In a urinalysis, the presence of bacteria and elevated white blood cell levels in the urine usually indicate a UTI. Further tests may be necessary if you have a history of other urinary conditions.

A urinalysis is a laboratory test that checks your urine.

Your healthcare professional may perform a urinalysis to check for a UTI. It gives a rapid answer on whether you have one.

A urinalysis can detect and measure the amount of white blood cells (leukocytes) in your urine. A high level of leukocytes is usually a sign of inflammation associated with an infection.

A urinalysis can also detect nitrites produced by gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is the most common cause of UTIs.

Urine dipsticks can offer results on these tests in minutes, while a microscopic urinalysis provides more in-depth and precise results.

Urinalysis results also show more urine aspects, including its pH level and the presence of protein (proteinuria), red blood cells (hematuria), and other substances.

These aspects can point to various kidney diseases unrelated to a UTI or other infection.

Healthcare professionals typically help interpret urinalysis test results.

While you may receive a copy of your test results, it’s essential to have a healthcare professional explain the findings to you. They can provide context, discuss any concerns, and recommend appropriate treatments.

To prevent excessive antibiotic use and the unnecessary treatment of UTIs, it’s important to interpret the information accurately.

If your urinalysis shows atypical results or it’s necessary to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection, your healthcare professional may recommend a urine culture analysis.

This culture identifies exactly the type of bacteria or microorganisms in the urine, allowing for targeted antibiotic treatment.

Your clinician may recommend more tests if you have a history of kidney disease or other urinary tract conditions. This may include:

Treatment for a UTI typically includes antibiotics and pain medications, including phenazopyridine (Pyridium, AZO).

UTIs can vary in severity, and the choice of antibiotics may depend on factors such as the type of bacteria causing the infection and how it reacts to specific medications.

Your healthcare professional will consider all these factors when prescribing treatment.

It’s essential to complete the entire course of medication as directed by your doctor, even if your symptoms improve before you finish. Doing so helps prevent antibiotic resistance and ensures the infection will go away completely.

Some UTIs may resolve on their own. Drinking plenty of fluids may help the healing process.

If you don’t experience any other signs of an underlying condition, and a physical examination confirms your overall health is good, a follow-up appointment may not be necessary.

If you have symptoms of a UTI, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional. You may need more tests, including a urine culture, depending on your urinalysis results.

Early detection through urinalysis allows healthcare professionals to start treatment. The outlook with timely treatment is positive, easily managing and resolving UTIs and potential underlying kidney issues.