
- For women with unusual UTI symptoms, such as symptoms that last longer than 7 days, or symptoms of a kidney infection (Reference pyelonephritis Opens New Window).
- For men before and after treatment for a UTI.
- For anyone older than 65 with UTI symptoms.
- If you have diabetes, an impaired immune system, or structural problems in your urinary tract.
- 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 used.
- After treatment for a UTI in people who have kidney infections (pyelonephritis), to make sure the infection is cured.
- To screen young girls for Reference asymptomatic bacteriuria.
If you are pregnant, your doctor may order a urine culture:
- If you have UTI symptoms.
- After treatment for a UTI.
- 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 may be Reference 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 infections.
- Check for other kidney problems.
- Diagnose structural problems of the urinary tract that might make you more likely to get UTIs.
- Find out whether the infection is caused by unusual bacteria.
- Find out whether you have an Reference impaired immune system Opens New Window.
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 Reference home test for UTI to make sure you have an infection before you start antibiotics.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 7, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology