WHAT IS A URINE CULTURE?
The Urine Culture Test measures the level of bacteria in the urine.
WHAT IS THE PRICE FOR A URINE CULTURE LAB TEST?
*Price may vary by location – contact your local ANY LAB TEST NOW®
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY LAB TEST RESULTS?
Test results are generally available within 24 – 72 business hours after the specimen is collected.
A bacterium known as Escherichia coli (E. coli) causes the majority of lower urinary tract infections (UTIs). Fortunately, this microorganism is treatable with several antibiotics, including trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, and nitrofurantoin. For most people the infection will be easily eliminated with one of these antibiotics. Some doctors prescribe an antibiotic without performing a urine culture but the test can definitively identify a UTI.
The urine culture tests for the presence of a single type of bacteria. If high counts are found the test is generally considered a positive urine culture. If there are multiple bacteria strains, the culture may have been contaminated and the urine culture may need to be redone. Symptoms of a UTI include pain and burning when urinating and a frequent urge to urinate. If symptoms are present, but the urine culture is negative, you may want to consult your doctor who may order a specialized urine culture to look for a wider range of the non-diluted urine to determine if bacteria at lower counts or other microorganisms may be causing the symptoms. The presence of low number of bacteria and the presence of white blood cells may indicate a condition known as acute urethral syndrome.
There are certain factors which may make you more predisposed to acquiring a UTI. Women have a higher incidence of UTIs due to the anatomical differences in the female genitourinary tract. Some infants and young children are more susceptible to UTIs due to congenital abnormalities. Sexual intercourse, diaphragm use, diabetes, pregnancy, reflux, neurologic dysfunction, rental stones and tumors also predispose an individual to UTIs.
WHY DO I NEED A URINE CULTURE?
Do you suspect you have a urinary tract infection or are you having difficulty or pain on urination and a frequent urge to urinate?
A urine culture is usually ordered when a person has symptoms typical of a UTI such as pain or burning when urinating and frequent urges to urinate. Sometimes antibiotic therapy may be prescribed without requiring a urine culture for young women who display symptoms. If the infection is more complicated or symptoms do not respond to initial therapy, then a culture of the urine is recommended. Pregnant women without any symptoms may be screened for bacteria in their urine, which could affect the health and development of the fetus. A urine culture may be ordered with a urinalysis or as follow up to abnormal results on a urinalysis.
An untreated infection can move from the lower urinary tract to the upper urinary tract and infect the kidney itself, and possibly, enter the bloodstream, causing septicemia. Septicemia symptoms include fever, chills, elevated white blood cell count, and fatigue. If you or your doctor suspects that you have septicemia, you should consult your doctor and have a blood culture. Your doctor will then be able to prescribe antibiotics accordingly.
A range of 1000 to 100,000 CFU (colony forming units) per milliliter may be considered normal, although numbers in this range may indicate an infection if symptoms are present.
HIGH RESULTS INDICATE:
100,000 CFU/mL and above indicate the presence of large numbers of bacteria and a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
LOW RESULTS INDICATE:
There are no low results. A urine culture that is reported as no growth in 24 or 48 hours is generally considered negative and indicates that there is no infection.
WHAT TYPE OF PHYSICIAN SHOULD I SEE?
You should see your primary care physician or gynecologist.