What Does A Urine Culture Test For


What You Need to Know About Urine Cultures

Your doctor informs you that an aurine culture will be performed. It’s a test to see if you have any germs or bacteria in your pee that might cause an infection of the urinary system (UTI). The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, the bladder, and the tubes that transport your urine (ureters and the urethra). In most cases, an infection begins in the bladder or urethra (the tube your pee comes out of). However, it has the potential to impact any aspect of the system. Infections can cause a burning sensation when you pee, which can be quite uncomfortable.

Having a fever and stomach ache may indicate a more serious infection, so seek medical attention immediately.

What Do I Do for a Urine Culture?

It has been determined that an aurine culture is necessary by your physician. When you urinate, you’ll be tested for germs or bacteria that might cause a urinary tract infection, which can lead to serious health consequences (UTI). It is made up of the kidneys, the gall bladder, and the tubes that take the urine out of the body (ureters and the urethra). It is more common for an infection to begin in the bladder or urethra (the tube your pee comes out of). The system as a whole, however, may be affected.

In other cases, you may have the sensation that you need to go but nothing or only a small amount is released.

  1. Wipe the area surrounding where you pee with the cleaning pad that was provided to you. Wash your hands. If you’re a woman, spread the outer lips of your vagina and clean it from front to back from front to back from front to back. Men should clean the tip of their penis first, then pee a small amount in the toilet and quit rubbing their penis. Don’t pee in the cup until you’re ready. Then, place roughly 1 or 2 ounces of the mixture in a cup. Make certain that the container does not come into contact with your skin. Complete your peeing in the toilet. A pee capture in the middle of the stream is referred to as a “midstream” urine catch. Wash your hands once more

Some people may require the collection of their sample with the use of a catheter, which is a tiny tube that is inserted into your urethra and into your bladder. This is accomplished with the assistance of a health-care professional. The sample is put in a new, clean container after being cleaned.

What Happens Next?

Your sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. Some of your urine is collected in a petri plate and kept at room temperature. Any bacteria or yeast present in the sample will reproduce and increase over the course of the following several days. The germs will be examined under a microscope by a lab technician. The different varieties are distinguished by their size, shape, and color. The lab technician will keep track of how many are growing. If it is a real illness, one species of bacteria will generally dominate the situation.

If the culture does not contain any hazardous microorganisms, it is referred to be “negative.” If there are harmful microorganisms developing, this is considered “positive.” E-coli, a kind of bacteria that lives in your intestines, is the most common cause of urinary tract infections.

When Will I Get My Results?

Your doctor’s office will contact you within one to three days. They’ll go through the results with you when they’re done. If you have an illness, you will almost certainly be prescribed antibiotics. If this is the case, make certain you complete the total amount specified. The majority of the time, the infection subsides. However, it is possible that it will return, especially if you are a sexually active woman. In young women, sexual contact increases the likelihood of contracting an infection.

Men over the age of 50 who have an enlarged prostate are at greater risk. It is important that you take your medication in the manner prescribed by your doctor. An infection that begins in the bladder or urethra has the potential to move to the kidneys and cause harm.

Urine Culture: How the Test Works

Overview When you have a urine culture, it can be used to identify bacteria in your urine. When a urinary tract infection occurs, this test can detect and identify the microorganisms that are causing it (UTI). The urethra is a passageway via which bacteria, which are primarily responsible for UTIs, can enter the urinary system. These bacteria can multiply fast in the environment of your urinary system, eventually resulting in an infection of the tract. More information may be found at: Do you want to discover everything there is to know about urinary system infection?

Females are more likely than males to get urinary tract infections.

As a result, germs from the intestines have a lot easier time making their way into the urinary system.

The following are the most frequent symptoms of a UTI:

  • Physical symptoms include: back and stomach pain
  • Fever
  • A strong need to pee often
  • Trouble passing urine through your urine stream
  • And urinary tract infection (UTI).

If you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), your urine may seem hazy or even turn pinkish or coral in color if there is blood present in it. Despite the fact that you may have a continual need to pee, you may be unable to pass more than a little volume of urine from your bladder due to bladder obstruction. Shaking, chills, and vomiting are common symptoms of an illness that is progressing to a dangerous stage. Several alternative methods are available for collecting urine for the purpose of doing a urine culture.

When you pee, you should collect your urine in a cup as you go.

Urinary collection bag

The collection of a urine sample can also be accomplished using a urinary collection bag. With children and newborns, this strategy is the most frequently employed. A plastic bag is affixed with glue to either a girl’s labia or a boy’s penis in order to perform this surgery. A bag is placed over the child’s diaper to capture urine, which may subsequently be submitted to a laboratory for examination.


In some circumstances, a catheter is required by a healthcare professional in order to collect a urine sample. A thin rubber tube is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder in order to do this. Once the catheter is in place, the healthcare professional can take a sample of the patient’s blood. Even if you already have a urinary catheter in place, your healthcare professional may be able to obtain a sample by closing the drainage end of your catheter before it reaches the drain bag. Once urine has been collected in the clamped tube, your healthcare professional will use a syringe to retrieve a sample of urine from the tube.

