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Urine Culture And Sensitivity

What is it?

A urine culture is a method to grow and identify bacteria (bak-teer-e-uh) that may be in your urine. Bacteria are germs that cause infections. The sensitivity test helps caregivers pick the best medicine to treat your infection (in-fek-shun).

Why do I need it?

If you have pain in your belly, chills, fever, or burning when you urinate, you may have a urinary tract infection. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, bladder, and urethra (u-ree-thruh). Urine culture and sensitivity tests are done to find which bacteria is causing the infection and the best medicine to treat it. While you are taking the medicine, a routine urinalysis (yer-uh-nal-uh-sis) may be done to see how the medicines are working. For more information, ask your caregiver for the CareNotes™ handout about urinalysis.

How do I get ready for the test?

A fresh urine sample may be collected at any time of the day. Your caregiver will tell you when to get the sample.

How is the urine sample collected?

Your caregiver will give you a sterile cup and lid, and a special wipe. Use the wipe to clean the skin around the opening where you pass urine. Begin to urinate into the toilet. Stop urinating, position the cup, and catch the rest of the urine in it. Do not touch the inside of the cup or the lid. Put the lid on the cup. Give the urine sample to your caregiver.

What do I do after the test?

Call your caregiver to get the results of your test. Your caregiver will explain what your test results mean for you. Follow the instructions of your caregiver.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your lab tests. You can then discuss the results with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.