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Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. This may be enough to suspect a UTI.

A urine sample will be collected. These methods may be used to check for signs of infection:

  • Dipstick—A coated stick is dipped into the urine sample to check for signs of infection.
  • Urinalysis—The sample is sent to a lab to look for signs of infection.
  • Urine culture—A sample is sent to a lab to see if bacteria will grow and to find out which bacteria is causing problems. If one type of bacteria is found there will be more testing to see which antibiotics kill the bacteria or fail to kill it.


  • Bladder infection (urinary tract infection—UTI) in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-infection-uti-in-adults.
  • Introduction to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/urinary-tract-infections-utis/introduction-to-urinary-tract-infections-utis.
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) (pyelonephritis and cystitis). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/uncomplicated-urinary-tract-infection-uti-pyelonephritis-and-cystitis.
  • Urinary tract infections in adults. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults.


  • James Cornell, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.