A urine culture test is a test that helps in detecting the bacteria present in your urine. This test can help you in finding and identifying the germs that cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). The bacteria that is typically the root cause of UTIs can enter the urinary tract through the urethra.
In the environment of your urinary tract, these bacteria can grow at a rapid pace and it can develop into some kind of an infection.
UTI has some of the symptoms that can be detected among people. These symptoms could be pain and discomfort in the lower back and abdominal area, fever, an urge to urinate frequently, etc. If in any case you have a UTI, your urine might appear to be cloudy or even turn a bit pinkish or coral shade if there is blood present.
Even though you may feel a constant urge to urinate, you may have difficulty getting more than a small amount of urine to exit your bladder. In cases where the infection becomes much more serious, you might experience shaking, chills, or even vomiting.
For a urine culture test, the urine needs to be collected as a sample for the test to proceed further. The urine sample for urine culture test can be collected in various ways. Some of these methods are described below to give you a brief idea of how urine culture test works.
1. Clean Catch Method
2. Urinary Collection Bag Method
3. Catheter Method
4. Suprapubic Aspiration Method
1. Clean Catch Method - Clean catch method is one of the methods that is used to collect a urine sample. The most common way of collecting urine sample is the midstream clean catch method. In this method, you collect your urine in a cup as you urinate and that is used as a sample of your urine for the test then.
2. Urinary Collection Bag Method - Urinary collection bag is another widely used method in order to collect a urine sample. This method of collecting a urine sample is mostly used for infants and children. In this, an adhesive bag is attached to the baby's genital and when they start urinating, the urine is collected in the bag.
3. Catheter Method - Catheter method is a slightly more complicated method than the above two, for collecting a urine sample from people. Sometimes the urine sample needs to be collected via a catheter by a healthcare provider. In order to do this, a catheter is inserted through a person's urethra inside their bladder and then urine can be collected by the healthcare provider.
4. Suprapubic Aspiration Method - The suprapubic aspiration method is not a widely used method as compared to the rest of the methods of collecting a urine sample. However, in some rare cases, your doctor might need to remove a urine sample from your bladder with the help of a needle.
This procedure is known as suprapubic aspiration. It is used if previous attempts at collecting an uncontaminated sample of the urine have proven unsuccessful.
Collecting a urine sample would prove to be useful only if you are experiencing pain while urinating due to an existing UTI. Otherwise, it is not at all painful.
For a urine culture test, the urine is allowed to be kept for several days in order to let the bacteria develop inside the urine. After this, it is observed under the microscope.
If only few bacteria or organisms are detected, then the test results will be negative. But, if there are a large number of bacteria or organisms detected in the test under the microscope, then the results will be declared as positive.
The person who is conducting the urine culture test, will also be able to detect which bacteria or organisms are causing the infection. This they will be able to do either by sight or by a further test that can be conducted.
The results of your urine culture test are typically ready within 2 to 3 days. In case your result turns out to be positive after the urine culture test, your doctor will recommend you some antibiotic for your infection which you must take regularly to get rid of the infection.
This is basically how a urine culture test takes place and works on a general basis.