At Home UTI test strips. Thoughts?

WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 338Moderator Moderator
100 Likes 100 Comments 25 Awesomes First Answer
Hello Everyone Brooke here! 

Just wondering if anyone else uses at home UTI test strips? We spend so much time going to the doctor.. booking the apt.. waiting... waiting for the test results and culture to return- that we thought this may help skip a step especially if you have a standing prescription for antibiotics on file at the pharmacy. we would LOVE to know @AskNurseLinda if these things are worth having and IF And how they can help?!

thanks in advance. 




Your WAGS of SCI
(Elena and Brooke)

Comments

  • jaarchjaarch Posts: 50Moderator Moderator
    25 Awesomes 25 Likes 10 Comments Name Dropper
    I have some here I have used a few times. They are a bit pricey so I don't use them as soon as I see some cloudiness or sediment. I tend to wait until the symptoms persist or it gets worse or there is a bad smell. I went through quite a few at first always with negative results and I realized I was jumping the gun a bit. I wouldn't rely solely on these for a diagnosis though. When in doubt, go see your doctor.
  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Posts: 74Moderator, Information Specialist Information Specialist
    25 Likes 10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Awesomes
    Hello, UTI test strips are sort of a double edge. Yes, they can detect some urinary tract infections but they do cost a lot. If you get a positive, you will still need to submit a urine sample for analysis to confirm the infection. That same urine is then sent for a culture to determine which bacteria is present. Different antibiotics treat different bacteria. The downside to the UTI test strips is a false negative. An infection could be present but not picked up by the strip. So in the end, I don't know if you are saving that much time and energy.

    Some healthcare professionals will let you drop off a urine sample at the lab for a Urinalysis test. This type of relationship usually occurs after your healthcare professional know you are well aware of symptoms. It is also something that is not often seen today due to a variety of factors including quality of healthcare. If no infection, you might just go on your way or they may have you come in because whatever was your signal that you might have a urinary infection might be something else.If bacteria is present, a culture is completed.

    It can be really difficult to tell if you have a urinary tract infection. Some times the symptoms will be overwhelmingly clear, smell, sediment, blood, pus, fever, pain, etc. Some times there are no symptoms at all. One person can have a UTI with symptoms but the next time no symptoms and everywhere in between.

    There are other urine characteristics that mimic urinary tract infection.  Sediment can be just that, sediment without a urinary tract infection. Sediment occurs when the bladder is not moved very much so the heavy particles settle at the bottom of the bladder. Movement to your body helps this.  Blood might be from too little lubricant use. Whenever there is significant change in the quality of urine, blood, a fever, pain in the urinary tract or referred pain to the back or shoulder or neck, general fatigue, can all indicate a UTI. 

    As far as the use of the strips, if you find they give you some peace of mind and you can afford them, it does not hurt to use them. If you have some reason to test your urine and the strip indicates no UTI, the next step would be to figure out what is causing the symptoms to suspect a UTI.

    I agree that the time, money and energy spent going to an appointment, waiting and waiting and waiting only to provide a urine sample can be a problem. Talk with your healthcare professional to see if there is a way to expedite the visit such as doing the lab work first. If there is a UTI, treatment can begin at the time of the appointment. After turning in a urine sample, ask the laboratory for an extra sample cup that you can use if you need to provide a sample at a later time. That can help cut your time as well as you can collect the sample at home but then it has to be refrigerated or turned in right away.

    Do any of the readers have a solution they have worked out with their healthcare provider?
    Nurse Linda



    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

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  • trevorsendeavortrevorsendeavor Posts: 38Moderator Moderator
    10 Comments 5 Awesomes 5 Likes Name Dropper
    I’ve not ever looked into using anything like this but I do think that if there is something to give you an idea that you have a UTI quickly, that would be beneficial. I know a lot of times I start having symptoms and have to wait a few days to get results back from the doctor. That peace of mind sometimes is worth the cost to know if what is happening with my body is happening from a UTI or not. I have spent a lot of weekends waiting to hear back not knowing what is going on! I am curious to hear feedback from others first hand that have used these!
  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Posts: 74Moderator, Information Specialist Information Specialist
    25 Likes 10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Awesomes
    Hi, trevorsendeavor, I can really appreciate the need to know about UTI. I would not discount these as they have uses however, do not ignore symptoms of UTI even if the test strip indicates a negative. There can be a false negative meaning the strip says no UTI but one is there. 
    Still, it is a good tool if you want to  use them. The comfort factor is huge for product practicality. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!

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