Urine Infection in Older People - Diagnosis

Authored by Dr Mary Harding, 24 Mar 2016

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr Laurence Knott, 24 Mar 2016

In some cases the diagnosis may be obvious and no tests are needed. A test on a urine sample can confirm the diagnosis and identify what germ (bacterium) is causing the infection. Sometimes a dipstick test can provide enough information immediately. In other cases the urine sample is sent to a laboratory for further examination under a microscope. This result takes several days.

Further tests are not usually necessary if you are otherwise well and have a one-off infection. However, your doctor may advise tests of your kidney or bladder if an underlying problem is suspected. If you are a man, you may be advised to have some tests for your prostate gland.

An underlying problem is more likely if the infection does not clear with antibiotic medication, or if you have:

  • Symptoms that suggest a kidney is infected (and not just the bladder).
  • Recurring urine infections (for example, two or more episodes in a three-month period).
  • Had problems with your kidney in the past, such as kidney stones or a damaged kidney.
  • Symptoms that suggest a blockage (an obstruction) to the flow of urine.

Relevant tests may include:

Further reading and references

Just been prescribed ciprofloxacin for kidney infection wondering how long it take to work, was told 48 hours by GP but still feel really ill after 4 days. Never had this before so not sure how long...

Guest
Health Tools

Feeling unwell?

Assess your symptoms online with our free symptom checker.

Start symptom checker
Listen