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Urine Culture Test: Procedure, Preparation and Results



A urine culture test can be used to detect and identify urinary tract infection (UTI)-causing bacteria. In general, bacteria that cause UTIs enter the urinary tract via the urethra. These bacteria can flourish in the urinary tract's warm, moist environment and cause an infection.

Women tend to experience UTIs more than men because their urethra is shorter, and the proximity of the urethra to the anus is much closer than in men. Hence, the bacteria in the digestive tract gain easy access to the urinary system. The urethra is the entry point for bacteria that can cause an infection to spread to the bladder, ureters, and kidneys.

When Is It Necessary To Do a Urine Culture Test?

A urine culture may be necessary if you suffer from repetitive UTIs. Only those experiencing symptoms would benefit from a urine culture test. This is irrespective of whether you’re a male or a female—both are equally susceptible to getting a UTI.

Why Should You Do a Urine Culture Test?

In simple terms, a urine culture test helps detect the type of germs causing a UTI. Your doctor may suggest getting a urine culture test if you show the following symptoms: 

  • Painful urination
  • You have a frequent urge to urinate but are unable to empty the bladder efficiently.
  • You get sick or experience stomach pain for no apparent reason.
  • Your urinalysis results show an abnormally high count of white blood cells.
  • You’ve just recovered from a UTI, and the doctor needs to check whether there is a chance of recurrence.

What is The Procedure For The Urine Culture Test?

The following are the steps that need to be followed for the collection of urine samples during a urine culture test:

  • Thoroughly wash your genital area and the surrounding skin area to eradicate any chances of contamination. Do this before taking a sample.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Start urinating till your bladder is empty, and when you’re about to finish, urinate a few drops into the sterile container given by your doctor. Make sure your skin doesn’t touch the inside of the container while doing it.

If you’re someone who requires a catheter, a thin, flexible tube, i.e., a catheter, is inserted into the bladder by a healthcare professional to collect the sample, which is then collected in a clean container to collect the urine. Rarely, a needle or syringe is used to collect the sample.

What Preparation Should You Do Before Taking The Test?

You will be instructed to hold your urine for at least an hour before the test or drink a glass of water 15–20 minutes before sample collection. This increases the likelihood of collecting sufficient urine for the examination. It is sometimes recommended that you save the first pee you pass in the morning as it contains the maximum germs.

Avoid taking any antibiotic courses before collecting the urine sample as it may hamper the test results. If you have recently taken any antibiotics, be sure to let your doctor know.

What To Expect in The Urine Culture Test Results?

Intestinal E. coli bacteria are the most common cause of urinary tract infections. The culture may contain many bacterial species or an extremely low number of germs.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Positive: Indicates the presence of abnormal levels of yeast, bacteria, or microbes in a culture, which further indicates that there is a high chance you may be suffering from a urinary tract infection.
  • Negative: Indicates no evidence of infection or bacterial growth. It's a sign of typical development or typical outcomes. However, your doctor may recommend more tests to confirm the diagnosis. KFT (Kidney function test) and urine routine tests are examples of typical diagnostic procedures.

Want quick and hassle-free urine testing? Book a urine culture test at home with Metropolis India and detect potential health risks earlier.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is The Benefit Of Taking a Urine Culture Test?

A urine culture test is an examination of a urine sample for the presence of bacteria and other organisms. Both adults and kids may undergo the test to see whether they have a UTI.

2. What is The Normal Range for a Urine Culture Test?

If the number of colonies in a urine culture goes beyond 1,000,000, this is a clear indication of an infection in the urinary tract that requires urgent treatment. The usual range for a urine culture is 10,000-1,000,000 colonies/mL.

3. Can a Urine Culture Test Detect Kidney Disease?

A urinalysis can detect conditions such as diabetes, bladder infections, chronic kidney disease, and kidney stones, just to name a few.

4. How Accurate is a Urine Culture Test?

There is 99% accuracy with the urinalysis kit. You could book a test at Metropolis Healthcare, which has a team of professionals and a network of over 100+ globally certified NABL- and CAP-accredited labs and 1500+ centres across India. You can expect the results to reach you within 1-3 days.

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