When taking urine samples, it is important not to take them immediately from the catheter collecting bag since urine that has been out of the body for an extended period of time may begin to grow germs and will not form an acceptable sample in the lab.

Suprapubic aspiration

The use of a needle to extract a urine sample from your bladder may be required in some rare situations by your doctor. If prior attempts to acquire an uncontaminated sample have been failed, this method, known as a suprapubic aspiration, is utilized to collect the sample. It is possible that your obstetrician will ask you to do a urine culture at various intervals throughout your prenatal care as a preventive step if you are pregnant. If you suffer a urinary tract infection (UTI) during your pregnancy, it is critical that you get treatment as soon as possible.

  1. Untreated urinary tract infections (UTIs) might result in preterm childbirth or poor labor outcomes.
  2. Preparing for and carrying out a urine collection pose no dangers to the individual conducting it.
  3. If your doctor demands a urine sample, you may experience some pressure and discomfort.
  4. A catheter can occasionally cause a hole to form in your urethra or bladder.
  5. Pre-testing preparations should include informing your doctor if you are currently taking or have recently taken any prescriptions, or if you are taking any over-the-counter vitamins, medicines, or supplements.
  6. Aside from cleaning your hands and your genitals before the clean-catch collection, there is no need to prepare for a urine culture prior to the collection.
  7. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the test, the dangers involved, or the results, you should discuss them with your doctor immediately.

Following that, the material is inspected under a microscope.

If just a small number of germs or organisms are detected, you will obtain a negative test result.

The results of a urine culture are usually available in two to three days.

It is possible that your sample contains more than one type of bacteria, or that it contains just a very little amount of bacteria.

It is possible that you will be required to retake the test.

coli bacteria, which may be found in your feces.

Some cases of urinary tract infections are caused by Candida, which is yeast that has the ability to overgrow and create an infection.

Most of the time, antibiotics are used to treat a urinary tract infection.

If you continue to get numerous UTIs, you may need to be tested to see whether you are more susceptible to them.

Every chance you have to attempt to flush out some of the germs can aid your body’s recovery by allowing it to return to normal faster.

Consider them to be ammo for your white blood cells, which will be used to battle the illness.

Once upon a time, it was believed that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice would help to expel harmful germs from the urinary system.

If you believe you have a urinary tract infection, it’s most likely because you’re experiencing unpleasant symptoms.

Wearing loose-fitting, cotton underwear and cleaning your clothes on a regular basis will help prevent the infection from returning.

However, if you suspect you have one, get medical attention immediately.

If you are experiencing pain in your low back or side below your ribs, as well as feeling shaky and weak, you should not dismiss these signs. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor.

Urine Culture

Sources consulted for the current review The Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board and Nicole Amistani, BS CLS, MT (ASCP) conducted a review in 2019 for this publication. (30th of July, 2018) An Overview of Urine Culture. Kaiser Permanente is a health-care organization. Kaiser Permanente’s website, wa.kaiserpermanente.org, has further information. Accessed in May of this year. Brusch, J. et al (Updated July 19, 2018). Females are more susceptible to urinary tract infection (UTI) and cystitis (bladder infection).

  • Available on the internet at Accessed in May of this year.
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‘Nader Rifai’ is the name of a fictional character created by author Nader Rifai.

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Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary is a medical dictionary published by Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

Davis Company is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Pagana, Kathleen D.; Pagana, Timothy J.; Pagana, Timothy J.



Pagana, Kathleen D.

Mosby’s Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference, 8th Edition, Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO, pp 981-983.


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BaileyScott’s Diagnostic Microbiology, Twelfth Edition, Mosby Elsevier Press, St.


Louis, Missouri.

It is important to understand how your urinary system works.

Available on the internet at The date of access was March 2009.

Existing Bacteriuria Screening Recommendations have been maintained.

Available on the internet at The date of access was March 2009.

Stanley Hellerstein, S.

(2008 September 17).


(Revised version published in November 2005.) A Methodical Approach to the Renal Patient The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals is a comprehensive resource for healthcare professionals.


Murata are co-authors of this paper (2007 May 17).

Medical News from Medscape.

McCarter, Y.S., E.M.

Hall, and M.

Cumitech 2C, Laboratory Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections, is a diagnostic tool for diagnosing urinary tract infections.

Sharp was in charge of the coordination.

editors: D.L.

Braunwald and colleagues; A.S.

Hauser and colleagues; D.L.

Jameson and colleagues (2005).

Pages 1715 and 1718 of the 16th Edition of McGraw Hill’s textbook.

Catheterized urine culture was performed.

Pagaa, K.


Mosby’s Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference is a comprehensive resource for diagnostic and laboratory tests.

(On the 24th of May, 2012).

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Urine Bacterial Culture, Aerobic Bacterial Culture Mayo Clinic is a medical center in Rochester, Minnesota.

The document is available online atAccessed on October 12, 2012.

If you have a urinary tract infection, do you need to see your doctor more frequently?

