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Culture Urine

Test Results & Interpretations
Patient Concerns

Overview of Culture Urine

Test Description

A urine culture may be ordered when you have symptoms of urinary tract infection, such as pain and burning when urinating and frequent urge to urinate. Pregnant women without any symptoms may be screened for bacteria in their urine, which could affect the health and development of the fetus. A urine culture may be ordered with a urinalysis or as follow up to abnormal results on a urinalysis.

Why Get Tested

  1. If you have signs or symptoms of urinary tract infections like pain or burning while urinating, frequent urge to urinate, lower back pain, fever with chills 
  2. During the first trimester of pregnancy to screen against urinary tract infections (UTI) 
  3. As a part of routine urine analysis or health check ups 


  • Collect the Urine Sample in a sterile container available from the lab or any pharmacy. Allow a small stream of urine to flow by and then carefully hold the cup under urine. Make sure the cup doesn’t come in contact with your skin.

What Results of Culture Urine mean?


  • Urine culture is mostly interpreted in conjunction with the results of a urine analysis, the symptoms of the patient and how the sample was collected
  • Typically, the presence of a single type of bacteria growing at high counts is considered a positive urine culture 
  • Cultures with more than 100,000 colony forming units/ml of one type of bacteria usually indicate infection in the urinary tract (UTI). Most common bacteria causing UTI is Escherichia Coli while other causes may be Klebsiella, Proteus etc. 
  • A culture which says “no growth in 24 to 48 hours” usually indicate no infection 
  • If a culture shows growth of several types of bacteria, then it is likely that the growth is due to contamination

Patient Concerns about Culture Urine

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How should I collect the urine sample?
A mid stream clean catch urine sample should be collected. Women should thoroughly clean the perineal area, men should wipe the tip of the penis, start to urinate, let some urine fall into the toilet and then collect urine in the container provided.
Q. What puts me at risk for recurrent urinary tract infections?
The factors which can predispose a person to get UTI are pregnancy, diabetes, sexual intercourse, kidney stones, instrumentation of urinary tract

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