Have you had a UTI test and received negative results, even though you have symptoms of a UTI?
Or you might get a positive result, followed by a negative result, even though your UTI symptoms haven’t really improved.
Well, rest assured, you’re not the only one who has experienced this. And even more reassuring, there’s a good chance your test results were wrong, and that you do indeed have a UTI.
Science supports your suspicions that the standard UTI test is inaccurate. It has been proven inaccurate, and this article will help explain why, and what you can do about it.
Jump To Section:
- How accurate are UTI test methods? Not very. >>>>
- Why you can’t trust UTI test strips. >>>>
- 8 Reasons your negative UTI test could be wrong. >>>>
- 5 Alternative UTI test methods you could try. >>>>
- Should You Try UTI Test Alternatives? >>>>
How Accurate Are UTI Test Methods?
There are two standard ways to conduct a UTI test:
- A rapid dipstick strip test, which is done on the spot by your medical practitioner (or at home)
- A urine culture, where your sample is sent to a lab and is tested over the course of 24-48 hours.
Despite being the global standards for UTI testing since the 1980s and 1950s respectively, both of these tests are extremely inaccurate.
Accuracy Of Standard UTI Tests
In reality, antibiotics are very often prescribed without any form of UTI test. Patients and doctors are very competent at recognizing the symptoms of a UTI, but there are issues with this approach.
Statistics show that 26-44% of females will experience a recurrence of their first UTI. In this 26-44%, it is likely the initial treatment failed.
Evidence suggests that with each recurrence of UTI, another recurrence becomes more likely.
The more UTIs you have, the more likely you are to get another.
If your UTI treatment failed the first time, it is crucial to find out why as soon as possible, in order to break the cycle of recurrence before it escalates.
So why don’t the standard UTI test methods provide the answers you need?
First, let’s take a quick look at those urine test strips you can use at home or at the doctor’s office. Then we’ll explain some of the problems with urine culturing done at a lab.
Knowing the issues with both of these tests will arm you with the right questions to ask if you feel like your negative results are wrong.
We’ve also created a free download that provides a breakdown of the different types of testing. Provide the email address at which you’d like to receive the download, at the end of this article. Jump straight to download.
Why You Can’t Trust UTI Test Strips
UTI test strips are commonly used as an initial indicator for UTI. Studies have shown these test strips are unreliable, and cannot be used to rule out infection.
You’ve probably seen a UTI test strip if you’ve ever been to a doctor for a suspected UTI, but you can also buy them online or over the counter, to use at home.
Home UTI test strips often contain only two of the indicators (the little colored boxes) listed below.
What UTI Strip Test Indicators Mean
|Indicator||Why It’s Used|
|pH Level||If your urine pH is outside the normal range of 5-7, there could be an issue, or your urine pH may have been temporarily altered by something you ate or drank.|
|Protein||Protein in the urine (proteinuria) can indicate kidney disease or other health issues, but it can also be caused by:
- Urinary tract infection
- Stress or strenuous exercise
- Exposure to extreme cold
|Sugar||The most common cause of sugar in the urine is diabetes, but it can also indicate other rare health conditions.|
|Ketone||Ketones in the urine can also be caused by diabetes, but can also be a result of a state of ketosis, where the body burns fat instead of sugar for fuel.|
|Bilirubin||Bilirubin in the urine may be an early indicator of liver damage, however, this indicator is known to be highly inaccurate.|
|Urobilinogen||Urobilinogen is a by-product of Bilirubin production and may indicate issues with the liver, among other health issues.|
|Nitrite||Some bacteria that cause UTIs make an enzyme that changes urinary nitrates into nitrites. So if the strip is positive for nitrites, the conclusion is that you have a bacterial UTI. Note that many bacteria do not create nitrites in your urine.|
|Red blood cells (erythrocytes)||Blood can appear in urine due to strenuous exercise, but generally, blood in the urine is taken to be a sign of infection, inflammation, disease, or injury to the urinary tract.|
|White blood cells (leukocytes esterase)||A positive strip result for white blood cells in your urine indicates an infection in your urinary tract, or possibly, kidney disease.|
Studies show that UTI test strips may only be reliable about 30% of the time.
|“My urine was visibly cloudy and it burned when I went to pee. My doctor used a UTI test strip in my urine sample and said everything on the test strip was normal. I was told I didn’t have an infection even though I’ve had UTIs before and I know exactly what they feel like.”|
Some studies have bluntly concluded that UTI test strips should be abandoned as a tool for the diagnosis of UTIs in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms.
Given the low accuracy of UTI test strips, if the results are negative but you have UTI symptoms, it would generally be recommended that you have a urine culture test done in a lab.
Which brings us to the next problem…
8 Reasons Your Negative UTI Test Could Be Wrong
Let’s just put it out there that if you have received negative results for a urine culture, but you still have symptoms, it is very possible you have a UTI. Unfortunately, these testing issues can add another layer of confusion and uncertainty when seeking answers.
This happens very frequently, and we can help explain why below. It’s also a good idea to have an understanding of how a standard urine culture works.
Read Ally’s story, ‘An Embedded UTI: More Debilitating Than When it Hurts to Pee’ here.
#1. It Turns Out Urine Is Not Sterile
It has become common knowledge that urine is sterile – it’s even become ingrained in ‘first aid’ advice, like “urinating on a wound is better than using non-sterile water.” But it turns out it’s not.
The bladder has its own unique microbiome, and an ideal balance of microbes that your body does its best to maintain.
Studies have found hundreds of different bacteria in healthy bladders. And in patients with UTIs, they have found even more. That’s a lot of different bacteria that were assumed not to exist in the bladder!
Because UTI test techniques have always assumed urine is sterile, they have always been flawed.
For many, the consequences of this are UTI test results that list ‘contamination’ which implies the bacteria came from a source other than the bladder – possibly skin, vagina, or elsewhere.
This ‘contamination’ may actually be bacteria from inside the bladder that should be considered as part of the puzzle. Results may also show insignificant levels of growth that are then often dismissed.
It’s important to acknowledge here that actual sample contamination is also a real possibility, so minimizing this is also important. We’ve discussed this more below.
#2. The Pathogen/s Causing Your Symptoms May Not Be In Your Sample
Standard UTI test methods focus on free-floating pathogens (which is how UTIs start).
With every recurrence of UTI, there is an increased risk of an embedded, difficult-to-treat bladder infection. An infection embedded in or attached to the bladder wall is called a biofilm.
Biofilms aren’t always bad – many types of bacteria form these structures naturally and they’re an important part of the gut microbiome.
When bacteria form biofilms in the bladder, they are no longer free-floating. If the bacteria are not floating around in the urine, they will not be passed into your sample on urination.
If the bacteria are not in your sample, they will not be detected.
There are other reasons your sample may not contain detectable levels of bacteria, including over-hydration. If your bladder is frequently flushed and your urine is diluted, your sample may not contain enough of anything a urine culture can detect.
#3. The UTI Test Was Never Meant To Be Used For Everyday UTIs
In the 1950s a scientist named Kass conducted two small studies on two groups of females with acute kidney infections. One group of participants were pregnant females, the other non-pregnant females.
Kass discovered that a certain concentration of bacteria in a cultured urine sample was enough to indicate a kidney infection with 80% accuracy.
Kass suggested that a kidney infection was present when a certain amount of bacteria was found in the urine. This is called the Kass threshold, and you may have seen reference to it on your UTI test results.
|The Kass threshold means a concentration of 100,000 (105) colony forming units (CFU) of bacteria per milliliter of cultured urine must be present to indicate an infection. It is a very specific threshold without much room for interpretation.|
The key point here is that the Kass test was already only 80% accurate for acute kidney infections. It was never validated for use in lower urinary tract infections, like bladder or urethral infections.
Yet, this test was embraced by the medical community and has been the global standard UTI test for more than 60 years.
The Kass threshold has since been found to be far too high to detect many lower urinary tract infections. That is, much lower counts of bacteria in the urine can indicate a UTI.
|“If a urine dipstick or lab test comes back negative but the patient is clearly describing symptoms of a UTI, doctors must listen to them. Urine tests are far from perfect and it is vital to interpret them in the context of the patient’s symptoms.”
Dr Jon Rees, Chair, Primary Care Urology Society, UK
Because modern urine culture tests are based on the Kass test, any bacteria count that is below the Kass threshold will not be considered an infection, and antibiotic susceptibility testing will not be done.
#4. UTIs Can Be Caused By Multiple Pathogens (The Bad Guys)
Another issue with the standard mid-stream urine culture, or Kass test, is that it looks for a single pathogen, and does not take into account the possibility of multiple infection-causing pathogens.
Instead, if multiple pathogens are found, it is generally assumed that the urine sample was contaminated.
This is a problem because some chronic infections have been found to be caused by multiple pathogens co-existing in the bladder. And each pathogen may require a different treatment approach.
|“Our biological studies reveal mixed microbial infections hiding inside the cells of the bladder. Located there, the microbes seem quiescent but cause low-grade inflammation that may cause various bladder symptoms...Cloistered, inside cells bacteria escape antibiotic and immune attack.”|
#5. The Standard UTI Test Cannot Grow Most Bacteria
The standard urine culture method does not mimic the environment in the bladder. As we described above, a urine culture uses a specific medium, and specific conditions over a short frame of time.
The vast majority of all known organisms will not grow in these conditions. And many organisms that may be perfectly happy residing and multiplying in the bladder, will not grow in the environment of a culture plate.
This means the standard urine culture methods are just not able to identify all UTI-causing pathogens. The figure below shows organisms that have been identified in the bladder using expanded culture protocols. The markings can be interpreted as follows:
- Orange stars – Bacteria known to be associated with UTIs or to make UTIs worse, but are not detected by SUC.
- Yellow arrows – Known uropathogens that are not detected by SUC.
- Dark red arrows – Organisms that SUC detects.
- Unmarked – Not much is known about the unmarked organisms. Some of them might be beneficial (like the other Lactobacillus species), some benign (neither good nor bad), and some might be undiscovered uropathogens. More research is needed.
Alternative testing methods, like EQUC, PCR and NGS have been able to identify many pathogens that do not grow in a urine culture.
Dr. Krystal Thomas-White, our scientific advisor here at Live UTI Free, recently offered us additional information about why standard urine cultures can be so inaccurate. She shares these insights and more in our video interview. Check it out!
#6. White Blood Cells In Urine Are Often Ignored
We mentioned white blood cells (leukocytes) in urine earlier, as one of the indicators on a UTI test strip. As much as we cringe at the word, white blood cells are commonly referred to as pus.
White blood cells are also looked for in a standard urine culture at a lab. If either test method detects white blood cells in your urine, it is likely you have a urinary tract infection.
