Microscopy and Culture (UTI) Urine Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP

Chief Medical Officer meet our doctors

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What is
a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract, and women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include frequent urination, pain or burning sensation when urinating, blood in the urine, and abdominal pain.

How do I take a
UTI urine test?

For our Microscopy and Culture (UTI) Urine Test, a sample of your urine will be examined under the microscope in the laboratory and cultured for 18 hours, looking specifically for blood cells, pus cells, and casts (which are the cells and mucous that accumulate in the kidney before passing into the urine). This test pinpoints protein to identify whether there is either kidney damage or disease.

What does a
UTI check for?

A urine culture checks for any microorganisms present that may cause an infection and, if they are present, helps to identify the type of antibiotic that will eradicate it.

What's included?

Kidney health
Urine chemistry
Urine microscopy
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Urine culture Usually urine does not contain significant numbers of any microorganism, but if bacteria are introduced into the urinary tract, they can multiply and a urinary tract infection (UTI) can develop. For a urine culture test, a sample of urine is examined under the microscope and cultured for 18 hours to check for any bacterial growth. If there is an infection found, the culture is extended so the laboratory can determine an effective antibiotic which will be able to fight the infection.
Protein Protein can temporarily appear in the urine when there is infection or inflammation in the urinary tract. If it persists it can be a sign of underlying illness causing the kidneys to leak protein. This test uses a urine dipstick to provide an estimate of the amount of protein present in a urine sample.
Urine blood This test checks for the presence of red and white blood cells in the urine which may arise for a number of reasons including an infection or problems with the kidneys and bladder.
Ketone If the body's cells don't get enough glucose, fat is burned instead for energy. This produces a substance called ketones, which can show up in your blood and urine. High ketone levels in urine may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes that can lead to serious health problems. If you have diabetes, ketones in urine can indicate you are not getting enough insulin.
pH The kidneys are one of the most important mechanisms the body uses to maintain a constant body pH. Measuring urine pH can help to assess kidney function.
Urobilinogen Urobilinogen is formed from the breakdown of bilirubin, a substance found in the liver that aids in the breakdown of red blood cells. Normal urine contains some urobilinogen.
Red blood cells Red blood cells are not normally found in urine. They are released when there is inflammation or infection within the urinary tract.
White cell count urine White blood cells are key to your body's immune or defence system. They fight infections and protect your body from foreign invaders such as harmful germs and bacteria.
Crystals Urine contains many chemicals which on occasion can form solid crystals. It is normal to have a few small urine crystals but larger crystals or specific types of crystals can eventually form kidney stones. Testing for urine crystals helps to assess kidney health.
Epithelial cells Epithelial cells line various surfaces of the body including the skin, blood vessels, organs and urinary tract acting as a protective barrier.
Casts Urinary casts are tiny tube-shaped particles that may be found when a urine sample is examined under the microscope during a urinalysis test. Casts can be made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, kidney cells, protein or fat. The presence and content of a urinary cast help to assess kidney health and function.
Organisms A sample of urine is analysed under the microscope to check for any organisms which may cause an infection.

How to prepare
for your test

Special instructions

Prepare for your Microscopy and Culture (UTI) Urine Test by following these instructions. This test may not detect an infection if you are currently taking antibiotics.

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