Reasons Your Negative Uti Test Could Be Wrong
Lets just put it out there that if you have received negative results for a urine culture, but you still have symptoms, it is very possible you have a UTI. Unfortunately, these testing issues can add another layer of confusion and uncertainty when seeking answers.
This happens very frequently, and we can help explain why below. Its also a good idea to have an understanding of how a standard urine culture works.
Diagnosis Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Diagnosis of a urinary tract infection usually begins with a consultation based on the symptoms and a physical examination. It is usual for a doctor to also ask about sexual history, medical history and any instances of previous UTIs.
A sample of urine might be requested in order to confirm a diagnosis of a urinary tract infection. Dipstick analysis may be done first to indicate the presence of bacteria in the urine. This quick test entails dipping a small chemical strip into a urine sample, then looking for certain color changes on the strip which may indicate abnormal levels of blood, sugar or bacteria in the urine. Looking at the urine sample under a microscope can usually confirm the diagnosis, as well as which bacteria has caused the infection.
If an upper urinary tract infection is suspected, a doctor may also recommend blood tests in order to check the infection hasnÃ¢â¬â¢t spread to the bloodstream.
People suffering from recurring or chronic urinary tract infections may be given additional tests to determine if there are any obstructions or abnormalities causing the repeat of the condition. Such tests can include:
- An ultrasound scan of the bladder and kidneys, which uses painless soundwaves to generate an image of the urinary tract
- A CT scan or MRI scan for a more detailed analysis of the urinary tract
- A cystoscopy, in which a small camera is inserted through the urethra to see inside the urethra and bladder
How Long Do Kidney Stone Symptoms Last
As mentioned, the time frame for these symptoms can be as short as a week or up to a month and beyond. So, even if it feels like your kidney stone pain has subsided, its important to reach out to your doctor since sporadic pain is common with this condition.
While some kidney stones pass on their own, others require treatment such as medications or procedures to help break up the stone or even surgical removal. Your doctor can perform the tests needed to determine whether the stone is likely to pass on its own or if you might need treatment. In addition, your doctor can help you manage the pain associated with passing the stone, adds Dr. Kannady.
Recommended Reading: Std That Causes Kidney Pain
Also Check: How Do Doctors Test For Bladder Cancer
Can Utis Be Treated Without Antibiotics
In general, its recommended that you see a doctor and be treated with antibiotics when you start feeling UTI symptoms. In some cases, your body might be able to fight it off without antibiotics, but that can be a very uncomfortable, time-consuming process. It can also become dangerous if it turns into a kidney infection.
Since the standard treatment for UTIs are antibiotics, let the doctor know if you have any allergies to medications. Dr. Chandrapal
A Uti That The Test Isnt Detecting
One possibility is that you really do have a UTI thats flying under the radar. One 2017 study in Clinical Microbiology and Infectionfound that one in five women with UTI symptoms had negative results on the standard tests, but almost all these women had UTIs according to the more sensitive quantitative polymerase chain reaction test.
Standard urine cultures test for specific types of bacteria, but many women will have infections that are not able to be grown in these cultures, Rice says. Another possible reason for a false negative test is that often, the test requires a certain number of bacteria to be grown in culture. For instance, if someone has just urinated prior to leaving a sample and there is not a sufficient quantity of urine built up in the next voided sample, it is possible for a standard urine culture to report negative findings. A false negative can also occur if youve already taken antibiotics, so make sure not to do that.
If you think you might have a UTI thats not being detected, your doctor may be able to do a PCR laboratory test, Rice says. Dr. Jennifer Linehan, M.D, urologist and associate professor of urology and urologic oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint Johnâs Health Center in Santa Monica, tells Bustle that another type of test called Next-Generation Sequencing is even more accurate.
Recommended Reading: What Can Help Overactive Bladder
Evaluation And Treatment Of Flank Pain
After noting symptoms, the doctor examines the person and usually does a urinalysis to check for red blood cells or excess white blood cells. White blood cells in the urine suggest an infection. If an infection is suspected, a urine culture is usually done. A person with very severe, cramping pain and blood in the urine is very likely to have a kidney stone. A person with milder, steady pain, tenderness when the doctor taps over one kidney, fever, and excess white blood cells in the urine is likely to have a kidney infection.
If a kidney stone is suspected, the doctor often does computed tomography or ultrasonography to determine whether a stone is the cause, the size and location of the stone, and whether it significantly blocks urine flow. An intravenous contrast agent is not used for the CT scan. If the doctor is not sure of the cause of pain, often CT that uses an intravenous contrast agent or another imaging test is done.
The underlying disorder is treated. Mild pain can be relieved by taking acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Pain from kidney stones may be severe and may require use of intravenous or oral opioids.
What Is A Uti
Lets start with the basics: UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection which is the general term for an infection occurring anywhere within your urinary system. Most often they infect the bladder and urethra the tube that drains the bladder but they can also happen in the ureters the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder and the kidneys themselves.
Read Also: What Is Early Stage Bladder Cancer
Fever And Chills Along With Your Back Pain
This could also mean that you have a urinary tract infection.
If you have any of these symptoms, along with your back pain, you should call your doctor right away.
If your pain is unbearable, is associated with fevers or chills, or you have nausea and vomiting that is preventing you from keeping down fluids or medications, you should seek immediate medical attention, Nguyen says.
The Top 7 Signs Of Advanced Prostate Cancer
In the early stages, you may not notice any symptoms related to prostate cancer. This is why screenings are important. Symptoms can sometimes be noticed for the first time when the cancer advances.
Advanced prostate cancer, also called metastatic cancer, means the cancer has spread to other areas of your body beyond your prostate gland. The most common areas for prostate cancer to spread are your bladder, rectum, and bones. It can also spread to your lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and other body tissues.
Whether youve just been diagnosed or youre in treatment, its also important to know the signs of advanced cancer. Cancer can behave differently depending on your genetics, so not every person will experience the same symptoms in the same way.
Read on to learn more about the seven top symptoms of advanced prostate cancer and how to spot them.
You May Like: Zones Of Prostate
Also Check: How To Control My Bladder
About The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract is where our bodies make and get rid of urine. It’s made up of:
- the kidneys two bean-shaped organs, about the size of your fists, that make urine out of waste materials from the blood
- the ureters tubes that run from the kidney to the bladder
- the bladder where urine is stored until we go to the toilet
- the urethra the tube from the bladder through which urine leaves the body
Male Bladder Infection: Symptom Cause And Treatment
A bladder infection is a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria. This type of infection, like many UTIs, is more common in women than men due to the anatomical differences of their urinary tracts. The shorter urethra in women increases the risk of bacteria traveling up to the bladder. But, although women are more likely to get UTIs, bladder infection in males is not uncommon. And while the symptoms of urinary tract infections are similar in both men and women, some symptoms are unique to men.
You May Like: Does A Bladder Infection Cause Incontinence
Oh My Aching Bladder: Is It A Uti Or Ic
OH MY ACHING BLADDER: IS IT A UTI OR IC?
One in five women will have at least one urinary tract infection in her lifetime, according to the National Kidney Foundation. And, if youve ever had a urinary tract infection, you are all too familiar with the burning urination and constant feeling of needing to go to the bathroom. But, did you know that some of the symptoms of a UTI are similar or the same as symptoms women experience when they have interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome? How is a woman to know if its a UTI or painful bladder syndrome?
What is a Urinary Tract Infection ?
A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract, most commonly affecting the bladder and the urethra . When bacteria gets into the urethra and travels to the bladder, a UTI is often the result. With a UTI, the bladder lining also becomes red, swollen and inflamed.
Common symptoms of a UTI include:
- Urinary urgency or the feeling that you need to urinate often. You may have to run to the bathroom several times per hour only to find you urinate only a few drops.
- A burning sensation when urinating.
- Abdominal pain, pelvic pressure and/or lower back pain. You may experience lower abdominal discomfort, bloating and/or feel pressure in the lower pelvic area, especially when urinating.
- Blood in the urine. Urine can appear to have a reddish or dark orange tiny, which signifies blood in the urine from the infection.