Unfortunately, the presence of white blood cells in a urine culture is measured against a threshold that was established even earlier than the Kass threshold.
You can think of the white blood cell measurement as a backup to the Kass test. Ideally, you would get UTI test results that show a significant amount of bacteria present, PLUS a level of white blood cells that confirms your body is fighting an infection.
Lots of bacteria paired with pus – an immune system response – builds a solid case for a UTI.
There are three major issues with the measurement of white blood cells in a urine sample:
- Much like the Kass threshold, research suggests the threshold for white blood cells is also too high, and that lower levels of white blood cells can indicate a urinary tract infection.
- White blood cells die off quickly outside the body, and may have already significantly reduced by the time a test takes place.
- If your urine contains white blood cells but fails the Kass test, the raised white blood cell count may be considered an anomaly and dismissed as unimportant.
This third point is commonly referred to as ‘sterile pyuria’.
|Pyuria means pus in the urine, and sterile means the absence of bacteria. So ‘sterile pyuria’ basically means pus was found in the urine, but infection-causing bacteria was not.|
Many researchers believe sterile pyuria is often incorrectly reported due to the Kass threshold being too high, and that lower levels of bacteria may be present and significant.
“I had ongoing symptoms. Sometimes acute, sometimes minor, but always there. I bought UTI test strips to monitor my urine. Every single day it showed I had raised white blood cells, but when I sent my urine to a lab, it kept coming back negative for an infection. I had no idea what was going on.”
#7. Epithelial Cells As An Immune Response Are Overlooked
Epithelial cells are the delicate tissue that can be found lining most of the urinary tract, including the bladder. When you have a UTI, your body can shed epithelial cells as part of its defense against pathogens that form biofilms or intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs).
The body is pretty amazing really. Pathogens invade and start to form communities on and inside the bladder lining cells, and your body starts sacrificing its own cells, in an attempt to foil the plan.
Historically, if these epithelial cells were found in urine that tested negative for bacteria, the cells were considered to be sample contamination. It is now clear that the presence of epithelial cells can actually be an indication of an underlying, embedded infection.
#8. It’s Almost Impossible To Collect An Uncontaminated Urine Sample
If you’ve ever had to provide a urine sample for any type of testing, you’re probably familiar with the terms ‘midstream’ and ‘clean-catch’. These basically refer to a urine sample that is captured only during the middle timeframe of urination and is free from contamination. There are two issues here.
Let’s deal with contamination first. Anatomically speaking, urine exiting the urethra is incredibly likely to pick up bacteria from the surrounding skin and vagina, and this will end up in the sample.
Second, it’s really hard to perch over a toilet, separate the labia (for females), and at the same time have a sample collection cup at the ready, and then only capture 30mL or so of urine from a stream that could be hundreds of milliliters in total.
The result of all this difficulty is that up to 1 in 4 urine samples are considered contaminated. Regardless of the type of testing you choose or are recommended, it’s always best to have an accurate sample.
5 Alternative UTI Test Methods You Could Try
We cannot reiterate enough… No evidence of infection is not the same thing as evidence of no infection.
Or, to put it in a less mind-bending phrase – just because your UTI test comes back negative, it does not mean you do not have an infection, particularly if the test used was a standard urine culture (SUC).
There ARE other testing options available, ranging from a modified urine culture test, right up to high tech genetic sequencing methods like those described below.
In addition to the information included here, we’ve also covered these testing alternatives in a resource and diagnostic directory you can download and share with your doctor. You can download this resource through our page about how to talk to your doctor about chronic and recurrent UTI or by completing the form below.
Check out our expert video series to learn more about how standard urine cultures are misleading and can lead to an inaccurate diagnosis.
|“There’s an old expression, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. It's gotta be a duck. And so to have somebody who has pain, urgency, frequency and burning, and yet they're told they don't have an infection because a urine culture was negative, who do you believe? Are you treating a lab result? Or are you treating a person?”
If you feel you have exhausted your current options and you are still experiencing symptoms that impact your life, it could be time to learn more about how to move forward.
A number of researchers, specialists and doctors in various countries have developed more comprehensive approaches to conditions such as recurrent UTI, chronic cystitis and interstitial cystitis.
Thanks to their efforts, there are a few alternative testing options you may wish to consider.
1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Testing For UTI
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is one of the more common DNA-based testing methods utilized for UTI. PCR is a very sensitive and specific method used to detect organisms by creating millions of copies of DNA sequences present in a urine sample. The process enables the identification of organisms, but only those selected to be tested for.
The selected organisms form what is called a panel, and for UTI testing this panel can include anything from just a few organisms up to dozens. Because of the limits to how many organisms a panel can contain, there is a risk that the organism or organisms causing a patient’s symptoms will not be included on the panel and therefore not detected.
To help address this possibility, PCR panels for UTI testing typically contain a list of organisms that are most commonly associated with UTI symptoms.
We’ve worked with a few testing laboratories to share more about this testing method and how various labs implement the technology, with UTI patients in mind.
Snippa has developed an at-home UTI treatment and testing model in which PCR UTI testing is combined with virtual care for acute, chronic, and recurrent UTI.
Mdxhealth utilizes an advanced antibiotic susceptibility test alongside their PCR UTI test. They also have a range of tests that aim to identify other causes of lower urinary tract symptoms in males, such as prostate cancer.
Emeritus Medical Technologies
Emeritus Medical Technology combines a PCR UTI test alongside a patient education portal, providing a variety of resources directly to patients.
We’ve also covered PCR testing combined with pooled antibiotic susceptibility testing in more detail, if you’d like to learn more about this method.
And if you’d like more information to take to your doctor to discuss these tests, you can download our UTI testing resources.
2. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) For UTIs
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is an umbrella term that covers a few different types of DNA-based technologies. NGS testing available for UTI generally utilizes what is called 16s and 18s, which refers to a gene common to all bacteria (16s) and fungi (18s).
NGS is more comprehensive than PCR in that detection is not limited to a panel of organisms. Instead, NGS looks for the 16s and 18s genes among all the genetic material contained within a sample and compares it to a database of thousands of organisms.
Those organisms identified are often reported in terms of ‘load’ which signifies how much of the genetic material found was made up of DNA from a particular organism.
We’ve provided more information about one NGS test available for UTI, if you’d like to read more.
A Caveat Regarding DNA-based UTI Testing Methods
Although scientists have used DNA to identify microbes for many years, the technology has historically been expensive and time consuming, and therefore considered inappropriate for everyday testing of chronic illnesses.
This is changing, however, and technologies such as PCR and NGS are now being used to identify the unique DNA of microbes found in human test samples, including urine. DNA-based testing has already detected more than 1,200 different microbial species in urine samples – a number far higher than any other UTI testing method.
Some chronic UTI literate practitioners are wary of DNA-based testing methods, as they often have the ability to detect hundreds of organisms in a single urine sample, and the significance of these organisms is not yet known. Without knowing whether an organism is contributing to UTI symptoms, how can we know which organisms to treat?
To help address this question, DNA-based test results typically show what percent each organism was found in – the idea being that any dominant pathogens will be identified, and that these should be looked at first when it comes to treatment. At this stage, this is the best information we have to go on.
This approach has proven successful for many practitioners who embrace DNA-based testing in different areas of human health, including chronic urinary tract issues.
If conventional UTI testing methods have failed to provide you with answers, DNA-based testing methods such as PCR and NGS could help you find them.
3. Expanded Quantitative Urine Culture (EQUC)
Expanded Quantitative Urine Culture (EQUC) is a UTI testing method that is relatively new, and has been used in many recent studies around the female urinary microbiome and recurrent UTI.
EQUC uses a modified urine culture protocol, that builds on the standard concept of urine culture with some very important changes. These include using larger volumes of urine, varied atmospheric conditions for incubation and longer incubation times.
The result is that the conditions of EQUC are far superior to those of the standard urine culture.
In fact, one study that compared the two techniques found that EQUC grew bacterial species (was positive) in 80% of the samples tested. In comparison, 92% of these same samples were reported as no growth (negative) using standard urine culture.
EQUC has been adopted as a UTI test method by a selection of practitioners in the USA. We’re looking into where patients can access EQUC and will publish further information as we find it.
4. Fresh Sample Urine Microscopy Test
This test is exactly what it sounds like. Upon providing a urine sample, it is immediately analyzed under a microscope to count things such as bacteria, fungi, white and red blood cells, and bladder lining cells (epithelial cells). It’s a technique that was used in the 1920s and has since been revived.
One UK study focused on recurrent cystitis with negative urinalysis, led by specialist, the late Professor Malone-Lee, used this UTI testing technique in combination with a thorough assessment of symptoms.
Based on positive identification of infection using this technique, the study reported a treatment success rate of 84%, in patients with urinary tract conditions previously considered untreatable.
|"We do one test; immediate microscopy of a fresh specimen of urine; counting the white and red blood cells, bladder lining cells, bacteria and fungi. The symptoms and the microscopic data are interpreted...they force consideration of all the data particularly the patient's narrative."
At present, we are unaware of US-based specialists using this same set of testing and assessment techniques. However, it is possible to replicate this technique with the help of a practitioner.
5. Modified Standard Urine Culture Test
Although we know standard UTI testing is inaccurate, some individuals do find an answer. You may be able to request changes to the standard urine culture to increase its accuracy. Possible enhancements include:
- Decrease the colony forming units (CFU) threshold from 105 to 103 or 102.
- Ensure a susceptibility test is completed if your test is positive for bacteria or yeast even at lower levels. This should be done automatically, and is essential to identify which antibiotic or anti-yeast treatment should be prescribed.
- Lengthen the incubation period, to encourage the growth of more types of pathogens.
These changes aren’t always possible, so you should ask your doctor about it, or request it directly at a lab if you test independently.
While we don’t usually recommend using techniques that have been shown to be so flawed, there are very few options for UTI testing in most regions, and we don’t want to dismiss it completely.
Why It’s Important To Find The Right Practitioner
While you may be able to request UTI testing independently, the results have limited usefulness without a practitioner who can interpret the information and prescribe an appropriate treatment regimen.
Because the types of UTI testing covered above are not widely available, many practitioners may not be aware of them at all. Or they may be aware of them but have no experience using them, or may believe them to be unhelpful.
Always find a practitioner to work with before ordering testing. We’ve covered recurrent UTI treatment approaches in a separate article, so dive in there for more insight.
|“With Microbiome testing, you don't often get one bacteria. Certainly, I have found the usual suspects like E. coli. I’ve even detected some STIs, and anaerobes that can’t be grown by culture. Sometimes, you get long lists of bacteria that we know very little about, and I'll do extensive literature searches and sometimes barely come up with one or two papers. And so what I generally do in that situation is to try and figure out which are likely to be pathogenic, and treat those. This is a really different way of prescribing antibiotics compared to when I was trained."
