Why do you need to leave a urine sample?

You’ve had them a million times….so, why can’t your provider just call in a prescription for you?  Why are you being asked to come to the office to leave a urine sample when you know EXACTLY what they feel like?

Most women who have experienced a UTI (a.k.a bladder infection) will never forget the uncomfortable bladder spasms or the stinging pain while urinating.   The mere thought of having to spend a day running back and forth to the bathroom to only pass a few drops of urine each time is cringe-worthy.  The thought process is: the sooner you can get started on an antibiotic the sooner you will start feeling better.

When a patient calls the office to report their symptoms – there is little doubt in our minds that she is telling the truth and she is experiencing extreme discomfort, but we have a responsibility to our patients to provide the best quality medical care, which is why we ask patients come to the office to leave us a urine sample before prescribing an antibiotic.

A UTI may be caused by many different bacteria.  While there are antibiotics which are effective against most bacteria, there is not an antibiotic available for ALL bacteria.   The only way to be sure we are prescribing the right antibiotic to treat the infection is to order a urine culture.

Urine cultures are performed at the laboratory and final results usually take 24-48 hours.    During this time period, any bacteria present in your urine will begin to grow under very controlled conditions.  Within the culture medium itself there are tiny discs of antibiotics.   The closer the bacteria grows to the antibiotic, the less effective that bacteria will be against that particular strain.   The disc with the furthest distance to the bacteria growth will be the most effective antibiotic.

In general, a prescription will be provided to you once your urine sample is received in the office to begin some antibiotic coverage and reduce your symptoms, however, it is very possible your prescription will be upgraded to a more effective antibiotic once the test results are reviewed by your provider.

Because developing a resistance to antibiotics is a serious cause for concern, it is extremely important to only take antibiotics specifically prescribed to you and to follow the directions as written.

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