UTIs and Urine Culture: What to Know

UTIs and Urine Culture: What to Know

UTIs and Urine Culture: What to Know

There are several reasons why urine samples are collected. A urine sample is commonly needed to test for pregnancy, high blood pressure, or pH levels at a routine check-up. If you’ve ever had a UTI, you’ve likely heard of a urine culture. But what makes a urine culture different from a routine urine sample and why are they so important to your urinary health?

What are urine cultures?

When your doctor asks you to pee in a cup at your yearly physical, it’s likely for a urinalysis. Urinalysis is more routine than a urine culture and tests for things like urine color and appearance, chemical findings, and microscopic findings. Urinalysis have a higher risk of contamination yielding inaccurate results. Urine cultures are not usually part of a routine analysis as they involve growing the bacteria from a urine sample in a lab in order to detect infection. 

A urine culture is a laboratory test that checks for bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms in urine. Urine cultures help detect any bacteria in the urine that might cause an infection, like a urinary tract infection. 

Urine cultures and UTIs

Urinary Tract Infections usually start in the bladder or the urethra, which is where urine exits your body. Urine cultures help detect germs or bacteria in your pee that might be living in the bladder or urethra. Once you take a urine culture, your healthcare provider can identify the kind of bacteria living in your urine and determine how to treat it. E. coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the digestive tract and causes most UTIs. 

Because a woman’s vulva is close to the anus (where E. coli can live), it’s more likely for women to contract a UTI as the bacteria can come in contact with the urinary tract more easily. Urine cultures can easily detect E. coli in the urine, which can help to effectively diagnose a UTI and more specifically treat it with the correct antibiotic.

When to get a urine culture

If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI like a burning sensation when urinating or an excessive urge to pee, your doctor might suggest a urine culture. Urine cultures are usually performed at your doctor's office by collecting a sample of your urine and sending it to a lab.

After the lab receives your urine culture, they let it grow in an incubator for 24-48 hours. This allows any bacteria present at the time of the test to grow and your doctor to more accurately see what is causing the infection. If the culture comes back with an abnormal result, it means bacteria or yeast was found in your urine and you likely have a UTI or bladder infection. 

If your urine culture does indicate that you have an infection, your doctor will give you a treatment plan that might involve antibiotics or supplements. We don’t really do this anymore.

Test for UTIs from home with Stix

Did you know you can detect urinary tract infections (UTIs) from the comfort of your home? Our UTI Tests detect a urinary tract infection by measuring the levels of leukocytes (white blood cells) and nitrite in your urine. The higher your levels, the more likely it is that you have a UTI. 

Our UTI Test offers high-quality results by detecting nitrite levels as low as 0.075-0.10 mg/dl and leukocyte levels as low as 15 White Blood Cells/μL. This allows us to get you more accurate results sooner. If you feel pain and burning when you pee, it’s time to test. Other UTI symptoms can include feeling like you constantly need to pee, or only passing small amounts of urine even when you really have to go.

It’s important to note that certain medications can make the results of your UTI test inaccurate. For the best results, use a UTI test before starting any treatment for a urinary infection, and take another test once your treatment course is over to ensure the infection is gone.

We all know UTIs are never fun. At Stix, we’re trying to make UTIs more manageable with our collection of UTI products: at-home UTI Tests, UTI Fast-Acting Pain Relief, and our UTI Daily Protection Supplement.


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