Urinary Tract Infections

Please review this page before ordering urine culture testing.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are not sexually transmitted infections and occur when bacteria in the genital area travel up the urethra into the bladder. These can occur in all age groups (children, middle-aged, elderly). Common symptoms of UTIs include burning when urinating, an urgency to urinate, a desire to urinate frequently and discomfort in the bladder area (just above the pubic bone).

Urine culture testing is used to diagnose the presence of bacteria within the urinary tract. A mid-stream sample is sent to the lab for an overnight culture test. Within 24-48 hours, we have a test result which specifies the type of bacteria grown, and a sensitivity analysis demonstrating which antibiotics can treat that bacteria. Bladder infections can be treated before testing is available and is routinely treated in most walk-in clinics and emergency rooms.

TeleTest offers to test for uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections are infections of the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra). Complicated urinary tract infections result when bacteria from the urethra and bladder goes higher in the bladder system into the kidneys. Complicated urinary tract infections can cause:

  • Fevers

  • Chills

  • Rigours

  • Fatigue

  • Back Pain

Complicated urinary tract infections can cause sepsis, organ failure and if left untreated or receive delayed medical attention, can lead to death. If you are experiencing symptoms of a complicated urinary tract, we DO NOT recommend using TeleTest and suggest going to a local physician for assessment.

If you have had exposure to a new sexual partner, we suggest adding STI testing to your initial screening. If you have a new genital rash, we suggest going to a local clinic for visual inspection and swabbing as herpes rashes are not detected through urine culture testing or through our Standard STI panel, even if HSV antibodies are selected as an add-on, as antibodies to a new infection can take months to show.

Other causes of urinary symptoms

Urinary symptoms can also be produced by other medical conditions including:

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney stones

  • Kidney and bladder cancer

  • Prostatitis

  • Sexually transmissible infections

  • Other cancers

If you receive a negative culture result (no bacteria grow in your urine) it is important that you seek care at a local walk-in clinic for assessment to rule out a more serious problem, and determine if you need further testing including pelvic imaging.

If you do not understand the difference between a complicated and uncomplicated urinary tract infection, we suggest going to a local urgent care centre for assessment and not using TeleTest.

Urine culture results can take 24-48 hours to return results. In that interval of time, if you experience worsening symptoms we advise you to proceed to an urgent care centre for assessment.

When Not to Use TeleTest for Urine Testing

Your symptoms are worsening.

You have ANY symptoms of a complicated urinary tract infection.

You have not been able to produce urine or minimal urine despite drinking fluids.

You are experiencing recurrent urinary tract infections

General Questions

Can I get tested for a UTI?

UTI tests are ordered based on symptoms and are at the doctor's discretion during your consultation. Routine UTI testing is usually not done.

I forgot to ask for a UTI test. Can I add it to my requisition?

For new tests, you’ll need to complete another consultation request. This means choosing a new test panel, filling out the health history, and scheduling a doctor’s chat.

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