A urine culture is a test to see if there are bacteria in your child’s urine.
A urine culture is done to diagnose an infection in the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the:
The test will tell your child’s healthcare provider:
Sometimes the test is done after treatment to make sure an infection is gone.
Your child may need to avoid taking certain medicines before the test because they might affect the test result. Make sure your child’s healthcare provider knows about any medicines, herbs, or supplements that your child is taking. Ask your provider before stopping any of your child’s regular medicines.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions about the test.
There are 2 methods for collecting a urine specimen: the clean-catch method and the catheterization method.
The urine is sent to the lab and tested. If your child has an infection, it may take several days to find out what kind of germ is causing it.
Ask your health care provider when and how you will get the result of your child’s test.
A negative test result is a normal result, which means no bacteria grew in the culture and your child probably does not have an infection.
Usually a positive test result means your child has a urinary tract infection. However, the result could be positive when your child doesn't have an infection if too many bacteria from his skin got into the sample.
Test results are only one part of a larger picture that takes into account your child’s medical history and current health. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated to check the first result. Talk to your healthcare provider about the result and ask questions, such as: