The urine culture test is a simple test ordered by your physician to find out the germs in the urine that can cause an infection in the urinary tract.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is more common in women than in men as a woman’s urethral opening is very close to the anus and vagina. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), out of 100 women, 50 will have UTI at some point in their life. Also, untreated UTI can cause permanent damage to the kidneys. So we highly recommend every woman who experiences the symptoms of urinary tract infection to get tested for urine culture. We also recommend men getting tested as well.
The article below covers all the significant topics that are related to urine culture test like the urine culture cost, procedure, preparation, risks, when and how to get tested for a urine culture test.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the urine culture cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does the urine culture cost?
Our urine culture testing provider offers the urine culture test at $59 in different labs across the U.S. To know more about the booking details in your nearest lab, click the button below.
Urine culture cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. covers the urine culture cost. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan with the insurance company before getting tested for urine culture.
Our urine culture testing provider does not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code that is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is urine culture?
Urine culture is a test done to find out the germs such as bacteria and fungi in the urine that can cause an infection in the urinary tract. Urine is a fluid containing water and wastes produced by the kidneys and eliminated through the urinary tract. Though the urine in the bladder is usually sterile, germs can enter the urinary tract through the urethra and result in a urinary tract infection (UTI).
UTIs can be easily treated but if it is left untreated it can lead to kidney infection resulting in permanent kidney damage. So a urine culture is performed to find out the germs in the urine that can cause a UTI.
Why is a urine culture test done?
The urine culture test is done to diagnose a urinary tract infection. Your physician will order a urine culture test if you experience the following symptoms that are caused by a urinary tract infection or if you are at a higher risk of getting a UTI.
Symptoms of UTI
- Pain or stinging during urination
- Urge to urinating
- Foul and bad-smelling urine
- Pressure in the lower belly
- Pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen
- Lower back pain
- Milky, cloudy, or reddish color urine
- Confusion or mental changes (only in older people)
- Nausea and vomiting
Risk factors of a UTI
- Older age
- Kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
- Narrowed urethra
- Surgery or any procedure that involves the urinary tract
- Any obstacle that blocks the normal flow of urine
- Inability to control bowel movements
- Women using certain types of birth pills like a diaphragm or spermicide
- Sexual activity (this can move the bacteria from the bowel or the vagina into the urethra which could result in infection)
Normal range of urine culture test
Urine is sterile. But sometimes during the collection of the sample, the urine can be contaminated by bacteria. So, a urine sample containing up to 10,000 colonies of bacteria per ml is considered to be normal. The range greater than 100,000 colonies of bacteria per ml is considered to have a urinary tract infection. The range between 10,000 and 100,000 is considered to be indeterminate and so the urine culture test might be repeated to rule out a diagnosis.
How is the urine culture test performed?
1. Midstream clean-catch method
This is the most common method of collecting the urine sample. In this method, a healthcare provider will ask you to wash your hands and then wash your genital areas with a cleanser. Then he/she will provide you a cup to collect the urine. First, you have to pee in the toilet and then collect 2 to 3 ounces of midstream urine in the collection cup. After the sample is collected, give the cup to the healthcare provider who will send it to the lab for further testing.
2. Urinary collection bag
This collection method is mostly used in infants and children. For this procedure, a plastic collection bag is attached with an adhesive to the girl’s labia (either side of the vagina) or a boy’s penis. When the boy or girl starts urinating, the urine is collected in the bag which is then sent to the lab for analysis.
3. Urinary catheter
4. Suprapubic aspiration
This method is rarely performed. During this procedure, your physician will collect the urine sample directly from the bladder with the help of a needle. This method is only performed in the case of the previous methods used to collect an uncontaminated urine sample is unsuccessful.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
For a urine culture test, there is no special preparation required besides washing the hands and genital areas before providing the sample. But before the test, inform your physician if you are taking any medications or vitamin supplements as they may interfere with the lab results and result in an inaccurate diagnosis.
Are there any risks in the test?
There are no possible risks or complications in the urine culture test. Sometimes when the sample is collected through a catheter, you might feel slight pressure and discomfort when the tube is inserted into the urethra. Hardly, a catheter may create a hole in the urethra or bladder. But do not worry, your physician will help you with the ways to ease the pain during the procedure.
What does the test result mean?
For the urine culture, the collected urine sample is allowed to grow bacteria or fungi for several days, if they are present. Then the sample is tested under a microscope. If the urine shows the growth of bacteria, then the test result is positive and it indicates an infection in the urinary tract. Most infections are caused by the bacterium E.coli that is usually present in the stool. If the urine sample does not show any growth of bacteria, then the result is negative and you are considered to be normal and not to have an infection.
How to treat a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection is mostly treated with antibiotics. Your physician will prescribe the antibiotic based on the type of bacteria caused the infection and your medical history. The infection can also be treated by drinking plenty of water and urinating frequently as the bacteria may be flushed out every time.
Sometimes, when your immune system is weak due to a urinary tract infection, your physician may prescribe you vitamin C supplements to boost the immune system.
The urine culture test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the urine culture cost, refer to the first section of the article.
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Hawaii Georgia Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming