The main diagnostic method of urinary tract infections is detecting bacteria in urine (bacteriuria).

Usually, in people, urine is sterile. Presence of bacteria in urine does not yet tell about infection.

For instance when urinating, non-pathogenic bacteria can get into urine from unsterile lower part of the urethra. They are maximum 104 in 1 liter of urine (10,000). Other reasons for non-infectious bacteria in urine include: long stay of urine untested (bacterial multiplication), poor hygiene when collecting urine sample (bacteria from outer genital organs)

Bacteria in urine is detected by:

  1. Microscopy and nitrite test
  2. Bacteriologic test (urinary culture for sterility)

Urine culture is a ‘golden standard’ in tessting for urinary tract infection. It is carried out to identify germ and determine its antibiotic susceptibility.

Moderate portion of urine is collected into a jar to be tested. Do not touch inside walls of the jar. To avoid bacterial contamination of urine samples before its collection women should insert tampon into vagina and wash vulva. They spread labia with their fingers so that urine does not have contact with them. Men should retract foreskin and wash their tip of the penis.