V 24(6):647-655, according to Medscape Today News.

Brusch, J.

Cystitis in females is a condition that occurs when the cervix becomes inflamed.

The document is available online atAccessed on October 12, 2012.

(in press) (2011 November 8).

The document is available online atAccessed on October 12, 2012.

Infections of the Urinary Tract in Adults.

Available online at the time of this writing (December 2015).

Mayo Medical Laboratories is an acronym that stands for Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories.

Brusch, J.

Cystitis in females is a condition that occurs when the cervix becomes inflamed.

Available on the internet at The date of access was December 2015. (Saturday, July 23, 2015) Mayo Clinic is a medical center in Rochester, Minnesota. The Causes of Urinary Tract Infections. Available online at the time of this writing (January 2015).

Urine Culture: Purpose, Results & What To Expect

A urine culture test examines a sample of urine for the presence of germs (microorganisms) that might cause illness. Urine is your body’s liquid waste (pee) (pee). Growing microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast in a laboratory setting is referred to as culture in medical terminology. A urine sample is supplemented with growth-promoting chemicals in a laboratory. If bacteria or yeast (a fungus) are present, they start reproducing. An infection in your urinary system is indicated by the presence of this growth.

What is the purpose of a urine culture?

Urine cultures are ordered by healthcare professionals to screen for urinary tract infections (UTIs). A urinary tract infection (UTI) can arise when bacteria enter your urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from your body. UTIs are most commonly caused by bacteria in your bladder (the organ that holds urine). They have the potential to spread to your kidneys (the organs responsible for the production of urine) or your prostate. A urine culture test will also reveal the following:

  • The bacteria or yeast that is causing the illness must be identified before your healthcare practitioner can choose the most appropriate therapy for you. It is also necessary to know whether the bacterium is resistant to antibiotics.

Who needs a urine culture?

If you have recurrent or difficult-to-treat urinary tract infections, your healthcare professional may recommend a urine culture test. In most cases, only those who are experiencing symptoms of a UTI require a urine culture. UTIs can affect people of either gender, although women are more likely than males to experience them. The following are risk factors for recurrent UTIs:

  • Having diabetes
  • Having frequent sexual relations, especially with new partners or if you use spermicides
  • Having diabetes Kidney disease, particularly kidney stones, is a common occurrence. Problems with completely emptying your bladder, particularly if you use a urinary catheter to drain urine
  • Due to autoimmune illnesses, organ transplantation, or cancer treatment procedures, the immune system has been weakened.

What is the difference between a urine culture test and urinalysis?

A urine sample is required for both a urinalysis and a urine culture. Aurinalysis may be performed first by your healthcare professional. In a shorter amount of time, this test checks urine for the presence of red and white blood cells, as well as bacteria, which can indicate the existence of an illness. A urinalysis will not be able to identify the precise bacterium that is causing the UTI. A urine culture is required to obtain this information.

Can a urine culture detect a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

Historically, healthcare practitioners employed bacterial culture tests to identify sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. This was not a urine culture test, as the name implies. Instead, healthcare practitioners cultivated (cultured) cells from within the urethra to test their effectiveness. The indications of these STDs may now be detected by the use of a urine test. However, when it comes to diagnosing an STD, healthcare experts tend to rely on more precise measures such as analyzing fluid from the vaginal or penis.

Can a urine culture detectE. coli?

A urine culture test can be used to identify the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). The bacteria E. coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infections. E. colibacteria are bacteria that dwell in the digestive system and are discovered in human feces. If fecal matter makes its way from your anus to your vulva or penis, germs can enter your urethra and cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). Close to your anus is your vulva (the outside portion of your female genitals, which is where your vagina and urethra are located).

That is one of the reasons why women are more prone to urinary tract infections. Everyone, regardless of gender, should wipe their hands from front to back after using the bathroom in order to avoid this type of illness.

Can a urine culture detectStreptococcus(strep) infections?

Group B strep bacteria are a less prevalent cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs). These bacteria, which can be found in the urinary and digestive systems, can be detected using a urine culture. Group B strep is more likely to cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) in pregnant women. It is essential to treat the infection with antibiotics before to delivery. Preventing the transmission of microorganisms to a baby through treatment is important for pregnant women. Antibiotics are also required in the case of a strep B infection in a baby.

Test Details

Before delivering a urine sample, your healthcare professional will inform you whether or not you need to take any particular precautions. Your healthcare practitioner may ask you to do one or more of the following:

  • Please refrain from peeing for at least an hour before providing a urine sample. Ensure that you drink at least 8 ounces of water 20 minutes before the sample collection to ensure that there is enough urine for testing. First thing in the morning, collect a sample of your pee.

What happens during a urine culture?