Should You Try UTI Test Alternatives?
Only you can decide how important it is to pursue more effective testing and treatment.
Ask yourself a few questions first:
- Have you already submitted multiple urine samples for culturing in a lab?
- If so, were the results negative despite your symptoms? Did you actually receive your results?
- If your results were positive, do you feel the treatment was effective, or did you experience UTI symptoms again shortly after?
- Do you feel your recurrent or chronic symptoms are something you are happy to manage, or are you interested in investigating a possible long term solution?
- Have you gathered all your previous test results and gone through them with one practitioner to discuss any patterns or trends?
- Do you feel you understand the options available, or should you do some more research?
- Do you have a practitioner that you feel can help with alternative testing methods?
These are all questions we can’t answer for you. We understand this is an individual journey for each person.
To get answers to commonly asked questions about chronic and recurrent UTI, visit our FAQ page.
Hi, i have suffered with uti’s for years on and off, this year has been particular difficult – complicated by menopausal symptoms. Ive had multiple infections this yearand one caused by cystoscopy. i test my urine with sticks but results vary. I do some microbiology with my work and look at my urine and it contains epithelial cells containing bacteria in constantly, Is there any hope to eradicate intracellular bacteria or is the only hope management?
Hi Emma, we sent you an email earlier with more information on chronic UTI specialists and testing options in your region. I hope it helps, Melissa
Hello, I’m so glad I came across this article. Like many others in the comments, after having symptoms of UTI I’ve had numerous blood tests and urine tests that always came up negative. It’s stressful because I know what my symptoms are and want to get treated but the doctors can’t pinpoint what the problem is. For me, whenever I eat foods with flour the symptoms tend to get worse. Is that something common with people with UTI? Also, I would really appreciate it if there’s any recommendations for providers near Fairfax, Virginia. Thank you.
Hi Kim, thanks for sharing more about your experience, you’re not alone in that! I just sent you an email with more information. I hope it helps, Melissa
Je fais des infections depuis plus de dix ans une tous les 6 mois environs et depuis 2 ans ça augmente maintenant j’en suis à une infection tous les 15 j sous anti-bio en permanence . Urologue ne s’interresse qu’à stopper mes envies fréquences d’uriner probiotique à 43e, appareil électrique et caméra dans la vessie tout ça sans résultat.
Alors au secours !!!!! besoin de conseils et d’aide.
Bonjour Isabelle, nous vous avons envoyé un courriel avec plus d’informations. Melissa
J’ai eu un ecbu négatif mais je ressens toujours de brûlure et des douleurs au niveau du ventre
Bonjour Balla, nous vous avons envoyé un courriel avec plus d’informations. Melissa
J’ai des infections urinaires a répétition. Et les résultats a lecbu toujours négatif
Hi there, I have just sent you an email with more information. Melissa
Hello, I’m based in India its been more than an year I’m in constant pelvic pain/pressure with urinary frequency and urgency had 5 urine culture and many urinalysis but only once the culture report came back positive with E-coli got antibiotics felt relief for two days then pain came back aggressively
But follow up culture was negetive. Do you happen to know any doctors using microgen testing methods in India or nearby countries ? Thank you!
Yes, I already have emailed them waiting for response.
Hi Priti, we know it is possible to order a MicroGenDX test kit from India, but at the moment we are not aware of any clinicians who are using this test. One option is to reach out to MicroGenDX directly to ask if they can refer you to someone in your region. Melissa
Infection urinaire recidivente
Bonjour Françoise, vous pouvez lire cet article en français : https://liveutifree.com/fr/ecbu-negatif-symptomes-urinaires/. Melissa
Thank you so much for this article. I just got over a UTI after a 5-day course of the sulfur meds only to find out that my test came back negative. I was legitimately perplexed because I know I had a UTI.
Hi Kim, I’m glad the article was helpful. If you ever have questions, you are welcome to get in touch directly. Melissa
I’m 47, male, been to numerous doctors over 10 yrs, always receive negative results on uti test, but im sure I have an uti, it burns, the line that carries urine feels itchy, im always constipated, and if I have unprotected sex my body feels even worse, doctors actually tell me it’s in my head, tried giving me depression meds, I no sumthing is wrong with my body, your article stated doctors are still supposed to listen to thier patients and figure out the problem, sorry to inform you guys but in America, doctors only treat what’s positive on test, no one wants a lawsuit and I just want help
Please help me
Hi Denise, can you please send us a direct message with more information? We’ll do our best to share useful resources. Melissa
I would like to share with you a remedy that worked for me. I faced a similar challenge for over 20yrs.
Hi Agumba, you are welcome to send me a direct message if you would like to share more about your experience. Melissa
Hi Terry, can you please send me a direct message and let me know what state you are based in? I will share any relevant resources we have. Melissa
Hello, I recently went to urgent care for what I suspect is a UTI. The test came back negative except for “trace” blood. They completely disregarded that, but sent it out for a culture anyway. Isn’t any blood in urine the sign of something? I don’t think it’s normal. Also, on a previous test it came back as “few bacteria” and “trace blood” . I think I’ve got a UTI!
Hi Lorraine, given the inadequacies of standard UTI testing, it is highly possible that you do have a UTI, even if those tests are negative. If you have any questions or would like information about recurrent UTI specialists, you can send us a direct message. It helps to know where you’re based. Melissa
I’ve gotten 3 UTIs in the past month, all due to intercourse. It was my first time ever dealing with a UTI. I’m done with treatment, but I’m still having symptoms. I’ve gone to urgent care twice in the past week to check for reinfection, but the tests came out negative. The doctor also tested me for bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and yeast infection, but all those tests came out negative as well. I do not have any STIs either. I’m not sure what to do at this point. And I can’t get an appointment with my primary care doctor fast enough to see if there may be an underlying condition.
Hi Emily, can you please send us a direct message and let us know where you are based? We can share more information by email. Melissa
Hi, I’m 29 and I’m suffering from UTI for almost 3 years but in the last year all of my urine tests came back negative altought the pain is getting worst. Unfortunately I’m based in Portugal, do you happen to know if there are any UTI specialists that use these advanced testing methods in EU region? Many thanks for your amazing support, Catarina
Hi Catarina, I saw you also sent us an email so we’ve replied there with more information. Melissa
Hello, I’ve been suffering from UTI for a quite long time, but the last 3 years were severe, I can get multiple times and more often time by time. The last several urine tests showed no bacteria or whatsoever. Until one month ago I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease, because I also have chronic digestion problems. My question is does autoimmune disease can cause bladder inflammatory? If so what kind of treatments are best for someone diagnosed with autoimmune disease? Thank you!
Hi Raylee, can you please send me a direct message and let me know where you are based so I can share appropriate resources? Melissa
About 3-4 months ago I had terrible pain/pressure in my pelvic area Went to the Dr she did the dipstick test said I had a UTI put me on meds it cleared up but the lab results said I didn’t because the test was contaminated Recently I went to urgent care(my Dr was not available) because I could tell I was getting a UTI, that same pressure discomfort started I wanted to get ahead of it The urgent care Dr said my urine was clear that I either drink so much water so it’s not showing up or I’m at the start of 1 so I’m flushing it out or have some long name which means inflamed bladder But he wrote me a prescription anyways If you Google inflamed bladder it is a UTI or you have inflamed bladder disease I can’t remember the exact term he said anyone have information that would be helpful?
Hi Maria, as described in the article above, UTI dipstick tests can be very inaccurate, and a negative result cannot rule out a UTI. It’s important to speak with clinician who understands the limitations of standard testing. If you’d like help finding one, please send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based. Melissa
Bonjour, j’ai des infections urinaires à répétitions depuis plusieurs années.Les bandelettes urinaires sont toujours négatives avec des ecbu positif ou parfois négatifs. Mal soigné j’ai des antibioresistances. J’ai eu tous les examens (cystographie,urographie , scanner), je n’ai rien. J’ai été vacciné avec strovac, ca n’a pas aidé. J’ai eu un prélèvement à l’urètre qui a montré un ureaplasma urealitycum. J’ai été traité par doxycycline et mon conjoint aussi mais ca récidive. Je n’en peux plus. Je prend des comprimés de tilidin contre la douleur. Je suis ouverte à toutes les nouvelles méthodes.
merci de votre retour
Bonjour Keziban, je suis désolée d’apprendre ce que vous traversez. Vous n’êtes pas seule. Je vous ai envoyé un e-mail avec des informations complémentaires, et si vous avez d’autres questions, n’hésitez pas à me contacter. Melissa
Hi there! So happy I found this article. I have had UTI symptoms for about 5 months now, but they’ve gotten worse the last few weeks. Had a urinalysis completed which had bacteria, elevated WBC and leuk esterase, but then the subsequent urinalysis had no bacteria and negative for the culture. I try to avoid antibiotics at all cost and would only take them if I could figure out what bacteria is actually causing issues. I saw some others request this, but I would greatly appreciate any recommendations for providers in Cleveland, OH. Thank you!
Hi Maya, we sent you some information by email. I hope it helps! Melissa
Hello. My 77 year old mother who has had UTIs constantly has been showing signs of dementia. There is no family histiry of memory issues her mother lived untl 95 with no memory issues and grandmother until 92. I am concerned tgst there us something else going on, like a UTI. However the memory loss has been going on for many years now. Is this unrealistic?
Thank you for your advice.
Hi Meredith, I saw you also sent me an email so I’ve replied there with more information. Melissa
I have suffered repeated UTIs for 5 years since menopause normally showing ecoli . The last UTI came back as strep b and I was treated accordingly. I provided a sample to determine if infection had cleared but I have since discovered that a dipstick test cannot detect Strep b. Six months later my symptoms have recovered but yet again adipstick test proves negative.
Hi Penelope, it’s true, a UTI dipstick cannot rule out infection. I may be able to share some helpful resources if you get in touch directly and let me know where you are based. Melissa
I am 32 and have had issues with bladder infections for years I get them if I don’t drink enough water or take a long car trips or flights. I recently had what I thought was a bladder infection but all of my test results kept coming back negative for UTI. Anabiotic‘s and D Mannos help relieve the problem but then as soon as the treatment is over, the symptoms come right back. At this point it’s been almost a month and usually antibiotics take care of the problem but not his time. So it is a UTI or not? So frustrating.
