UTI home test
A UTI can be painful and be a distraction from every day life. The incidence rate of UTI is very high in women and women are more likely to have recurrent UTI.
In speaking to women about their UTI allot have told me that they have a “feeling” when it is coming. With this suspicion maybe lots of water is drunk, or certain types of herbal remedies are taken in the hope of stopping the UTI. Finally, a doctors visit may be needed to get the infection under control.
A UTI home test is very valuable because it converts the “feeling” into a clear indication if a UTI might be present and if the treatment is working.
A UTI home test may be able to stop the uncomfortable burning symptoms and in the most extreme cases permanent damage to the kidneys through uncontrolled infection.
UTI home test strips
A UTI home test urine strip allows you to test for UTI at home cheaply and effectively. These urine strips have been around for a long time and can be found in your local pharmacy or purchased on line inexpensively.
Today there are many good products marketed as UTI strips. But be careful, we have found them to be more expensive than purchasing a standard package of all purpose urine strips as we recommend in this article. Same results, cheaper price.
A UTI home test urine strip is a strip of paper or plastic with reagent soaked pads on top. Each pad contains a different reagent that changes color when it comes into contact with urine.
To gain a test result the test strip is dipped into a urine sample and the chemical in the pads react with the urine sample. The pads will change color dependent on the presence of molecules that may indicated a UTI.
To read the result, the reacted strip is compared to a colored reference grid on the manufacturer’s packaging. As a patient you match the color on your test strip to the color on the grid. Once the color has been identified the patient’s result is known.
UTI home test results
A UTI home test urine strip is a semi-quantitative test. This means that the results give you a value range not an exact value. This semi-quantitative method is generally enough to indicate if you have a problem or not.
For a UTI home test we are interested in three tests:
- Nitrites; and
Leukocytes and nitrites will indicate if there is a possible infection. A positive blood result may indicate an advanced infection which requires medical intervention.
The image below shows these three tests from the packaging of a DSI Dus 10 parameter test strip. You an see the different colours and the related values. For example a nitrite test that is pink to purple will indicate the presence of nitrites.
Step 1 - select a UTI home test urine strip
- DSI Dus 10 parameter
- Acon Mission 10U
- Rocher Combur 5
- All Test URS-10T
- Atlas Medical Urinary Tract Infection Test
Step 2 - Do your test
To do the test you will need a disposable urine sample collection cup, a stopwatch and your urine strips. For those people who want to save their results, they should have the PURI application installed and opened on their phone.
Taking a sample from the first urination in the morning is good. Before taking the sample men should make sure their penis is clean and women should ensure that the area between the labia are clean to ensure there is no contamination.
To collect the sample have your urine collection cup on hand and urinate a small amount into the toilet bowl then stop. Place the collection cup in the appropriate area and pee into the cup, stopping before it overflows. You are now ready to use your urine sample to do your urine pH test.
Start the timer and dip your urine pH test strip into the urine at the same time (see instructions for how to use PURI here). Allow your strip to remain in the urine for as long as your manufacturer recommends, usually 1 to 2 seconds, and on removing the strip, wipe it on the side of the cup to remove any excess urine.
Wait until the correct time has passed to read your strip and then compare to the coloured grid provided in the manufacturer’s packaging.
Step 3 - Record your urine pH test result
Once you have identified the correct result, a simple way to record results is to write them on a piece of paper, or type them into an spreadsheet. When recording the result make sure you record the date and time and the result of your test.
A better way is to download for free the PURI Urinalysis App from the Google Play Store or the iTunes app store. PURI safely stores your data, has a simple input screen making it easy to save your results.
Step 4 - Record a photo of your results
Photos can be viewed at a later date to confirm certain aspects of your test. Particularly useful is taking a photo of your urine sample. Much can be interpreted from the colour and the physical properties. Your doctor may find these photos useful in reviewing your your test results.
So now you have your results stored in a safe place the next step is to understand your results.
Step 5 - Understand your results
If you had a negative result for leukocytes, nitrites and blood then you may wish to stop testing. If you wish to be sure, you can also continue testing at regular intervals to be 100% sure of the result. This is a good strategy for people who suffer from regular recurrences of UTI. A single result is a good indicator, but a series of results is much more reliable. You will have purchased more than 1 test strip so you might as well use them all.
If you received a positive result then it is time to understand your results better. Again, you might want to do a number of tests to double check your single result, for example, by repeating the test at the next urination. That way you can gain confidence in your result and have more data to share with your doctor.
Armed with your test results you can seek a clear diagnosis of your potential UTI. If you are positive for leukocytes, nitrites or blood the best and most accurate way is to book an appointment with your Doctor. Your Doctor is trained to interpret your results and can treat the infection or initiate more detailed tests to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis. If your diagnosis requires special treatment, your doctor can refer you to a specialist. The most important for you is that you gain treatment to stop the UTI.
If you have saved your results in PURI you can easily share your results with a Doctor or Pharmacist at the click of a button. In that way, if your health provider offers remote service, they can view your results and advise you via email or the phone. You can also share your result with the PURI Pharmacist free of charge for an initial opinion.
Step 6 - Manage your condition
Hopefully you obtain a negative result in which case there may not be much more to do. A regime of ongoing screening can be helpful to pick up on symptoms early.
For patients whose test results have resulted in an abnormal result it is important that you follow your doctor’s advice.
We hope you have found this article on how to test your urine pH at home useful. If you have any comments, feedback or questions then please let us know by filling out the contact form.