A clean catch pee sample is required for a successful urine culture. In this context, a urine sample that is as devoid of external pollutants as possible, such as natural bacteria that dwell on your skin, is meant. You may choose to submit this sample in person at your healthcare provider’s office or at a laboratory testing center. In some cases, you may be able to collect the urine sample at your residence. The following are the steps:

  1. Hands should be washed with soap and warm water. To completely clean the opening of the urethra (including the vulva and vaginal region, as well as the head of the penis), use an antiseptic wipe. Allow a tiny bit of pee to flow into the toilet and then stop in the middle of it
  2. Remove the cup from beneath the vulva or penis and replace it before you continue peeing. Do not allow the cup to come into contact with your skin. Fill the cup halfway with pee to the required amount (usually 1 to 2 ounces). The majority of people finish peeing before they complete filling the cup. Stop urinating in the middle of the stream once more (if feasible) and keep the cup out of the way until you’re finished
  3. Deposit the cup on the ground, cover it with a lid (if one is supplied), and place it in the appropriate collecting location. Remember to wash your hands one more before continuing.

What are other ways to collect a urine sample?

A healthcare professional may utilize one of the following ways to treat newborns and young children, as well as people who are unwell, hospitalized, or elderly:

  • It is necessary to catheterize your bladder in order to reach it. Your healthcare practitioner will place a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) via your urethra. A sterile collection bag is placed over the catheter to catch the urine as it exits. When you have an aspiration, your healthcare professional inserts a small needle into your bladder through numbed abdomen skin in order to pull urine into a collecting bag. Urine collection bag (U bag): For babies and young children, you may want to place a urine collection bag on their penis or to their vulva with sticky glue to prevent them from peeing in their diaper. After your kid has urinated, you should dump their pee into a container with a lid. Preserve the container in the refrigerator until you deliver it to the office or lab of your healthcare practitioner.

How long does a urine culture take?

The process of providing a clean urine sample takes only a few minutes. Making a poop in the cup shouldn’t take long at all. Do take the time to clean your vulva or penis before you pee in order to ensure a clean urine sample is collected during the test. After receiving your urine sample, the lab will grow the culture in an incubator for 24 to 48 hours before testing it. The temperature of the incubator is set at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the average temperature for the human body (37 degrees Celsius).

What are the risks of a urine culture?

The clean catch method is a fairly safe way to collect a urine sample from a patient. When using the catheter or needle approach, there is a small chance of contracting an infection.

Results and Follow-Up

In certain cases, the lab may take up to three days to perform the test and deliver the findings back to you. A phone call or an appointment will be scheduled with your healthcare professional in order to go through the results.

What does a positive urine culture test result mean?

If bacteria develop in the urine culture test and you are experiencing symptoms of infection or bladder discomfort, you most likely have a urinary tract infection (UTI). An abnormal test result or a positive urine culture test result are both possible outcomes. The bacteria in the cultivated sample are subjected to an antibiotic sensitivity test in the laboratory. This test, which is also known as an antibiotic susceptibility test, determines the type of bacteria that is causing the illness as well as which antibiotics the bacterium is susceptible to, which means which medications will kill or inhibit the bacteria.

Certain antibiotics are effective exclusively against specific microorganisms.

In addition, certain bacteria are resistant to antibiotics. This signifies that the antibiotic is no longer effective at preventing the growth of that particular species of bacteria. Infections that are resistant to antibiotics are more difficult to treat.

What does a negative urine culture test result mean?

It is possible to have a positive, or normal, urine culture test result if the urine sample did not contain any bacteria or yeast. You do not have a urinary tract infection. A lab’s typical test results range might vary based on the lab that is doing the test. If you continue to have symptoms such as painful urination (dysuria) or blood in the urine (hematuria), your healthcare practitioner may recommend imaging scans or other testing. These symptoms may be indicative of bladder cancer in certain cases, however this is extremely unusual.

What should I ask my healthcare provider?

You might wish to inquire with your service provider about the following:

  • What is the purpose of a urine culture test
  • Do I need to fast (not eat or drink), stop smoking or stop medications before the test
  • When will I receive the results of the tests
  • Is it necessary for me to be concerned about the test findings
  • Will I need extra testing
  • What can I do to avoid getting a UTI?

An announcement from the Cleveland Clinic A urine culture is performed in order to identify microorganisms that cause UTIs. If you have a urinary tract infection, an antibiotic sensitivity test might help you identify the bacterium that is causing it. This information assists your healthcare professional in selecting the most appropriate medication to treat your infection. Following therapy, a urine culture test may be performed to check that your infection has been eradicated. For the majority of people, a simple clean catch urine sample is all that is required by the lab for the test.

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If you have a history of urinary tract infections, speak with your healthcare practitioner about actions you may take to reduce your risk of developing them.

Urinalysis and Urine Culture – Kidney and Urinary Tract Disorders

Urinalysis is a procedure that requires

  • The use of chemical tests to identify and evaluate the levels of different compounds in the urine is becoming more common. Frequently, urine is examined under a microscope

Protein, glucose (sugar), ketones, blood, and other compounds are tested for using chemical methods. A tiny strip of plastic (dipstick) is used in these tests, which is impregnated with chemicals that react with compounds in the urine and cause the color to change fast. Occasionally, the results of the urine test are validated by a more sophisticated and accurate laboratory study of the urine specimen. The presence of red and white blood cells, crystals, and casts in the urine can be determined by examining it under a microscope (impressions of the kidney tubules created when urinary cells, protein, or both precipitate out in the tubules and are passed in the urine).