Hi Elaina, given the information in the article above, it is very possible to have a UTI despite a negative test results, and it’s not uncommon for treatment to fail. We’ve covered more on the recurrence of UTI symptoms, if you’d like to read further. You can also reach out directly and let us know where you’re based, so we can share resources by email. Melissa
Hi, I’m a 34-year old otherwise fit and healthy woman, but for a chronic UTI which began in December 2020. I have been prescribed Nitrofurantoin 6 or 7 times since then—most of the courses were 3-day 2 x 100mg per day courses. I finally convinced my doctor to put me on a 5 day course and I am now coming to the end of a 7-day course, but my UTI still persists. My urine tests keep coming back normal. It’s making my life a misery and don’t know how to treat it, except long-term antibiotics. Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Kate, we hear from many people with similar experiences. Can you please send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based? Melissa
Hi! I had UTI symptoms a year ago and the culture was negative. Then I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis. However, the pain got much worse and I recently tested positive for a UTI. The medicine helped a lot but symptoms came back shortly after although not as painful. I got another UTI test at the doctor and they said this one was negative. However, I took a CVS test and it was positive for white blood cells. What would you recommend? Do you have any recommendations of doctors in North NJ? Thanks!
Hi Samantha, I just sent you an email with more information. I hope it helps. Melissa
I had uti symptoms , had urine & culture done..Both were negative but I used Azo stripes say positive…I am confused..
Hi Joanna, as we covered in the above article, both the standard culture and the test strips have been shown to be very inaccurate. It is entirely possible to have a UTI even with a negative result on both, or with a positive result on one and not the other. You may need to investigate other diagnostic methods and/or work with a UTI specialist. If you have any questions, please send me a direct message. Melissa
do you happen to know if there are any UTI specialists that use these advanced testing methods in my region in Europe?
I’m in the Czech Republic. I guess there is nobody in my country, but at least in nearby EU countries.
Hi Jiri, I’ve just sent you an email with the information we have about recurrent UTI options in Europe. I hope it’s helpful. Melissa
[…] Why Your UTI Test May Be Negative Even If You Have Symptoms (liveutifree.com) […]
Could you send me resources in the LA area? I’ve had 3 UTIs in the last 3 months that have been positive via the urine sample but negative cultures. Antibiotics seem to help for a couple weeks but symptoms have come back.
Hi Abigail, I emailed you with more information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Hi, I’ve been suffering heavily from UTI symptoms (difficult urinating, frequently urinating). The urge to urinate is there again almost immediately afterwards, and today it even took 3 hours to urinate once. I had a UTI test at an ER (when I thought symptoms got worse) yesterday (12/31 night) and they said there’s no UTI. I’m worried about a misdiagnosis. Could you please recommend anyone in the Los Angeles area (or closest to it) that can help me? Thank you so much.
Hi Johnny, sorry to hear that. I just sent you some information by email. I hope it helps. Melissa
So interesting finding this. I have had 3 UTI’s in the last few months which has never happened before. I’m feeling very confused as to what the best steps are going forward. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I live in Norfolk, VA could you send me a list of practitioners that I could go to that do this type of testing? Or some relatively close by?
In the last 4 months I’ve had four UTI’s that don’t ever feel like they completely gone away. I still have frequent urination throughout the day and I’m usually up 3-4 times a night to take a trip to the bathroom. The doctors tell me it’s just related to sex and there is nothing to be done, but to administer antibiotics. But I don’t ever feel complete relief after I take them. Would love to find something that actually takes my symptoms away. Thank you.
Hi Julia, I sent you an email with more information. Let me know if you have any questions. Melissa
Hi Victoria, can you please send me a direct message and let me know where you are based? Melissa
Hi I live in Tampa Florida, could you please send me a list of practitioners I could go to here? Or the closest at least. I’ve had frequent urination for about a year and had a uti test come back negative but would love a more accurate test!
Hi Kyle, I just sent you an email with some information that I hope will help. Melissa
My question is, does the practitioner send the urine sample to a California Pathnostics Lab, or a local Lab like Lab Quest? Does this matter? How does the nurse know how to get the correct information to package and ship the urine sample?
Hi Allyson, which lab the practitioner uses depends on the practitioner. If you would like to use Pathnostics, you may have to request it. Perhaps you can send me a direct message with more information, and I can help you out by email. Melissa
Hello! Thank you so much for such an informative article. I’ve been having UTI symptoms for months now and urine tests and kidney function tests came back clean. I just moved to the UK and I have repeated urine tests and cam3 out clean also. Can you kindly advise on thr specialists to see? Many thanks
Hi Hakeem, I just sent you some information by email. I hope it helps. Melissa
Thank you, firstly, for this amazingly outstanding website and its labyrinth of helpful information and links! It truly is empowering and fills one with hope!
I would really appreciate a list of practitioners in the U.K., please.
Hi Norma, thanks for your kind feedback! I just sent you an email with more information. I hope you find it helpful. Melissa
Please help I really don’t know how what to I’ve had this uti for almost four weeks two short rounds of antibiotics has not done anything. My urine sample was clear but I am still suffering with symptoms. I’m am UK based. Waiting for a call again from doctors today. But I know they’ll say ” but your urine is clear “”” I know I still have a uti.
Hi Emma, sorry to hear this, I know how frustrating that can be. I’ve sent over an email with some more info, feel free to reply directly there. Susy
My 4 year old daughter has been suffering from recurrent UTI’s for a year now. She’s had a 6 month course of profilactic antibiotics and 3 months after stopping the symptoms started again and she’s had more UTI’s. Do you have details for UK based specialists as we aren’t getting to a reason/treatment plan with current urologist.
Hi Julie, I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve sent over some more info via email. Susy
Hi, I am suffering from the same problem as all of us above. Months of treatments and antibiotics did not help. Any chance you may have contacts to any specialists in the UK, please? I am quite desperate 🙁
Hi Ola, I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve sent over some UK-based practitioners and resources via email. I hope you find answers soon! Susy
Are there any specialist near Pensacola, Fl?? Thank you!
Brunswick, GA. Fernandina Beach, FL Jacksonville, FL or Savannah, GA
I have recurrent symptoms. Level 2 microgenx test found a culprit. Took 7 days of Augmentin and it seemed to be working!!! Current urologist says no infection with urinanylsis. Getting worse again. Please help!!
Hi Cheryl, I saw you also sent us an email so I’ve replied there with more information. Melissa
Hi Paige, I just emailed you more information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Please help! Can you send me names of specialists in the Houston, TX area who can help me with recurring UTI’s. Mine are most likely related to menopause, so maybe doctors who specialize in urology and gynecology. Any help you can give would be so appreciated!
Hi Rosalyn, we’ve sent you a couple of emails but it seems as though you may not be receiving them. I’ve just tried again. Please check your inbox! Melissa
Hi Susy, I’m in the same situation as Sarah in NYC – would you mind sharing the same information with me? Thanks so much!
Hi Ashley, I just forwarded the information to you by email. Melissa
I need recommendation for specialists in Los Angeles who conduct alternative and more accurate testing.
Hi Ana, I just sent you an email with more information. Melissa
Are there any practitioners or specialists you recommend in Los Angeles?
Hi Hannah, I just emailed you with some information for your state. Melissa
Hi! I would really appreciate some help finding a GP or Urologist who will help me with my uti symptoms. I haven’t had any utis for about a year and then a month ago I got one. I just recently moved to nyc so I went to the nearest urgent care and they did a urinalysis which came back positive and a culture that came back negative. I took Macrobid and that cleared up most of my symptoms but I still had a bit of burning and my symptoms have slowly been coming back with more severity. I went to urgent care again and the dr told me I was negative for an infection. But I know these symptoms all too well. Any suggestions for who I can see that will help me get the answers and treatment I need will be greatly appreciated!
Hi Sarah, sorry to hear you’re experiencing that. I saw you sent us a direct message as well and have replied with some more info there. I hope you find answers soon! Susy
Hi, I have alll the symptoms commented here. 3 weeks with a recurring UTI now. I am in London, but i would probably struggle to pay a very sophisticated treatment. Do you know who could help?
Hi Javiera, I just emailed you some information about recurrent UTI specialists in the UK. I hope it helps. Melissa
I’m growing really frustrated (and uncomfortable)! I’m going on over 3 weeks of what seem to be mild UTI symptoms. An at home test strip is often positive for white blood cells at varying levels, yet two urine cultures have been negative for everything, no growth. A round of Macrobid seemed to produce some brief relief, and around the clock d mannose appeared helpful until it was stopped. I’m now being told to consider IC but I don’t have any pain! It doesn’t feel correct.
Hi Kelly, sorry to hear you’re experiencing this, I can understand your frustration. We hear from many with similar stories, so you’re not alone! We also hear that for many, they had a turning point when they found a UTI specialist to work with. If you’re not sure where to find one, you can send us a direct message with your location, and we’ll share what info we can. Susy
Any specialists in Canada? All my cultures come back negative with High WBC but have been living in debilitating discomfort with all the uti symptoms for months. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Alison, I’ve sent you an email with some more info. I hope you find answers soon. Susy
I’ve recurrent uti symptoms despite taking antibiotics my last urine test shows uncountable puss cell therefore my GP suggested to do urine culture however the result of test indicates no growth of bacteria after 48 hours of incubation
Hi Moha, your experience is shared by many people. I just sent you an email with more information and we can chat more there. Melissa
I am 17 weeks pregnant and lost my last pregnancy at 17 weeks. I felt pressure and some paint and some burning when urinating, plus frequent urination. I tested positive for white blood cells and blood in the urine but that was it. I started antibiotics and then my doctor said the urine culture came back negative do I should stop the antibiotics. I am concerned because clearly something is wrong but no follow up was offered. I don’t have burning anymore but I still have a persistent discomfort and frequent urination.
Hi Meg. I’m truly sorry for your loss. And I can completely understand your current anxiety. As Live UTI Free is a patient information and research resource, we are not medical practitioners so we can’t offer advice directly. We do hear from many people that a turning point for them was finding a practitioner they could work with to investigate deeper. If you’re interested in speaking with a recurrent UTI specialist, you can send us a message directly and let us know where you are based, and we may be able to share some names. Take care, Susy
Thank you for a very thorough and informative article. For the past few months I’ve been suffering from what I’m assuming is some kind of UTI or STI. I’ve seen one GP and 2 urologists, done 2 cultures and found nothing. I’m now taking ciprofloxacin in the hopes that it’ll eliminate the underlying cause. Unfortunately I live in Europe, Greece so my options here are quite limited. Would it be possible for you to help me somehow?
Hi Fanis, at the moment we don’t know of any UTI specialists in Greece, however there are some practitioners elsewhere practising telemedicine, which may be an option. I’ve sent through an email with some info. I hope you find answers soon! Susy
Having had multiple urine tests and several rounds of different antibiotics (on-going this time since mid-June), the Urologist finally asked for another sample which will be sent to a Portland OR lab.
The term DNA testing was mentioned, but I don’t know the specific test. I’m nervously waiting for 1) no decent results, but 2) having to pay a huge sum for the testing if my insurance doesn’t cover it. I’m almost at wit’s end.
I’m just reporting in, but I would be interested if anybody has anything to report on the DNA testing being effective in selecting an antibiotic treatment beyond the usual suspects.
I have had upwards of 8 UTI’s in this past year, 2 of which resolved without antibiotics. I am currently on another course. The last 2 cultures have come back negative for bacteria. I have all the symptoms except burning on urination. This current round came on very slowly over 2 weeks then exploded one evening into high abdominal pain and constant urgency, little volume, and the feeling of inflammation throughout. After reading your article, I understand the negative culture results, but why don’t I have the burning sensation? Could something else be going on? I am considering obtaining a second opinion; I am just trying to arm myself with information.
Hi Leslie, the symptoms of a UTI can vary greatly and many people do not experience a burning sensation. It is possible something else is behind your symptoms, but a UTI should not be ruled out without further investigation. Melissa
Hi Marva, advanced testing methods that use DNA sequencing can provide a more detailed snapshot of the urinary microbiome. We have had some positive feedback from people for whom this testing has shown the existence of bacteria that are resistant to certain antibiotics, which enabled more effective targeted treatment. It certainly helps to have a practitioner that can guide you through the process and results, if you’re needing more info get in touch directly any time and we will share what we can. Susy
Thank you for this informative website. I have been suffering with cystitis like symptoms for 3 weeks now. My doctor suspected a UTI and I have just finished my 3rd course of antibiotics. Each time I finish a course, the symptoms return within 3 days. Mainly horrendous burning and bleeding when urinating. My doctor finally tested my urine and the culture test came back to day as satisfactory. I expect in the next couple of days my symptoms are going to return and now have no idea what to do next. I am in the UK. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance.
Hi Emily, sorry to hear you’re going through this. I’ve just sent you an email. Susy
Thank you so much for this informative article! I was diagnosed with a UTI a few weeks ago due to the presence of white blood cells (500+) in my urine. I was prescribed an antibiotic and took the full course. However, once I was finished, I noticed the next day that I was still having abdominal cramping and lower back pain (dull, but noticeable). More frequent, but not painful, urination too. I got tested again and this time the urine culture was normal with no growth. Does it sound possible my infection didn’t clear or that it may have spread? Do you have a urologist contact near Baltimore MD that you could recommend? THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!!
Hi Lindsey, I’m glad you found the article helpful! It’s a good idea to see a practitioner if your symptoms are continuing, I’ve sent you an email with some options. Susy
Hey, it feels relieving to find out that theres other people like me. Thank you so much for this information. ive been going through this same problem, my tests always come out negative and I’m still feeling these symptoms. I get utis frequently and its been 5 years. I feel hopeless when I go to gynecologists and don’t find anything because I feel irritation and my pee looks cloudy. Is there a doctor who can help in jersey city?
I was on antibiotics for a month for a uti. Was told by my urologist after doing a catholic culture that everything was clear and there was no infection. I am still having the symptoms: urethra burning, frequent urination but keep getting told there is no infection. How is this possible? Do you know of any doctors in Ohio that use the Microbiome testing or that “think outside of the box?” Thank you!
Hi Colleen, unfortunately we hear from many people having a similar experience. I’ve sent you an email with some more practitioner information. Take care, Susy
Trying to help my 89 year old mom with frequent uti symptoms. Sometimes they are able to get growth in a culture, sometimes not. Her symptoms progress the same each time, and improve after the correct antibiotic treatment. The problem is that since her doctor doesn’t always see bacteria, he assumes no uti exists. Her doctor chose to release her as a patient and instead referred her to a psychiatrist. I am beyond stunned. Is there no help for this? She’s had ct scans, ultrasounds, cystoscopy etc. Everything looks fine.
Hi Pamela, I’m so sorry to hear this! Unfortunately, we hear many similar stories. Can you send me a direct message and let me know where your mother is based so I can share relevant information? Melissa
Hi Abby, I just sent you an email with more information. Melissa
Hi I had 2 antibiotics for kidney infection, which worked but I still seem to have uti symptoms like pelvic pain burning how is this possible?
Hi Julie, we hear from people every day with similar experiences. You might like to read our information on recurrent vs chronic UTI, and recurrent UTI treatment. You’re also welcome to get in touch directly with any questions. Melissa
I’ve had one uti that never went away after several antibiotics. My urine cultures keep coming back negative. The doctors keep telling me I don’t have an infection. My urine is dark and cloudy and strong smelling I’ve been like this for a year. With no help after seeing two doctors can you please help me find a doctor somewhere in Washington state or Arizona
Hi Sarah, I saw you also emailed us so I’ve replied there with more information. Melissa
Hi thank you so much for this useful article. Do you have any information about more accurate testing in the UK? Have struggled with recurring UTI symptoms for the past year but unfortunately the majority of the urine test I’ve taken have been negative.
Hi Jane, sure thing. We sent you some information earlier by email. I hope it helps. Melissa
I have had recurring utis for almost 10 years now. Seen urologists, gyno, regular doctors. Done multiple cultures, ultra sounds, cat scan, blood work, scopes and nothing is ever found. I need to see someone in Ohio that can help me.
Hi Katherine, I just sent you an email with some information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Please send information regarding urologists in the Las Vegas, NV area. I have had recurrent UTI’s since my hysterectomy four years ago, and my urologist did send a sample last year to Microgen which was positive for e coli. Urine tests when I have symptoms generally show that nitrites are negative, but white blood cells are present.
Hi Ruth, I just sent you an email with some information that I hope will help. As you have read above, dipsticks are a very inaccurate indicator of UTI, so it is entirely possible for infection to be present even when the dipstick is negative. Melissa
Thank you so much for this information. I’ve experienced recurrent UTI’s off and on for years, with negative tests results, and it has been deeply discouraging. I would like to be able to contact a US based practice who will help me with these more specific methods of testing – do you have any recommendations? Thank you again.
Hi Rebekah, can you please send us a direct message and let us know what state you are based in? Melissa
Hello! I have ITU symptoms but my urine test is always negative.
Is there any practitioner in Romania or Eastern/Western Europe?
Hi Emilia, we don’t yet know of any recurrent UTI specialists in Romania, but I just emailed you some other Europe specific information. Melissa
looking for a practitioner to work with in Tucson Arizona. Tests keep coming back negative, but this sure feels like one.
Hi Carol, I just sent you an email with more information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Please can you advise me where I might get better testing in the UK? I am in the Midlands. I am battling a UTI and have already tried two antibiotics and based on a dipstick test my doctor now believes it is not a UTI. A year ago I tried four antibiotics before it resolved – with much scepticism at the end from the GP.
Please can I also have the UK info
Hi Ruth, I just sent you an email with more information. Melissa
Hi Amanda, I just emailed you with some information about possible options in the UK. Melissa
Hi can I please have the same information for Midlans uk thanks
Hi Kaytie, I just emailed you some more information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Hi. Please would someone be able to help me by giving me a name where I can get better UTI testing as I live with constant burning and White blood cells in my urine dip stick test but zero nitrates and Mr GP doesn’t think I have an infection as once sent to the lab, no bacteria shows up. It’s fair to say the onlt thing that helps is D-mannose but it doesn’t actually go away, just lesser burning. I’d be so grateful if there’s anywhere in England (I live in London) that does better testing? Thank you very much Kind regards Karen.
Hi Karen, I just sent you an email with information about testing options in the UK. I hope it helps. Melissa
I am looking for a provider to interpret MicrogenDX labs around Phoenix, AZ area.
Hi Emmie, I just sent you an email with some information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Hi, following 18 months of being symptom free, I’ve just had another UTI episode and was given antibiotics. I’m still symptomatic, but urine lab work is all negative. I really need to find a good specialist in the Yucatan, Mexico if you can help.
Hi Nichola, at the moment we don’t know of any relevant UTI specialists in Mexico. I can share some names of US based clinicians that offer appointments via telemedicine if that helps? Please feel free to send me a direct message for more information. Melissa
Hi, Ive just finished a course of two different types of antibiotics to clear up my UTI/kidney infection and now a week later my UTI has returned. Can you recommend a practitioner in the UK? I’m currently researching and trying natural remedies but they don’t appear to be working. If there is any more info you have about the remedies you used please let me know.
Hi Ellen, I saw you also sent us an email, so I’ve replied there with more information. Melissa
Any chance you know of any good practitioners in Germany or the EU? Currently living in Berlin. Thank you!
Hi Annie, I just emailed you some information. Melissa
I have had quite a few years with no UTIs and now am having re-current episodes. Would you email me some info on any doctors in the southern Ontario region of Canada? Thanks in advance!
Hi Denise, I just emailed you with more information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Anyone who can help me in Texas? I’ve had reoccurring UTIs for the last 3 years every few months.
Hi Sarah, I just emailed you with more information. Melissa
I have repeat UTIs, as well as some incontinence issues. I’m 74 years old, extremely active (ride horses) and deeply concerned that I have been unable to ride.
My new urologist at Kaiser is very uninformed about current urinary microbiota research and UTI testing. Is there a California Kaiser urologist who is up to date? I can’t afford an outside doc but would pay for testing. Also, do any of you have positive experiences to share from tests you’ve had with the labs you describe?
Thanks for any help!!
Hi Janet, we hear many success stories involving many different approaches. The reason we cover other types of testing is because we have heard from people who have found success using them. I just sent you some more information about practitioners, by email. Melissa
I have chronic uti’s. I’ve been on so many antibiotics but a week or two after I stop the infection comes right back. Can you recommend a urologist with the capabilities of this advance testing in nyc or nj?
I’m in central MA and need to find a urologist. Over had a recurrent UTI this entire month of August whole pregnant. My OBGYN has tried 3 rounds of antibiotics and nothing. I’m at my wits end and need to see a specialist who can give me some answers.
Hi Christine, I just emailed you with more information. I hope it helps. Melissa
Hi Jessica, I just replied to an earlier email you had sent. I hope the info helps! Melissa
I’m looking for a doctor in the Tucson, AZ area that can help me with recurring UTI’s for years. I’m also interested in a practioner that is open to natural, wholistic remedies. I’ve taken so many antiobiotics over the years and I’m concerned with antibiotic resistance and disturbing the good bacteria in my system. Thank you for this great article. It is very informative.
