A urinary infection is an inflammation of the urinary tract, mostly caused by bacteria, and primarily intestinal bacteria. The urinary tract includes the urethra, the bladder, the ureter and the kidneys.Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are 50 times more common in women and conditions can range from cystitis (a mild but disturbing inflammation that is limited to the bladder) to severe infections of the kidneys.
This test will screen for the presence of any protein, nitrites or leukocytes in your urine. The presence of these components may indicate a bacterial infection of the bladder.
REMEMBER: If the test is positive be sure to consult your doctor.
Why do I need this test?
It is mostly women who suffer from urinary infections, since the short urethra favours the penetration of germs. Around 11% of women get a urinary infection every year. However, elderly males are also affected if they have an enlarged prostate which is obstructing the flow of urine.
In healthy people, urine is sterile (i.e. it does not contain any micro-organisms). One of the best ways to keep your urinary tract sterile is to empty your bladder completely at regular intervals. Generally, an infection starts in the urethra and may then spread into the upper urinary tract as far as the kidneys.
What are the symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection?
The symptoms vary considerably, depending on whether the lower urinary tract or both the lower tract and the upper tract are affected. With infections of the lower urinary tract, there is a sensation of burning when emptying the bladder, or a strong urge to urinate. The urine may also be cloudy or have a strong odour. If the bladder is also affected, this is known as cystitis (a mild but unpleasant bladder inflammation). Where the upper urinary tract is infected, the symptoms may be similar, but in addition there may be pain in the lower back, fever and shivering, and the condition may in extreme cases require hospitalisation. Medical handling depends on the precise factors and circumstances of the illness; patients often respond quickly to antibiotic treatment.
How are urinary-tract infections (UTIs) identified?
Generally, first of all test strips are used; these are dipped in a urine sample to detect any signs of an infection: white blood cells (leukocytes), nitrites (many bacteria not normally present in urine convert nitrate from food into nitrite) and in severe infection cases blood will be present. If any of these signs are present, a more detailed investigation of both the urine and the patient will be required.
It is recommended that, for the test, a sample of urine be taken first thing in the morning, since early-morning urine is the most concentrated. The urine used for the test should not come into contact with water from the toilet or any disinfectant or cleaning substances.
For women only: The test should not be performed during or for three days after your menstrual period. The urine sample should not be contaminated with vaginal fluids since this may produce a misleading result.
1 x 5 test packs contain 5 strips per foil pouch (Please note that once the foil pouch is opened, all test strips will need to be used within 1 hour).
1 x Comparison Chart and instruction set.
How does this test work?
The test is the same one as done by your doctor. Very simply you put a sample of your urine into a clean uncontaminated container. Immerse the test strip into the container of urine for about 2 seconds. Wait 60 seconds and read the result by comparing with the colour chart provided.
What is being tested?
Your urine will be tested for three different items. These are:-
The presence of leukocytes in urine is an important finding in inflammatory conditions of the kidneys and urinary tract. In most cases, where there is a bacterial Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), leukocytes are found in the urine. If leukocytes are found in your urine sample the colour of the test strip will change colour and go dark pink or purple.
Nitrite eliminated via the urinary tract may only arise due to the conversion of nitrate into nitrite by bacteria inside the urinary tract, so one of the most important symptoms of a bacterial UTI is the presence of nitrite in the urine. If nitrites are found in your urine the test strip will change colour from white to pink.
The presence of blood in the urine is a confirmatory signal of a severe urinary tract infection. There can be reasons why blood is present in the urine without the other test strips being positive such as during menstruation. However, blood in the urine should always be investigated if there is no other known reason for the presence of blood.
What should I do if my test result is positive?
Remember that a positive result does not mean that all three substances have to be detected in your urine. Even if your result is positive for just one of them, it is most likely that something is wrong with your urine, even if the reason may not be a urinary infection. Get in touch promptly with your own doctor, who will be able to give a more accurate diagnosis. When you visit your doctor, please take the instructions with you so that he/she will be better informed as to the type of test you have performed.
What should I do if my test result is negative?
Remember that your test result is only negative if the result on the test field for all three substances is negative. But if you still feel the signs of a UTI or have any other symptoms, then contact your own doctor to arrange a more thorough examination.
When should I use the second test?
The second test may be used at any time before the expiry date to double-check the first test result. Make sure you retain the instructions for use as you will need these in order to check the test against the colour chart.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON TEST FINDINGS
The presence of leukocytes in urine is an important finding in inflammatory conditions of the kidneys and urinary tract. In most cases, where there is a bacterial UTI, leukocytes are found in the urine.
With chronic inflammation, or conditions which are already resolving, leukocytes may however also appear in the urine without bacteria being found. When taking cephalexin and gentamycin, or where there is a high level of glucose in the urine, the result yielded may be a false negative.
When taking imipenem, meropenem or clavulanic acid, the result yielded may be a false positive.
Nitrite eliminated via the urinary tract may only arise due to the conversion of nitrate into nitrite by bacteria inside the urinary tract. So one of the most important symptoms of a bacterial UTI is the presence of nitrite in the urine. However, a one-off test yielding a negative result for nitrite does not
exclude the possibility of a UTI, since the number of bacteria and quantity of nitrate (which is converted) may vary considerably. If urine does not stay for long in the bladder, due to hunger, a vegetable-free diet or antibiotic treatment, the result yielded may be a false negative. Taking
medicines containing phenazopyridine, on the other hand, may generate a false positive result.
The presence of protein in the urine is a frequent symptom in the case of kidney infections. However, there may be many other reasons for the presence of protein. It may be found where
there is inflammation of the bladder or prostate or bleeding in the urinary tract. Your own doctor will diagnose your specific condition if protein is found in your urine, determining why it has been detected.
Infusions containing polyvinylpyrrolidone or medicines containing phenazopyridine may yield a false positive result.
The test components may be discarded with your household waste.
Important note: Please do not make any important medical decisions without first referring to your doctor.