  1. Depending on the reason, protein may be present in the urine on a consistent basis or just infrequently.
  2. Small quantities of protein in the urine may be a warning indication of kidney damage caused by diabetes in the early stages of disease.
  3. During these instances, urine must be collected over a period of 12 or 24 hours and examined in a laboratory.
  4. As a result of the breakdown of fat, ketones are produced.
  5. Blood in the urine (hematuria) can be detected using a dipstick and verified with further tests such as inspecting the urine with a microscope and other procedures.
  6. A dipstick can be used to identify the presence of leukocyte esterase (an enzyme present in some white blood cells) in the urine.
  7. A dipstick is used to determine the acidity (pH) of urine.

Some people are predisposed to kidney stones as a result of a change in their acidity.

The concentration of urine in the bloodstream can also be useful in identifying faulty kidney function.

One unique test requires a person to refrain from drinking any water or other fluids for 12 to 14 hours.

Following that, the concentration of urine is determined.

When it comes to specific kidney illnesses (such as nephrogenic diabetes insipidus), this is not the case.

In nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, the kidneys generate a high volume of dilute urine because the renal tubules fail to react to vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone) and are unable to reabsorb.

Sedimentin urine may be inspected under a microscope to see if a kidney or urinary tract problem is present, providing valuable information.

Someone suffering from renal or urinary tract disease tends to excrete more cells, which can accumulate in the urine when it is centrifuged or allowed to settle. If the urine is centrifuged or allowed to settle, the cells can form a sediment that can be collected and analyzed later.

Urine Culture – Clean Catch

A urine culture is a laboratory test that is used to determine if a urine sample contains bacteria or other pathogens. It may be used to screen for a urinary tract infection in both adults and children, according to the manufacturer.

Alternative Names

urine for culture and sensitivity testing

How the Test is Performed

A clean catch urine sample will be taken in the majority of cases, either at your health care provider’s office or at your residence. To collect the urine, you will need to utilize a specific kit. An alternative method of collecting a urine sample is to put a thin rubber tube (catheter) into the urethra and into the bladder. Your provider’s office or the hospital will have someone complete this task for you. The urine is drained into a sterile container, and the catheter is then pulled out of the bladder.

The urine is sent to a laboratory for testing to detect whether or not bacteria or yeast are present in the urine sample.

How to Prepare for the Test

Try to collect the sample after your pee has been sitting in your bladder for 2 to 3 hours, if at all feasible.

How the Test will Feel

The catheter may cause you to feel pressure when it is being inserted. The urethra is numbed with the use of a specific gel.

Why the Test is Performed

You may feel pressure when the catheter is being placed. To numb the urethra, a specific gel is employed.

Normal Results

“Normal growth” is a perfectly normal outcome. This indicates that there is no infection present. In certain cases, the normal value ranges may change somewhat between various laboratories. Some laboratories employ various methods of measurement or examine different substances. Speak with your doctor about the significance of the specific test findings that you received.

What Abnormal Results Mean

When bacteria or yeast are identified in the culture, the test is either “positive” or “abnormal.” This indicates that you have a urinary tract infection or a bladder infection, which is likely the case. Other tests may be performed to assist your physician in determining which bacteria or yeast is causing the illness and which antibiotics will be most effective in treating it. It is possible to find more than one species of bacteria in a culture, or simply a little number of bacteria in a culture.


If your provider uses a catheter, there is a very small chance that a hole (perforation) will develop in the urethra or bladder.


If you have been taking antibiotics, it is possible that you will have a false-negative urine culture.


Dean, A.J., and Lee, D.C. Microbiologic and analytical procedures performed at the bedside. Roberts and Hedges’ Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care is an edited collection by Roberts JR, Custalow CB, and Thomsen TW (eds.). 7th edition, Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Science; chapter 67. Germann CA, Holmes JA. Germann CA, Holmes JA Selected urologic diseases are listed below. Emergency medicine concepts and clinical practice are covered in Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice.

The ninth edition, Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; chapter 89.

Klumpp DJ, Schaeffer AJ, Matulewicz RS, Matulewicz RS Urinary tract infections are infections of the urinary tract. Campbell-Walsh Urology, edited by Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, and Peters CA, is available online. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, 2016:chap 12 of the 11th edition.

Urine Test: Routine Culture (for Parents)

Urine cultures are routinely performed to determine the number of germs (microorganisms such as bacteria) present in the urine sample. The urine sample will be kept in circumstances that allow germs to proliferate after it has been collected by a technician. If there is no illness, it is normal for there to be just a minimal number of bacteria in the urine. The technician will use a microscope or chemical tests to discover which types of germs are present in the culture if a high number of germs are present.

Why It’s Done

In order to identify a urinary tract infection (UTI) and determine the kind of bacteria that are causing it, a urine culture is performed. If your kid has any of the following symptoms, the doctor may prescribe a urine culture.

