There are a number of tests to help diagnose urinary tract infections. The fastest and simplest test is a urinalysis , which analyzes a sample of your urine, looking for bacteria and blood cells (both white and red). If you have a urinalysis, your doctor may ask you to clean your genital area with a special cloth (to kill exterior bacteria) and to begin collecting your urine mid-stream.
Other UTI diagnostic tests may include:
- Urine culture , which involves growing bacteria from your urine in a lab setting to find out what type of bacteria is causing your infection, which helps your doctor choose the most effective antibiotic
Imaging your urinary tract
, which may be performed using three different tests; these tests are usually reserved for people with recurrent infections:
- A CT scan of the urinary tract
- An ultrasound of the kidneys and/or bladder
- A cystoscopy , which involves using an instrument called a cytoscope to see inside your urethra and bladder; it is sometimes done when people have recurrent UTIs to look for abnormalities that may be causing the infection
- Blood tests (if kidney infection is suspected)
- Pelvic exam (to rule out pelvic infection in women)
- Rectal exam (to rule out prostatitis in men)
If you have signs or symptoms of a UTI, see your doctor to get an official diagnosis and treatment.
Learn more about UTIs