What Is A Urine Culture Test, Why Is It Done, What Does It Indicate?

What Is A Urine Culture Test?

A urine culture test is a procedure that is done to identify the offending bacteria which is causing urinary tract infection. This test is done by collecting a urine sample and incubating it ion special environment favorable for bacteria growth and then definitively identifying the bacteria responsible for the infection. The bacteria that typically cause UTI can infiltrate the urinary tract through the urethra. The urinary tract has favorable environment for these bacteria to grow and multiple rapidly resulting in urinary tract infection.

What Is A Urine Culture Test?

Why Is A Urine Culture Test Done?

Urine cultures can identify the microbes, especially bacteria, which cause a urinary tract infection or UTI. UTIs are more common in females than in males. This is because a woman’s urethra is shorter and closer to the anus making it very easy for the bacteria to infiltrate the urinary tract from the intestines. Bacteria then go up from the urethra and get to the bladder and , ureters and they subsequently infiltrate the kidneys resulting in a kidney infection.

So, the urine culture is done to find out the cause of a UTI. A urine culture may also be done to make decisions about the appropriate treatment for a urinary tract infection. Another test known as the sensitivity test is done to make decisions about the best antibiotic for the UTI. The Urine culture is also used to find out if the treatment for the urinary tract infection actually worked.

What Does A Urine Culture Test Indicate?

A Urine culture test results are generally ready in 3 days. However, some germs may take longer to grow in the culture. So, results may take several days. The result of the urine culture test indicates to be normal or the urine culture test result is negative, if there is no growth of bacteria or other germs (like fungi) in the culture.

However, in case bacteria grow in the culture, then the result indicate is abnormal or positive. A count of 100,000 or more bacteria per milliliter of urine may be caused by an infection. A count ranging from 100 to 100,000 could be caused either by infection or due to contamination of the urine sample. You may require repeating the urine culture. If the count is 100 or less, it is unlikely that you have an infection. However, you may have a count of less than or equal to 100 if have already started on antibiotics. In case your urine culture results are positive then a test will be done to check for the sensitivity of the bacteria so that appropriate medication can be given.


We are aware of the urine culture test now. It is highly essential to take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor, in case of an infection evaluated in the urine culture test. One must strictly note that an infection that begins in the bladder or the urethra, can spread to the kidneys and can damage them. Make sure that if you notice pain in the lower back or side below your ribs and week weak, you consult with your doctor.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 12, 2019

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