Whenever you experience any pain or irritation, it can be confusing and frustrating. Luckily, for UTIs, you can take an at home UTI test that will determine if your symptoms are of a UTI or another infection. We outlined everything you need to know about at-home UTI testing so you no longer have to wonder.
How to test for UTI
UTI test works by looking for traces of nitrite and leukocytes in your urine. Nitrites often show up if bacteria, for example, E. coli, is in your urine. Leukocytes are white blood cells, and often show up with infections in the urinary tract. If a UTI test detects these in your urine, it’s likely that you do have an infection and it’s time to take the next steps, like seeing your primary care provider.
Typically, UTI tests come with two strips: one for testing for nitrites and one for testing for leukocytes. We recommend wiping your urethra (where you pee from) and then peeing on the test strip to ensure a clean catch of urine. Wait for the time your test recommends and then compare it to the color chart on your test packaging.
If your test comes back positive for a UTI, it is time to contact your primary care provider for the next steps. If your tests come back negative but you’re still experiencing pain or discomfort, we also recommend contacting your primary care provider for additional testing.
How accurate are home urinary tract infection tests?
UTI test kits are generally accurate if used correctly. False-negative test results might happen if you drink a lot of fluids before testing and your urine is too dilated. To avoid false-negatives, it’s recommended to wait 4 hours to pee before testing so that the urine has time in your bladder before. Just like a pregnancy test, a UTI test works best first thing in the morning because your urine will be less diluted. False-positive UTI test results can be caused by certain medications and any blood in the urine.
If you have any concerns that your test results may be inaccurate, we recommend contacting your primary care provider for additional testing.
How to read your at home UTI test
To take a UTI home test, you can either pee directly on a test strip or dip the strip into a cup of your urine. If you choose to dip the test, don’t wait more than 15 minutes after peeing to dip the test into your urine. For the most accurate results, you’ll need about 60mL, or about ¼ cup, of urine. After this, read the directions on your test kit and wait for the appropriate amount of time before checking your results.
Every brand is different, but your results will usually be indicated by a change in color on the test. Typically, your test lines will change colors with a positive test result and stay the same if it is negative. Because false results can happen, we like to take two tests to confirm our results.
What if your UTI test is positive?
If your UTI test results are positive, the best thing you can do is make an appointment with your primary care provider. Every UTI is different, and your primary care provider will be able to properly diagnose and treat your infection. Here are over the counter products that can temporarily relieve UTI pain while you seek treatment with your primary care provider. Also, staying hydrated by drinking lots of water helps your body flush out the infection faster.
Having a UTI is usually a negative and uncomfortable experience, but confirming your test results shouldn’t be. At Stix, we want to provide a better experience buying healthcare products and finding the information you can trust. For more like this, head to the Stix Library or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.