Hi Jan, I’m glad you found the article helpful. I just sent you an email with more information. Let me know if you don’t receive it. Melissa
Are there any doctors in the Richmond VA area? Going into my 8th year of recurring uti’s.
Hi Melinda, I just sent you an email with more information. I hope it helps, Melissa
Hi my daughter is 5yo. Sudden onset symptoms of burning while urinating, frequent urination, and diarrhea. Went to doctor yesterday and negative results and doctor says it was “PERFECTLY CLEAN” several times…. ugh.
Anyway, after research, I know she has one. How the heck do I help my daughters symptoms if I can’t get her antibiotics 🙁
Hi! I am looking for a doctor in CT please. Going on year 4 of UTIs every 6ish weeks
Hi Pebbles, I just sent you an email with some information. I hope it’s helpful. Melissa
Hi Celina, can you send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based so I can share relevant resources? Melissa
I felt like this article is a little misleading. I have had patients with all the classic symptoms of a UTI and it turned out to be chlamydia. The symptoms were pain/burning while voiding and frequent urge to void.
Hi Jenna, this article is specifically about UTI testing, but we often share information about making sure STIs are ruled out. I would hope that all practitioners take an approach similar to yours there. We are working on an article about other causes for UTI like symptoms. I’d love your input. If you’re interested in contributing, can you send me a direct message? Melissa
I have recurrent UTI’s with negative test results. I had an overnight stay in the hospital diagnosed with acute polynephritis. I see a nurse practitioner or physicians assistant in a urology practice but I’ve never seen a Dr. I need answers with no confidence in current treatment. Do you have any suggestions? I am 82, healthy and active. Does a low-dose antibiotic help?
Hi Vicki, we have shared information about low dose (prophylactic) antibiotics here, if you’d like to read it. I also just sent you an email with more information. If you don’t see it, please check your spam folder. Melissa
Hi. Thank you for all your information. I have UTI symptoms but negative test results. Can you recommend a doctor in New Jersey or NYC area who can help me?
Hi Anna, I saw you also sent us an email so I’ve replied there with more info. Melissa
For the past year and a half every few months or so I would get symptoms of a UTI, but every time I would have my urine tested it would come back negative. After a few days the symptoms go away and then come back again in a few weeks. I’ve been to visit a urologist, but their solution is just for me to come in every time it happens so we have a history of negative cultures. I don’t want to have to suffer through more and I’m worried something is seriously wrong. Any suggestions?
One thing people need to know from all of this if urine keeps coming back negative Intertistial Cystitis is a disease of the bladder that mimics a UTI ask a Urologist
Hi Valerie, it’s important for people to understand that Interstitial Cystitis is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means certain things have been excluded as causes but the root cause of the symptoms has not yet been found. The hope is, with more research and developments in testing options, more people will find solutions to their bladder symptoms. Many urologists we’ve spoken to have said they rarely diagnose patients with IC, now that they have more tools at their disposal that can help them identify root causes. I’m optimistic but I know that much more work is needed to find answers. Melissa
Hi Wren, it’s possible you will find a way forward by speaking with a recurrent UTI specialist that does not rely on standard urine culture. If you’d like more information on this, can you send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based? Melissa
I’ve had a very complicated case of IC/Post Urethral Syndrome that came on suddenly in November 2018 after several years of recurrent UTIs. I have constant urgency, and burning in my urethra/bladder and genital area. I have had multiple surgeries and tried numerous treatments. Most of the time my uti tests come back negative, and even when they do come back positive the antibiotics only have a tiny effect. Do you have any recommendations for IC/Post Uti Experts in the Portland Oregon or Seattle Washington area?
Hi Andrea, I saw you also sent us an email so I’ve replied with more information there. Melissa
I am having serious burning sensation in my genital when I’m urinating and when I’m not. Most of the tests I did are showing no bacteria growth but my symptoms persist. What is the best treatment for this condition?
Hi Ugo, can you send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based so I can share any relevant information we have? Melissa
It is great to read this article. I have IgA kidney disease. This March, I got UTI and the antibiotics worked—symptom went away in middle April, no WBC, but there was still occult blood. However, about 2 weeks ago, in late May, the symptoms came back. The urine analysis shows that I have a lot of RBC , WBC, some non-renal epithelial cells and trace amount of protein in my urine. The culture came back negative. Since I never had protein in my urine before, I am a little concerned. Not sure if this is caused by UTI, or it shows that my IgA kidney disease is progressing. I am thinking to see a urologist, but my current insurance only allows me to see doctors from Kelsey-Seybold. Can you please recommend a good urologist from Kelsey-Seybold? I am in Houston, Texas. Thank you.
Hi Yun, I emailed you some more information, however, we don’t have insight into which practitioners may be part of specific insurance networks. I hope the information I sent helps, regardless. Melissa
Can you please send me practitioners in the west houston Texas area?
Hi Sarah, I’ve emailed you some information. Check your spam if you don’t receive it. Melissa
Hi. I have had symptoms of a UTI for the past 3 weeks, but 2 negative urine cultures. I did have white blood cells on urinalysis. Do you have suggestions for a doctor in NYC who could help me?
I’m in Las Vegas. Any recomendable specialists out here? Was positive for a uti. I never had any burning or urgency, just bloating, bladder pressure and at one point very sharp abdominal pain. Been on two separate courses of antibiotics in which symptoms came back shortly after each course. All tests are coming back negative now (urine, blood, ultrasound) even though I still have a lot of pressure in my bladder and heavy bloating. My general doctor won’t prescribe me more antibiotics because the tests were negative. I’m hoping a specialist will have better answers and treatment methods.
Hi Tay, I just sent you an email with more information. I hope it’s helpful. Melissa
Hi Meg, I just responded to your email. Let me know if you don’t get it (or check your spam). Melissa
I’ve been dealing with a chronic UTI for 6 months now. My urologist with Kaiser has not been helpful – wasn’t even willing to do certain tests and seems unknowledgeable of women’s bodies. Do you have any recommendations for urologists specializing in chronic UTIs in either the Denver or DC areas?
Hi KK, our lists of practitioners change often so we don’t publish info on our website. I have emailed you instead. I hope it helps. Melissa
Hi Melissa, I have been dealing with a chronic UTI and was really hoping you could refer me to urologist in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL area that would be more opened minded to the alternative test you recommend. I would also like to talk to you about which test you would recommend. Thank you, Sean
Hi Sean, I just emailed you with more information. Melissa
I’ve been reading several of your articles and I’m trying to put all of the pieces together. I did DNA a test but there weren’t 1200 things listed on the sheet of paper that came back; should there have been? The testing that I did came back negative for all the things they tested for. However I still exhibit all of the things that were mentioned every time I do a urine test it’s positive for white blood cells, epithelials, blood and protein. This is what creates my confusion on whether I potentially have an embedded infection or not based off of everything I’ve been reading now I’m not sure at all. Do you have any suggestions? I just want to be prepared to go back and talk with my urologist.
Hi Heather, can you send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based, so I can ask you a few questions then hopefully share some helpful info? Melissa
Hi, this page is so helpful and interesting. Do you have any advice for useful antibiotics to be prescribed if your test comes back negative and your doctor is still stabbing in the dark? Are there some types/strains of bacteria that are less likely to be picked up by a test?
Hi Chloe, the vast majority of known organisms will never be picked up by a traditional urine culture. Researchers have identified hundreds of organisms in healthy and symptomatic bladders, so there is a lot we don’t know in this area still. This also means there is no specific antibiotic that is more likely to be effective when a test is negative – simply because that means we have no idea what may be causing the symptoms. You can always send me a direct message if you have more questions. Melissa
Thanks Melissa that’s really helpful. I was wondering if there were any frontrunning ‘usual suspects’ but it sounds like not.
Hi Chloe, there are ‘usual suspects’ when it comes to acute UTI, but research around recurrent UTI is beginning to indicate that the organisms involved are very often not those same suspects. Even when there are usual suspects involved, antibiotic resistance can differ between similar groups of organisms, so there are many layers to consider! Melissa
can you help me i have been having uti symptoms for 5 months and urine analysis came back negative . do u know if those kind of tests are done in kwuait city or egypt ? should i start empiric AB therapy ?
Hi Rana, some companies can ship test kits to almost all countries and regions. You may like to reach out directly to the company you’re interested in, to ask if they have specific information. You can also get in touch with us directly if you have more questions. I can share more about treatment protocol studies by email. Melissa
Wondering if you know of any urologists that use your testing, and can help me in the San Francisco Bay area? I live in Oakland California. Thank you.
Hi Nancy, can you send us a direct message so we can share more information via email? Melissa
Hi, I’m dealing with the same issues as some of the others here. How can I contact you further?
Hi Deborah, I see you also sent us an email via our contact form, so I’ll get back to you there. For future reference for others, our direct contact form can be found here. Melissa
I am really trying to find a urologist in my area that is familiar with negative cultures but experience intense symptoms. My current Uro refuses to prescribe antibiotic based on culture results only. Needless to say, ended up in ED twice now with Plyo in the last year. Is there any one in the Albany NY area that is experienced in treating negative culture infections and will dive deeper into this for me? I feel so helpless when I know whats going to happen if they do not help me.
Hi Betsy, we do know of a few practitioners in New York state that may be able to help. Can you send me a direct message so I can share more via email? Melissa
Having had a uti which caused my bladder to barely function and caused significant issues with my kidneys I ended up with an indwelling catheter for 8 weeks. Since then -approx 18 months ago – I have had around 12 utis. I’ve seen a urologist, had several tests, with no apparent results. I had prophylacic antibiotics for 6 months and uti within a week of stopping them. Was told to try Ovestin cream since I’m post menopausal but have had the most painful abdo and back pain and am back on antibiotics. Until 18 months ago I’d only had 2 utis. I have a bladder that doesn’t empty fully but no reason has been found. It’s very depressing .
Hi Mhairi, sorry to hear you’re experiencing that. Can you send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based so I can share appropriate resources? Melissa
No UTI in almost 15yrs until 2018, antibiotics cleared it. Another in mid 2019 which was unlike any other. Mirrored IC symptoms, no UTI. Gyn, Uro said no UTI. Gyn prescribed estrogen cream. I just turned 50, so she said could be weakening urethra walls? Basically take it as a “maybe it’ll help preventing UTIs?” Decided to change how I collect urine. Started collecting at home. Doing it in morning. Don’t drink anything at all after waking up. Pee once, but then on the second pee, I collect sample in sterile cup (from Dr.’s), write time/date then refrigerate until taken to Dr.s/labs. More accurate in showing UTI. Seems morning pees is more accurate as before was drinking water was diluting the infection?
