Urine Infection in Older People - Diagnosis

Are any tests needed?

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:

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Author:
Dr Mary Harding
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Laurence Knott
Document ID:
13770 (v4)
Last Checked:
24 March 2016
Next Review:
24 March 2019

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.