Testing for Urinary Tract Infections at Home

The symptoms of a urinary tract infection can seem unmistakable to an individual who has had a previous infection. Painful urination and pressure are often common symptoms of this particular type of infection. Catching a urinary tract infection in its earliest stages can help prevent the illness from progressing to the kidneys and causing further problems. Occasionally symptoms may occur before the onset of pain that can predict the development of a urinary tract infection. Using over-the-counter tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection can help an individual know if a UTI is truly the problem, and if so can help her know she needs to start treatment immediately.

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, bladder, and the urethra. When bacteria gets into urethra it is able to travel up into the bladder causing an infection. If left untreated, a bladder infection could move onto the kidneys, causing an even more serious problem. Urinary tract infections can be caused by bacteria getting into the urethra during intercourse or through contamination by fecal matter.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection

There are a number of symptoms besides or in addition to painful urination that can signify a urinary tract infection:

having the urge to pee often but not being able to release much urine when going to the bathroom
cloudy urine
urine that has a bad odor
fever
nausea

When these symptoms are felt, taking an over-the-counter UTI test can confirm a urinary tract infection so an individual can seek appropriate medical intervention.

How Does an Over-the-Counter UTI Test Work?

Over-the-counter tests for urinary tract infections involve using a dipstick to detect a problem. A woman can either pee right on the stick or urinate in a cup and dip the stick in the urine. The test for urinary tract infection involves the detection of white blood cells which signify an infection and nitrates which signify a problem of the urinary tract. If the results of an over-the-counter test for urinary tract infection are positive a woman should contact her physician for treatment.

Over-the-counter tests for urinary tract infections are readily available in a variety of drug stores. While the results of over-the-counter UTI tests can be good indicators of an infections they cannot replace actual medical testing. If an over-the-counter test for a urinary tract infection shows a negative result and symptoms continue an individual should seek the council of her doctor.