  • When urinating, the patient complains of a painful sensation
  • He or she has the need to pee frequently but does not produce much urine (this is referred to as urgency)
  • Has a fever that does not have a clear cause or is experiencing stomach pain when they have an abnormal regular urinalysis, especially if they have a high amount of white blood cells in their urine when you have finished therapy for a UTI, you should check to see if the infection is gone


There is no preparation necessary for the urine culture other than cleaning the region surrounding the urinary entrance before taking the sample. Inform your doctor if your kid is currently receiving antibiotics or has recently taken antibiotics.

The Procedure

The sample collection process should just take a few minutes. In the doctor’s office, your kid will be asked to pee into a sterile sample cup, which will be disposed away thereafter. It may be necessary to implant a catheter (a small soft tube) into your child’s bladder in order to get the urine samples if he or she has not been toilet trained and cannot urinate into a cup. Just before the urine is collected, it is necessary to clean the skin around the urinary entrance to prevent infection. As part of this procedure, you or your kid cleans the area surrounding the urinary hole using a specific towelette.

The idea is to catch the pee in the “middle of the stream.” The container should not come into contact with your child’s skin.

It’s sometimes ideal to take a sample first thing in the morning when your child has woken up, rather than later.

You’ll take the sample to a lab, where a technician will examine it for the presence of germs, and then you’ll return home.

What to Expect

Because the test includes typical urination, your kid should not experience any discomfort as long as he or she is able to deliver a sample of urine. (If a catheter was used to collect urine, there may be some pain for a short period of time.) Preparation for the urine test should include keeping the region surrounding the urinary entrance clean and catching the urine sample in the middle of the stream.

Getting the Results

It will take 1-3 days for the results of the urine culture to be obtained.

It is your doctor’s responsibility to go through the results with you and explain what they signify.


When submitting a urine sample for a urine culture, there are no hazards associated. If a catheterized specimen is necessary, there may be some pain for a brief period. Questions concerning this operation can be discussed with your healthcare professional at any point during the process.

Helping Your Child

Urinating to produce the samples for the test is typically a painless experience for the patient. Explain to your kid how the test will be administered and why it is being done in order to allay his or her anxieties. Make sure your youngster understands that the urinary entrance must be clean and that the pee must be collected in the middle of the urine stream to prevent infection.

If You Have Questions

If you have any queries concerning the urine culture, you should consult with your physician.

Understanding urine tests

The vast majority of people have already provided a urine sample at some time in their life. A sample can be examined using a variety of different tests and procedures. These tests can assist doctors in the diagnosis of certain disorders as well as the monitoring of their progression. Using urine test strips, for example, you may determine whether or not you have a urinary tract infection or diabetes. In this section, we will discuss the many types of urine tests, how they might be utilized, and what the findings tell us.

What do the characteristics of urine tell us?

The removal of urine is critical for the proper functioning of several body systems. When it comes to water regulation, for example, it also eliminates compounds that are created during metabolic processes but are no longer necessary for the body to function properly. Toxic compounds found in food or medication are examples of this. Tests on the urine can aid in the early detection of disorders of the urinary system, as well metabolic diseases such as diabetes and liver disease. The color, odor, and volume of pee in the urine can all suggest whether or not there is a problem.

Urine that is cloudy or flaky might indicate the presence of a urinary tract infection.

At order to learn more, the urine must be examined either with a test strip or in a laboratory.

Two of them can also be completed at home, however the other three must be completed in a laboratory setting.

How do you give a urine sample?

A sample of urine can be contaminated by germs, cells, and other contaminants, therefore it is a good idea to thoroughly clean the genital region with water – rather than soap – before providing the sample. The use of “clean” midstream urine is necessary in order to obtain an accurate result while avoiding bacterial contamination.

By stopping the flow of pee after a few seconds and then collecting the middle section of the urine in a cup, you may get a sample of midstream urine. When you go in for your specific test, your doctor will let you know if there is anything else you should be concerned about.

Rapid urine test

A fast pee test is the most efficient method of testing urine. A test strip with little square colored fields on it is dipped into the urine sample for a few seconds, and the results are read out loud. After then, you’ll have to wait a little while for the outcome to be revealed. The color of the fields on the test strip changes depending on the concentration of the specific chemical you are testing for at the time of the test. The colors of the fields are then compared to a color table to determine which is the most accurate.

  • It demonstrates which colors correspond to normal and abnormal levels.
  • It is common practice to do rapid urine tests as part of normal exams, such as those performed at a family doctor’s office, during prenatal visits, when a patient is being admitted to the hospital, or before to surgery.
  • It is used by certain persons with diabetes to check their blood sugar levels.
  • A prescription is not required for the test strips, which may be purchased at any pharmacy or over the internet.
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What substances can a rapid urine test detect?

