What is a home urinalysis test strip?
Using a home urinalysis stick you can help check if you have a UTI. It is a strip of paper that changes color if you have certain things in your urine. We want you to do one that is looking for leukocytes (white blood cells) and nitrites (bacterial byproducts).
These are commonly available over the counter in pharmacies and should be less than $10. The brand Azo makes one of the most popular options.
How does the home urine test strip work?
You catch your urine in a cup and dip the test strip in. The box shows shows how long to wait until you read the results. Compare the color of the two test boxes to the guide on the box and message your results to us! Here is what the guide usually looks like for most test strips.
Why do we ask a urine test strip?
Sometimes it can help us make sure that your symptoms are being caused by a UTI.
For example, if you drank a lot of caffeine sometimes it can make you feel like you have to pee a lot, but if you do a test strip it will be negative because there are no bacterial byproducts (nitrites) or white blood cells (leukocytes) in your urine. In that case antibiotics wouldn't be the right treatment since it isn't a bacterial UTI.
However, if the test strip shows that you do have bacterial byproducts (nitrites) or white blood cells (leukocytes) in your urine then we can be much more sure it's a UTI.
Why do we ask for a test strip after a UTI?
Sometimes after a UTI the bladder can still be irritated, especially after drinking alcohol and caffeine. If it's been less than a couple of months since your last UTI, it's really helpful to do an at-home UTI test to see if it looks like there is continued infection.
This test can be very helpful for us. We want to get your the right treatment but don't want to expose you to unnecessary antibiotics. If it is negative it tells us that it might not be a UTI, and that it could be something else going on instead.