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Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis

Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis
What is Urinary Tract Infection?
Causes and Risk Factors
UTI Treatment

Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) are treated by your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, UTIs recurrence is frequent or a kidney infection becomes chronic, you'll likely be referred to a doctor who specializes in urinary disorders (urologist) or kidney disorders (nephrologist) for an evaluation to determine if what is causing the infections.

Medical exams
UTIs,or urinary tract infections are most frequently caused by bacterial infections. The first step to diagnosing a UTI is to identify the infecting organism. Doctors can usually detect such infections by taking a swab sample of the location where you are experiencing pain. If an infection can't be indentified, your doctor may suggest other tests, such as:

Bacterial cultures - Chlamydia and mycoplasma can be detected only via special bacterial cultures. Your doctor may order these specific tests if you exhibit symptoms of a UTI with pus in the urine and standard cultures / laboratory tests fail detect other bacteria.

Laboratory tests - If pain or discomfort originates from vaginal inflammation, your doctor can wipe the lining of the vagina with a swab to collect mucus, which will be examined under a microscope for yeast or other organisms. If pain originates from an infection in the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder), another swab can be taken to test for bacteria.

Imaging tests - If you are prone to developing UTIs, a doctor may want to perform imaging tests and take photos of the urinary tract with an x-ray or ultrasound. These pictures can show swelling, stones, or blockage.

Cystoscopy - Your doctor can examine the bladder using a cystoscope, which is a small tube that's inserted into the urethra to view the inside of the urethra and bladder.

Intravenous pyelogram - This test is used when a urinary infection does not clear up after treatment and is traced to the same strain of bacteria. An intravenous pyelogram gives x-ray images of the bladder, kidneys, and ureters. During this procedure, an opaque dye visible on x-ray film is injected into a vein, and a series of x rays is taken. The film shows an outline of the urinary tract, revealing even small changes in the structure of the tract.

- Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound exam if you experience recurrent infections to examine the internal systems of the urinary tract.

Self-test for urinary tract infections - A UTI test kit may also be administered at home. Doctor typically ask that you not urinate for at least 4 hours before testing. A morning urine sample (that has collected in the bladder overnight) provides the most accurate test results. Use a clean-catch midstream urine sample for testing.Test the urine within 15 minutes of collecting the urine sample, or place the dipstick in the urine stream as you are urinating. Most test results depend on being able to see color changes on a test strip. Placing the test in the urine for exactly the recommended time (1- 2 minutes) is extremely important for accuracy. Otherwise false negative or false positive results might occur. Write down the results of the test so you can talk to your doctor about them.

Untreated infection of the urinary tract may spread to the kidneys and cause more serious problems. Seek diagnosis early on, so that treatment can begin promptly. To learn more about the most widely used treatment therapies and home treatment for UTI, continue reading here. Our next section on how to treat UTIs follows.  

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Tags: infection, bacterial infections, after treatment, accurate test, urine sample, ultrasound, infections, bacterial, diagnosis, procedure, treatment, organisms, symptoms, accuracy, bacteria, swelling, chronic, kidneys, vaginal, bladder
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