Due to the fact that several compounds are typically detected in only specific concentrations in urine, greater or lower levels indicate a divergence from the normal range. A quick urine test can be used to screen for the presence of the following substances:

  • Acidity of the urine is measured by the PH value (pH value). According to diet, normal values vary from around 5 to 7
  • Values under 5 are too acidic, whereas values above 7 are not acidic enough
  • Normal values range from about 5 to 7
  • Protein (which is seldom seen in urine)
  • Sugar (glucose, which is not often detected in urine)
  • Nitrite (which is not typically found in urine)
  • Ketone (which is a metabolic product, which is not typically seen in urine)
  • It contains bilirubin, which is a breakdown component of hemoglobin that is not normally detected in urine. Urobilinogen (a bilirubin breakdown product that is not typically seen in urine)
  • Urobilinogen (a bilirubin breakdown product that is not usually found in urine)
  • Red blood cells (erythrocytes), which are not often detected in urine
  • White blood cells (leukocytes), which are also not typically seen in urine
  • And platelets.

What do the results tell us?

If the findings are beyond the usual range, you can use the package insert or the color chart on the package to establish whether they are outside the normal range. In order to determine whether or whether there is an increased risk of producing urinary stones, the pH value, for example, can be measured. As a result, if the pH level is excessively acidic, this will occur (if the value is below 5). A pH level greater than 7 may indicate the presence of a bacterial urinary tract infection. Tests that measure other things can aid in the detection of additional problems:

  • The presence of high protein levels may indicate the presence of nephritis (kidney inflammation). High blood sugar is indicated by the presence of ketones and sugar in the urine. The presence of leukocytes or nitrite may indicate the presence of a bacterial infection.

If the findings of the test are abnormal, you should consult with a doctor. The findings of quick urine tests are not always trustworthy, just as they are with other tests. As a result, it may be beneficial to have a more in-depth test performed in a laboratory.


Urinalysis is a first-line basic test that evaluates the key characteristics of the blood. It is routinely conducted when patients are admitted to the hospital or before surgery as part of a regular assessment and is also performed frequently while people are undergoing surgery.

It can also be used to check for aberrant findings after a fast urine test has been performed. In a laboratory, a complete urinalysis is performed. Typically, there are three phases involved:

  1. The color, cloudiness, and concentration of the urine are all evaluated. The chemical composition of the urine is determined by utilizing a test strip. Examination of the urine under a microscope for the presence of germs, cells, and cell fragments

Red blood cells (top), white blood cells (center), and a cast of clumped-together white blood cells (bottom) are shown under a microscope while examining the solid sections of urine (below). Urinalysis is used to determine the source of – or to monitor – urinary tract infections, urinary system hemorrhage, kidney or liver illness, and other conditions. It can also be used to treat diabetes, some blood illnesses, and bladder stones, among other things.

What does urinalysis test for?

An urinalysis, in addition to testing for the chemicals that may be identified with a quick test, can additionally check for the following things:

  • It contains creatinine, a breakdown product of muscle metabolism that serves as a sign of renal function. Bacteria (which is unusually common in urine)
  • Urinary casts (cylindrical, stuck-together structures that form in the renal tubules and are not frequently seen in urine)
  • Urinary casts (cylindrical, stuck-together structures that form in the urinary bladder)
  • In urine, crystals are observed if there are significant quantities of particular compounds in the urine
  • Crystals are not normally found in urine. ureteric epithelial cells (cells that line the ureter, bladder, and urethra)
  • Urethral epithelial cells

What do the results tell us?

Aurinalysis can also be used to detect symptoms of other disorders, such as those associated with diabetes and kidney disease.

  • High quantities of cholesterol in the urine, for example, might result in the formation of cholesterol crystals. urinary casts are often indicative of kidney illness, such as an inflammation of the renal pelvis
  • However, they can also be an indication of other conditions.

An abnormal result may necessitate further discussion with a doctor, who may then order more specific testing, such as a blood test.

Urine culture

A urine culture is a test that is performed in a laboratory to determine whether or not urine contains microorganisms. A sample of midstream urine is collected and placed in a collection container. In order for the germs to develop, little plates containing a growth medium that allows them to do so are placed into the sample and the container is carefully closed. The urine culture is then put in an incubator for one to two days to allow the bacteria to grow. There might be visible colonies formed in the urine if there are bacteria or fungus present.

When placed in an incubator for two to four days, they become apparent.

What can urine cultures test for?

Urine cultures can be performed to determine whether or not there are bacteria or fungus present in the urine. Because of the size, shape, and color of the colonies, you can frequently tell what sort of bacteria or fungi they are before you even see them. This is because bacteria and fungi are classified according to their size, shape, and color.

What do the results tell us?

When testing for a urinary tract infection, urine cultures are typically performed to identify bacteria and fungus present in the urine. The type of antibiotic to be used is typically established at the same time as the presence of bacteria is discovered through laboratory examination.

24-hour urine collection

It is necessary to collect urine during a 24-hour period for this examination: The initial pee sample taken after waking up is not utilized, but the time at which the sample was taken is recorded. For the following 24 hours, every single drop of pee is collected in a container and disposed of appropriately. Once the 24-hour period has expired, you should empty your bladder one more time, and the pee will be added to the sample that has already been collected. The container for the urine sample will be given to you by your doctor.