Hi Julia, glad to hear you’ve found some answers. It is sometimes recommended to collect a urine sample from the first pee of the day for that very reason – it is usually more concentrated. We’ve heard from people that have found this method helpful. Annett, whose story is shared on our site, also managed to find the right treatment after her doctor recommended using this approach. The issues with the standard test itself still exist, so it may or may not help. Melissa
question: As i was having uti infections yearly in 2018 in 2019 they started me on the cystitic injections, and they helped tremendously. for a year… Last three months had a major back op…. last month i have been feeling ill, couple of dip tests showed no infection. On friday, because i even have chills, i went back, the dip stick showed major pus cells.. sent away to labarotory and did blood test. The lab couldn’t grow the culture, the white cell count in blood test came back normal….i stil feel ill… During the operation i was identified as a CRE carrier as well, so doctors are very weary of giving me antibiotics.
Hi Daniela, can you send me a direct message and let me know where you’re based so I can share any useful resources we have? Melissa
Hello! Who’s a naturopath I can see if I do the urine testing that can read my results and help me. In Chicago Illinois area. Suburbs.
I just hade a well women’s check up.. i was check for uti and my test was negative and im still having all the symptoms can i still have an uti.. i think i was miss diagnose. My urine uselessly be somewhat cloudy but when i gave urine samples my piss was clear. Didn’t pee alot in my cup just about two tablespoon full it wasn’t much because i hade to pee right before exam.. but still with all my symptoms 😐
Hi Rosemary, it sounds as though you may have landed on the right article. We hear from many people with similar experiences. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with us directly. It helps to know where you’re based so we can share appropriate resources. Melissa
Hi Olga, at the moment we don’t know of any such naturopaths in your area. If you send us a direct message I can share some other options via email. Melissa
I have had numerous urinalysis chemistry tests done on me where it showed leukocytes but then they send off a culture and it’s negative. Sometimes the dip tests are negative and sometimes positive for leukocytes.
I have had visible pus in urine many times over the years as well. A couple times I had blood traced urine.
I have had 2 bladder scopes and several full abdominal ultrasounds with no answers.
I pee frequently and my bladder doesn’t empty fully. I leak pee sometimes.
I haven’t taken antibiotics in years.
I tried d mannose and it was helping but I am pregnant now.
I live in Canada and unsure what my options are!
Hi Jessica, sorry to hear you’re experiencing this. You’re definitely not alone, we hear many similar experiences. Can you send us a direct message so we can share more information via email? Melissa
So I had a persistent urge to urinate and put on macrobid 2 days later my culture came back negative so the Dr told me to stop taking them, by the end the that week my symptoms were still horrible so I called the Dr from the urgent care a went to and the Dr told me to start taking them I should’ve have stopped, so started taking them again and 2 days later I was in the hospital with a fever and still the persistent urge to urinate, now I’m on kelflex but have no relieve it’s been 4 days oh and all my hospital results came back negative. Hoping for some help.
Hi Stacey, we hear many similar experiences. Can you send us a direct message and let us know where you’re based so we know best how we can help? Melissa
The last 3 years I dealt with UTI symptoms that worsen and only get better with certain antibiotics and herbal remedies, but symptoms never fully leave and come back worse on occassion. The 1st year the urine culture was positive. I took antibiotics. Symptoms decreased but were not gone. The culture I did again was negative. Doctor still gave another round of antibiotics. Same thing happened. I did many cultures the next years. Most were negative. I had fevers, threw up, and had other UTI symptoms. The fevers lowered with antibiotics. I heard people with ic flares don’t get fevers. I got positive cultures with group b strep. Antibiotics decreased symptoms. On the last couple of days, symptoms started coming back. Herbal medicine was like antibiotics. Doctors don’t believe me.
Hi Lisa, we hear from many people with similar experiences. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a direct message. We’re happy to help however we can. Melissa
Though the years I had recurring uti symptoms that would show no bacteria, at times though bacteria would show up if I had the symptoms long enough. I went to urologist, who blew me off and gynecologist who emphasized but were of no help. I had tried treating myself for yeast, no help. Changing laundry detergent and softener, no help. Changing toilet paper. No help. My last stint with these terrible uti symptoms lasted 3 months. I went to the gynecologist yet again ,she ran all kinds of test for infections, all were negative. She told me to switch soap , because My labia was very minorly irritated down there. I switch to the soap she recommended. No better. i read not to use any soap, tried it .After about ten days I was back to normal ,no symptoms and I have had no problems since.
Hi Dawn, that’s great that you found the source of the problem. We do hear from others who have found detergents and soaps to be an issue, so it seems like a worthwhile thing to experiment with. Melissa
I get it! Multiple reasons exist for a negative culture, but I am still left wondering if there is any way to treat beyond antibiotics. I still have symptoms of a UTI and due to negative culture was only given a short course of Macrobid. Taken antibiotics about 4 times in past 18 months. My symptoms are not standard. Extreme back/lower abdominal pain, which is now after 5 days of Macrobid, just a dull, bloating type pain. I do not have burning with urination-Thank God!. Please let me know if I can do anything beyond probiotics, cranberry (yes I know not proven but…) and drinking more fluids.. concerned I will have another extreme pain flare and it’s paralyzing! Plus fatigued and worry could move to my kidneys….
Did your problem ever go away? I have same symptoms…,
Hi Eileen, you’re always welcome to send us a direct message if there’s anything we can help with. Melissa
I’ve seen 6 dr’s 4 chronic UTI since April. HELP!
*I HAVE 2 Q’s THAT WOULD HELP GUIDE ME:
1.Cultures are neg., but LEUKOCYTE ESTERASE always shows on DIPSTICK. *DOES THAT MEAN I DON’T HAVE BIOFILM? (since 99.9% of inf. isn’t loose in urine?)
2. CAN THE ANTISEPTIC BLADDER rx METHENAMINE HIPPURATE *ACTUALLY CURE CHRONIC ACTIVE UTI?- bc SEVERAL ANTIBIOTICS DIDN’T
1st dose DROPPED MY L.E. from 125 to 40. 2nd dose: dropped from 40 to 15. *OR- IS IT COVERING THE RESULTS? ANSWERS WILL REALLY HELP GUIDE ME!
**If ANYONE CAN HELP-I can travel some & online dr is fine if a GOOD 1! I told the last 2: I’d RATHER DIE THAN GO ON LIKE THIS! He walked out as I asked a q., rx’d low-dose trimethaprim. *Dr day b4 rx’d it, said it wont cure me.
Hi Dez, can you send us a direct message and let us know where you are based so we can share more information via email? Melissa
If it’s E.Coli, try d-mannose. I was also using oil of oregano, garlic, vitamin C, turmeric, and monolaurin in a prophylactic way for a while. I suggest reading up on all of the above. That being said after 7 months of being “UTI free” with very very minimal recurrences of symptoms that were easily treated with the above, I am just now having an episode that can’t be managed by any of those. I definitely have a biofilm infection and I’m taking the microgen test tomorrow. Going to a naturopath doc referred on this website.
Hi Danielle, we’ve covered a number of these home remedies here on our site. As you mentioned, they may be helpful for some people in preventing UTI. At this stage there are no studies to support their use as a treatment for UTI. Hopefully further research will help shed more light. I hope you find some answers soon with the testing and the doctor you have chose. Melissa
Hi Donna, we’ve covered a number of other non-antibiotic approaches in our UTI home remedies section. I can also share more about my own experience via email, if you’re interested. If so, send me a direct message. Melissa
I have been suffering with a constant uti for several years. A problem was identified with my bladder function and I had a nerostimulator fitted. That has resolved my problems with bladder emptying but not the infections. I have had at least 15 positive cultures done in the past 12 months. I am prescribed antibiotics that the bacteria has tested as sensitive to. They do ease the symptoms to an extent but as soon as I stop taking them the infection flares up again. I am never free of the symptoms which can be very severe and I don’t know what to do
Hi Jenny, can you send me a direct message so I can share some UK specific information via email? Melissa
I have been suffering on and off for my entire life with UTI’s. These last 5 months I’ve been in pain and have been to see two Urologist and several urgent care centers. My Urologists RN said that even though my original in office urine results were negative she would send it in for a mandatory culture. Thank God she did. They found group B strep bacteria. I had never heard of this. She said that this type of bacteria will not show up on an in-office dipstick test. I am currently taking Amox-Clav 500-125mg tablets 2x day for 7 days. I am feeling hopeful.
If you are suffering and your tests are negative, please have them send it in for a mandatory culture.
Never give up & take good care of yourself,
Hi Laurie, it’s great to hear that a urine culture helped you find answers. For many people a urine culture does not, and for those people, other types of testing may be more accurate. Hopefully, the outdated standard urine culture will be replaced by a test more fit for the purpose! Melissa
How do we find practitioners in the United States who will order and interpret MicroGenDX lab results?
Hi Heidi, you can either get in touch with us, or even better, reach out directly to MicroGenDX for a referral. Melissa
Goodness Where to start? First I was told twice recently that my sample was contaminated. Reading here it seem that it might not be just e coli affecting me! How do I tackle this with my doctor/lab? Each time I supplied a further sample and only e coli reported. I am on about my 10th cycle in 12 months. Super healthy otherwise!
Hi Patricia, I also received your email so have replied there. Melissa
Hello, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease 4 and a half years ago. I have suffered many different symptoms. On and off I would have symptoms of a UTI but the tests would always come back negative. Then the last time the symptoms never went away! I’ve done the elimination diet, I’ve added supplements like aloe and l-argine, D-Mannose and some others and I’m not getting better. I have the urgency and pressure which is driving me crazy! What do you advise? Thanks!
Hi! I just read your post and I am very curious about your situation as mine seems very similar!
Hi Tonya, have you read our information about different recurrent UTI treatment approaches? If you have questions after reading that, you can always get in touch directly. Melissa
I’ve had UTI’s since Feb. Terrible back pain each time. Multiple UA&UC half of them negative it takes 2-3 weeks for bacteria to show up. E Coli, klebsiella pneumonia, lactobacillus so>=100k. The Dr’s won’t give antibiotics unless it shows and I mean multiple specialist. I took 4 different ones gave me a yeast inf that does not go away with anything. Cystoscopy negative. Praying for miracle at this point. Bought D Mannose and biofilm defense since the doctors are clueless I’m praying for miracle I don’t know what to do anymore. I also have IBSD I get anxiety every time I use the bathroom now.