- Cloudy urine that has an odor
- Fever and/or chills
When A Uti Spreads To The Kidneys Back Pain Will Likely Result
However, a UTI without kidney involvement can also cause back pain. Why would this be?
You may already know that if a urinary tract infection spreads to the kidneys, this can cause serious complications resulting in permanent kidney damage. It can even be deadly if not treated in time.
When people know this information, and they begin experiencing symptoms that suggest a UTI, they may then start panicking if their back begins hurting believing that the infection has made its way to the kidneys.
But back pain is also a well-documented symptom of an infection that is still confined to the urinary tract.
This then begs the question: Why can a UTI cause back pain if the kidneys are not involved?
Lots of medical conditions can cause back pain, begins Michael Ingber, MD, board certified in urology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, and founder of The Center for Specialized Womens Health, division of Garden State Urology.
Thus, if you have back pain along with the classic symptoms of a UTI , this doesnt automatically mean the cause of the back pain is whatevers causing your UTI-suggestive symptoms.
Nevertheless, a UTI alone can definitely cause back pain.
Kidney stones and kidney infections typically cause severe, one-sided pain that doesnt go away with changing positions, continues Dr. Ingber.
On the contrary, pelvic problems can often result in lower back pain. This can be from pelvic organ prolapse , endometriosis or UTIs.
Also Check: Can You Use A Drain Bladder On A Toilet
What Does A Kidney Infection Feel Like When Pregnant
Among the numerous modifications that happen in the body during pregnancy is an increase in the risk of establishing an infection of the urinary tract. The hormone changes along with the physical modifications put in by the enlarging uterus can result in a slowdown of the passage of urine through the urinary tract and even to vesicouteral reflux, a condition in which urine in the bladder backs up, or refluxes, back into the ureters . The hormone progesterone is responsible for changes in action of the smooth muscle walls of the ureters, and the weight of the uterus itself can cause urinary retention. There is even more an expansion of blood volume and increased load on the kidneys in pregnant women, leading to increased urine output in the face of decreased mobility of the ureters. Lastly, pregnant women tend to have greater urinary levels of glucose than nonpregnant women. All these changes predispose to infection within the urinary tract.
As in nonpregnant women, urinary infections can take place in the urethra or bladder or may spread to the kidneys . Most of infections come from existing bacteria in the vaginal and anal areas that spread out upward through the urinary system.
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Blood in urine and new onset since starting antibiotic
- Taking antibiotic more than 24 hours, and pain with passing urine is severe.
- Taking antibiotic more than 48 hours and fever still there or comes back
- Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and pain not better
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
Don’t Miss: Can Bladder Cancer Cause Diarrhea
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
What Causes A Uti
The most common cause of UTIs is bacteria. While more than one type of bacteria can cause a UTI, Escherichia coli is often the culprit. When bacteria get inside of the urinary tract, your body takes steps to protect you from the threat and fight it off. This results in inflammation that you may perceive as pain or pressure.
Inflammation also leads to swelling, making it difficult for urine to move through the urinary tract. Thats why you may feel like you need to urinate often or like you cant completely empty urine when you go to the bathroom.
Also Check: Best Way To Dry A Water Bladder
Recommended Reading: Sodium Bicarbonate For Bladder Infection
Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections need prompt treatment with antibiotics to stop the infection damaging the kidneys or spreading to the bloodstream.
You may also need painkillers.
If youre especially vulnerable to the effects of an infection , you may be admitted to hospital and treated with antibiotics through a drip.
Most people who are diagnosed and treated promptly with antibiotics feel completely better after about 2 weeks.
People who are older or have underlying conditions may take longer to recover.
You May Like: How To Keep Urinary System Clean
Recommended Reading: Bcg Instillation For Bladder Cancer
Why Do I Still Have Uti Symptoms After Antibiotics
Extensive research demonstrates that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are gradually reducing the effectiveness of UTI treatments. Its becoming increasingly common for some urinary tract infections to fail to respond to such therapy. When this occurs, the bacteria will continue to multiply, and symptoms persist.
Read Also: Bladder Control Products By Mail