While the urine is still being collected, the container is generally already contaminated with a chemical that prevents germs from developing in it. A refrigerator is recommended for the whole 24-hour period in which the urine is to be stored. After that, it is put through its paces in a laboratory.

What can be tested with a 24-hour urine sample?

It is possible to determine the quantity of specific compounds (such as proteins, hormones, salts, and metabolic products) expelled from the body using 24-hour urine samples.

What do the results tell us?

The results of the test can tell us a variety of things, such as how much protein and creatinine is in the urine. If the kidneys are filtering out too little of the metabolic product creatinine from the bloodstream, this indicates that the kidneys are not functioning correctly. Proteinuria, a disorder characterized by high amounts of protein in urine, can be caused by a variety of illnesses including heart failure, diabetes, inflammation of the renal pelvis, urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and kidney cancer.

In order to identify those problems, urine is frequently collected over a 24-hour period over a number of days and then analyzed for the presence of those disorders.

Pregnancy tests

A variety of tests are available to determine whether or not you are pregnant if your menstrual cycle is late. However, they are not completely dependable. The majority of tests can already tell whether or not a woman is pregnant eight to ten days after her period is scheduled to arrive. They are typically performed in the morning after waking up, much as quick urine tests, and require a urine sample to be collected. The packaging insert has detailed instructions on how to use the product. Pregnancy tests are available for purchase in pharmacies, drugstores, department shops, and on the internet, among other places.

What can be checked with a pregnancy test?

This particular hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is found in the urine of pregnant women because it is created in the placenta.

What do the results tell us?

Many women who are interested in learning whether or not they are pregnant may first perform a pregnancy test. If a woman performs the test too soon, if she is taking medication, or if she drinks a lot of fluids before performing the test, the findings may be inaccurate. Only a doctor can determine with certainty whether or not you are pregnant.

Other urine tests

Drugs can also be identified in urine for a period of time after they have been consumed. Cannabis can be identified up to many weeks after it has been used, depending on the type of test performed. Drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin can be detected in test results for up to five days after use. There are a variety of tests that may be utilized in this situation as well: Rapid testing can provide police with findings on the spot, whereas conventional drug tests must be forwarded to a laboratory for analysis.


  • Andreae S, Avelini P, Berg M, Blank I, Burk A. Lexikon der Krankheiten und Untersuchungen. Lexikon der Krankheiten und Untersuchungen. Clinical Dictionary of Pschyrembel (Stadt: Thieme, 2008)
  • Pschyrembel’s Klinisches Wörterbuch De Gruyter, Berlin, Germany, 2017. Working Conditions and Diagnosis by Thomas L. Identification and evaluation of laboratory findings in the context of medical diagnosis 2007
  • Marburg, Germany: Medizinische Verlagsgesellschaft. The material on IQWiG health is produced with the goal of assisting individuals in understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the most common treatment choices and health-care services available. Because IQWiG is a German institute, part of the material presented here is specific to the German health-care system, as is the case with many other websites. Speaking with a doctor about the suitability of any of the choices discussed above in a particular situation can be very helpful. Individual consultations are not available from us. All of our material is based on the findings of high-quality research investigations. Health care professionals, scientists, and editors collaborate in the writing of the book, which is then evaluated by outside specialists. Our techniques include a full description of the process through which our health information is created and updated.

Urine culture: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

A urine culture is a laboratory test that is used to determine if a urine sample contains bacteria or other pathogens. It may be used to screen for a urinary tract infection in both adults and children, according to the manufacturer. A clean catch urine sample will be taken in most cases, either at your health-care provider’s office or at your residence. To collect the urine, you will need to utilize a specific kit. An alternative method of collecting a urine sample is to put a thin rubber tube (catheter) into the urethra and into the bladder.

The urine is drained into a sterile container, and the catheter is then pulled out of the bladder.

The urine is sent to a laboratory for testing to detect whether or not bacteria or yeast are present in the urine sample.

Try to collect the sample after your pee has been sitting in your bladder for 2 to 3 hours, if at all feasible.

The urethra is numbed with the use of a specific gel.

After you have been treated for an illness, you may be required to have a urine culture taken.

“Normal growth” is a perfectly normal outcome.

In certain cases, the normal value ranges may change somewhat between various laboratories.

Speak with your doctor about the significance of the specific test findings that you received.

Other tests may be performed to assist your physician in determining which bacteria or yeast is causing the illness and which antibiotics will be most effective in treating it.

If your provider uses a catheter, there is a very small chance that a hole (perforation) will develop in the urethra or bladder.

urine for culture and sensitivity testing Cooper KL, Badalato GM, Rutman MP; Badalato GM, Rutman MP.

The following chapter is from the 12th edition of Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology: Chap 55.

Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology, 12th edition, Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 55.

Nicolle LE, Drekonja D.

Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020: chap 268.

Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, provided the most recent update.

In addition, David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial staff examined the manuscript for accuracy.

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