The pain is all too familiar. Going to the bathroom hurts. There’s an urgency, too. Your bladder feels like it constantly needs to be emptied. While men and women can get a urinary tract infection, women experience them more often. Some women are so susceptible that a doctor may prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic to lower infection risk.
UTIs are awful, and, if left untreated, can cause other issues like kidney damage. When the pain hits, use UTI test strips to rule out an infection. If you test positive, you can get the treatment you need to kill that infection and end your discomfort!
When to Use a Home UTI Test: What Causes a UTI?
The Mayo Clinic reports that there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing a UTI; sexual intercourse, menopause, being female (sorry) and diaphragms and spermicidal lubricants can make you more susceptible.
But while these factors can increase your risk, it’s bacteria that actually causes that painful awful infection. The most common bacterial culprit? E-coli (yuck!). However, other bacteria may cause them, too. A home UTI test will turn positive because of the presence of bacteria!
Common UTI Symptoms that Signal the Need for an OTC UTI Test
Most women, unfortunately, are all too familiar with the typical UTI symptoms. Before you grab an OTC UTI test, you may wonder if what you’re feeling could be caused by a UTI. If you have a UTI you may feel:
- A burning or hot sensation when you pee
- A sense of urgency (a feeling of always needing to go)
- Cloudy urine
- Abdominal pain
When you experience any of these symptoms, you need to take them seriously. Use at-home UTI test strips to see if you have a UTI or visit your doctor (or urgent care) to get tested if you don’t have time to buy a test.
How to Use an Over the Counter UTI Test
Using our over the counter UTI test strips to check for a UTI is simple. You’ll need to collect a urine sample; ideally, you should wait three hours and then take the sample. Why should you wait three hours? Diluted urine doesn’t provide the most ideal test specimen.
After you collect your sample, dip the strip in the urine (this is kind of like an at-home pregnancy test). If the strip pattern matches the pattern on your box, you don’t have an infection.
If the color on the strip becomes brighter—or intensifies—you probably have an infection. Our health professionals can advise you what to do next and may prescribe medication.
When the UTI Test Kit is Negative and Your Symptoms Linger
A UTI test that comes out negative may leave you concerned, especially if you continue to experience discomfort and other symptoms. If the test was negative and you still have symptoms, call your doctor. You may still have an infection or there may be other medical reasons for your pain. Urinary pain can have many causes, including an STD. Your doctor can evaluate you and order more tests as needed.
If My UTI Test Is Positive Can I Pass a UTI to My Partner?
A urinary tract infection is not an STD. If your UTI test was positive you don’t have to worry about passing the infection on to a partner or spouse. While women are more susceptible, men can get UTIs too. Remember, though, sex may put women at a higher risk for a UTI.
There are ways to lower your risk for a UTI, though. Stay hydrated, and some doctors even recommend emptying the bladder after sex. If you’re constantly suffering from UTIs, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to be taken after you have sex.
The Benefits of an At-Home UTI Test
If you have had a UTI in the past, you may want to keep a stock supply of UTI test strips on hand. Our at-home UTI test includes one test strip. Keep a box under the sink of your bathroom and test when symptoms arise.
While you can go to your doctor’s office or an urgent care to get tested, the price for testing and the visit may be more expensive. However, if you need help now, this may be the best option!
Keeping some strips handy, though, means you can perform a quick check privately and without an appointment. You’ll see a result in minutes, and our health professionals can give you advice on what medication you may need…and send off the prescription.
When the UTI Test Strips Turn Positive, Here’s How to Relieve Pain before the Antibiotic Starts to Work
Yes, an antibiotic will kill the gross bacteria and hopefully cure the infection. However, the antibiotic won’t immediately stop the pain and discomfort.
To make the pain less intrusive, you can buy an over-the-counter medication that numbs the bladder. These pills usually make your urine look dark yellow or orange and they may leave a not-so-great stain in undergarments; while the stain should come out, if you’re worried, just wear an unloved pair or use a pad!
Cranberry Juice: The Perfect UTI Cocktail Cure?
Many women turn to cranberry juice when they have a UTI or pain that they associate with a UTI. Some women believe that cranberry juice also can keep a UTI from occurring.
Is there any truth to the berry-tastic bacteria-fighting power of the cranberry?
While the cranberry does in fact have the ability to keep e-coli from wreaking havoc in the bladder, the juice of this fruit isn’t a magic cure. As noted in the journal article Cranberry and urinary tract infections, “in light of the heterogeneity of clinical study designs and the lack of consensus regarding the dosage regimen and formulation to use, cranberry products cannot be recommended for the prophylaxis of recurrent UTIs at this time.”
That being said, drinking cranberry juice can keep you hydrated, and we always need to stay hydrated. However, if you loathe the taste of that sour juice, you don’t have to pucker up in the name of a healthy bladder. Drink water instead!
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