What is a complete urine culture test?

A complete urine culture test is a microbiological examination that is performed on a urine sample that can detect bacteria in your urine, which may be causing a urinary tract infection (UTI). Urine in the bladder is normally sterile and it does not contain any bacteria or other similar organisms, such as that of fungi. However there is always the possibility of bacteria entering the urethra and hence causing an infection.

The urine sample is kept under conditions that will allow bacteria and other organisms to grow, if few or no organisms grow, then the test is negative. However if organisms grow large enough to indicate an infection, then the test will show a positive. The type of infection can be identified from a urine sample, when it undergoes a chemical test.

Urinary tract infections are not that common in males, but are way more common in females. This might be partly due to the fact that the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra, and the fact that it is closer to the anus, which allows bacteria from the intestines to come into contact more easily with the urethra. Male are also at a lower risk of getting a urinary tract infection because there is an antibacterial substance present in their prostate gland.


What is the purpose of a complete urine culture test?

The urine culture allows us to detect, in the urine sample, the presence of bacteria that may be responsible for an infection on the urinary tract, and it will allow us to later isolate them. One of the most common urinary tract infections is Escherichia coli (E. coli). Using an antibiogram we can evaluate the sensitivity and resistance of the microorganism in the urine, to the antibiotics prescribed. This is called a sensitivity test and allows us to make proper decisions about the best treatment of the urinary tract infection. This test will also allow us to evaluate whether or not the treatment is working on the urinary tract infection, and if not, what the next steps in treatment will be.

There are certain symptoms that are associated with urinary tract infections, with the most common being; pain and discomfort (typically in the lower back and abdominal area), a fever, pain when urinating, and feeling an urge to urinate frequently.


Which patients can undergo the urinalysis exam?

The urinalysis examination is prescribed by the doctor when they suspect any infections of the urinary tract. Women who are in their days of menstruation can’t undergo this examination. It is also necessary and important to inform your doctor of any medication you are currently taking as it may affect the results of the examination. Prior medical history of the patient may be required by the doctor.


Is the urinalysis exam dangerous or painful?

The exam is neither painful nor dangerous to the patient, and is a non-invasive procedure.


How is the urinalysis exam performed?

The urine collection must be that of a morning sample and be delivered to the hospital. The patient should have an appropriate sterile container purchased, which can be found in pharmacies or provided by the laboratory, taking care not to touch the inside or the edges with their hands. The patient should first was their hands and then the genital area accurately. Collect inside the container the intermediate jet of urine, do not collect the first 2 seconds of urine flow and the last 2 seconds.