Hi Katie, I was also diagnosed with IBS as a teenager and it took many years to overcome those symptoms, so I can sympathise somewhat. Many people say finding the right practitioner was the most significant step they took. If you’re interested on more info about practitioners, you can send us a direct message and let us know where you’re based. Melissa
My girlfriend had a UTI in January. She had trimethoprim and a few other medications, nothing happened, so she went up to A&E (ER) and they gave her amoxiclav in 500mg for two weeks. She took it for one week and everything went away, so she stopped taking them, it came back worse, she finished the last week but nothing went away. (Nobody informed her to finish all of them even if the sympotoms go away). She went back to the GP, they gave her the same thing in 250mg and only for a week, nothing. No bacteria was found, but her symptoms came back worse. She’s had multiple different types of medication, including one for overactive bladder, she’s in pain constantly and nothing helps.
Hi Fae, we hear many similar stories. Can you send us a direct message with some info on where you’re based, so we can share any resources that may be useful? Melissa
I had a bad stiff back for several weeks then started peeing/leaking out blood in urine. I thought it might be a kidney stone with a UTI and went for a test at private clinic. On the day I was not bleeding at the time, (it was stopping and starting.) They did a mid stream urine test and tested it with a stick and said I had high levels of pus in my urine. Then they sent a sample off to grow a culture. I was prescribed Macrobid for 7 days. The doctor phoned me back a few days later with the test results:. Very very high levels of white blood cells but no red cells and no bacteria. She said she could not understand the results . My own GP said sometimes the bacteria does not grow. Still getting small leaks of urine. Waiting for ultrasound to look for stones.
Hi Hazel, sorry to hear you’re experiencing that. Your GP is right in that standard urine cultures often fail to detect bacteria. I’m sure you also read about this above. If you have any questions, you can always get in touch. Melissa
I was born with kidney and bladder infection 40 years ago. Since I have had non stop infections, and kidney stones as well. I went every week as a child to sick kids hospital where they put some kind of device up into my bladder. My urine tests from the lab the past few years have been negative, and my urine very clearly has pus in it. I called my doctors office again to see if I can get other tests done to check the function of my kidneys. If any other person out there suffers from the same type of undetected infection, can you please tell me what kind of tests or what I should be asking for?
Hi Cheryl, we hear from many people with similar experiences with testing. We’ve covered some alternative types of testing here. And if you have any questions, you can always get in touch directly. Melissa
I’ve had a uti symptoms for almost a month now and been to two different doctors had 3 cultures done and no uti but mini swelling in lower abdomen and burning while I go and feeling like I have to go often. I’ve had recouring utis for almost 3 years now but they’ve never not shown up. Currently on my 3rd antibiotic and isn’t helping. Lost on what to do now
Hi Kali, having read the above article, I suspect you understand why standard urine culture may not provide the answers you are looking for. You might like to read about alternative testing approaches. You can also get in touch directly if you have questions. Melissa
I’m new to this page, stumbled upon it looking for more info on uti’s.
I’ve had my fair share before, but haven’t had one for over a year.
Right now it feels like I have a very mild one but i’m not sure and the urine test came back absolutely negative for everything- white blood cells, blood, PH was normal.
I’m not convinced so i want to go back and get another urine test done but I’m not sure what I should be asking for? My concern is that when my specialist did the dipstick test it showed i “may” have an infection but the urine test from the pathologist showed nothing!
Any help is appreciated! I live in Australia so if anyone also lives here and knows where I can go to, then please advise.
Hi Ava, I saw you also sent us an email so I’ve replied to that with some Australia-specific information. Melissa
blood in urine-can’t control to get to bathroom-bad odor-tired-weak tests came back negative. Don’t know what to do.
Hi Joyce, can you send us a direct message with some info on where you’re based so we know better what resources may be helpful? Melissa
Hi I am from new Zealand I have been having problems with my bladder for 3 years my urine smells is cloudy always bits in my urine I have take so many antibiotics and nothing work all test come back normal and fine went though a stage for ages were it kept coming back contaminated any help or advice would be great would a bladder scraping help and how would you get your doctor to listen
Hi Cloe, you might like to read our info on different treatment approaches You can also send us a direct message for more detail on NZ specific resources. Melissa
I am 61 have not been well for past month, Symptoms are urgency to wee, bladder not emptying , urine not flöwing freely, no burning, no stinging. Bad lower backache between ribs and hips, hot flushes although well past menopause chills, headache, extreme fatigue, went to gp, had kidney, liver scan, right kidney not draining properly, back to GP, sent off urine sample, dip stick too many White cells but no urine infection detected, waiting for culture results, blood tests back all ok,seeing urologist in 4 weeks. Meantime feeling terrible.
Hi Tina, it sounds as thought the article above could be very relevant to you, depending on your results. If you have any questions, you can always send us a direct message so we can respond via email. Melissa
I was diagnosed over the phone with my Dr as having a UTI. My symptom was burning during urination. I was prescribed antibiotics (Macrobid). I took the 5 day dose with no relief. My labs had lab didn’t show anything. For 2 days I took AZO. The burning urination stopped. But then slowly I started to not be able to pee at all. I’ve been sent from my GP to OBGYN to Urology and now Neurology. They have done an MRI but still waiting for results. I had to push for a bladder scan and it’s scheduled for tomorrow. In the meantime I’ve had to learn how to catheterize myself. I’m extremely worried. I’ve never even had a bladder infection before or any other issues. Other than this I’m healthy and on no other meds. Any thoughts or experience in this reaction?
Hi Vicki, are you able to send us a direct message with more info on where you’re based, in case we have useful resources to share? Melissa
Thoughts on the broth culture test offered by United Medical Laboratory (UML) in Northern Virginia?
Hi Frank, we’ve covered this test briefly in our article on testing alternatives. If you have any other questions about it, I’m happy to answer via email if I have useful information. Melissa
Hi, about a week ago I started having extreme UTI symptoms and peed blood with cloudy urine. I took Azo (Defense with Antibacterial Protection, 2 pills, 3 times a day) an hour before going to get tested at a Little Clinic.
She called me back claiming my test was negative (which is crazy because I was completely suffering from symptoms).
They claim that it could be cancerous or a special bacteria that can be extreme.
Could it be the Azo masking the bacteria?? Please help!!!!
Hi Katelyn, as you would have read above, there are a number of reasons a urine culture may be negative, even when an infection is present. Antibacterials can also cause this. If you’re concerned, it’s always best to speak with your doctor. If you have any other questions, you can send me an email directly. Melissa
my daughter is 5 years and 4 months , she suffers from this constant urge to urinate again and again say upto 20 times .this happens in episodes after say 6 -7 months . urine routine shows 2-4 pus cells , few epithelial cells 1-2 /hpf and culture shows no growth.
but this whole episodes include series of ailments …it starts with abdomen pain, vomit and cough, headaches, low fever, constipation and frequent urination.
in her KUB scan we got mesenteric lymph nodes enlarged.
i am unable to understand what is happening to my poor girl.
first happenend when she was 1yr 10 months then 4years 6 months thereafter 5 years 4 months .
Hi Chandni, I’m sorry to hear your daughter is going through this, it sounds very distressing. If you’d like to get in touch directly, we can share any information via email. Susy
I recently noticed blood in my urine, so I went to doctor. Initially I was diagnosed with a uti but they had to wait on urine culture results. A couple of days later I was told I had Gonorrhea. I informed them I hadn’t had sex but they insisted their test was right and refused to do a retest. Idk what to do because there’s no way I can have a sti without having sex.
Hi Katlyn, it seems it is possible for Gonorrhea to be transmitted without sexual intercourse, even if it is very uncommon. It’s always best to seek treatment as early as possible, so it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor about this. It’s also your choice if you want to get a second opinion, so if you’re not comfortable with the advice you’ve been given, you could see another doctor. Melissa
On December 29th I woke up and started peeing blood, little pee and a lot of blood, I went to the doctor and they prescribed a numbing pill for my urethra and an antibiotic I just finished my medicine this morning and tonight at 12 o’clock I feel like I’m going to explode so I use the restroom and a drop the size of a tear comes out, I’m not sure what to do, my doctor also called my mom today and told her my results were negative which is weird bc I was PEEING BLOOD! that’s obviously not normal, I don’t know what to do
Hi Faith, that’s very frustrating and I know how scary it can be to be peeing blood yet have it not be taken seriously enough. Can you send me a direct message with more info on your location so I can share some resources that might be useful? Melissa
I suffer from chronic UTI’s, this has been going on for 2-3 years now. The most recent UTI has lasted over a month, every time I take antibiotics it seems to go away but comes back within a day or so after finishing them. I have had three urine cultures over this time and two of them have come back contaminated. The first with white and red blood cells and 2+ bacteria the second with 3+ bacteria. I believe I do have more than one type of bacteria causing this. The dip stick test shows positive for a small amount of blood. I’m now terrified that I have bladder cancer! I’m 36 years old and very healthy. I work out everyday as this is my job and I have heard this could cause blood in urine.
Hi Courtney, I’m guessing you’ve read the above information about the inaccuracies of standard testing. One issue is that samples containing multiple bacteria or fungi may be regarded as contaminated, but this may not be the case. It has been shown that infection can be caused by multiple pathogens. You may like to read about alternative testing options, and/or treatment approaches of chronic UTI specialists. You can also get in touch if you have questions. Melissa
hello there, my mom has been suffering with UTIs for many years now and I’m currently trying to help her heal from them. Are there any natural remedies that can be used to get rid of the biofilms mentioned in this article or just in general help this problem, ie cranberry juice, vitamins, Etc.?
Hi Joshua, we’ve covered a number of natural remedies here. If you’d like more information on anything, you can always send us a direct message. Melissa
I’m beside myself in trying to figure out what’s going on. For the past 3 months I have had recurring UTI episodes/symptoms (5 times). All 3 cultures came back ‘contaminated’, 2 UTI strip tests were negative. Been on 3 antibiotics, still not better. Had prelim diagnosis of IC(from gyno as dr. was useless) but nothing definitive Just vague answers. I’m not a ‘frequent flyer’ to my dr., see 1x year for a physical & that’s it. Would really like to be armed with detailed info so that I can push for further testing, as the nurse who does the UT strip testing insists it’s accurate and will not accept it could be wrong. Or recommendations of a specialist would be great. Thanks in advance!
Hi Dory, I can sympathise with your frustration! We can send some references that may be helpful for you to share with your doctors, and possibly some info on finding a recurrent UTI specialist. If you’d like further details, you can send us a message directly so we can provide these via email. Melissa
Oh my goodness it’s such a relief reading all of this! I’ve had recurrent (chronic?) UTIs for the past six years and seem to have had one for most of this (17 week) pregnancy. Every time I go to see my GP the test is negative and then the culture comes back as negative but all of the usual symptoms are there. I’m wondering if you could point me in the direction of any research on the links between UTIs and pregnancy, and the impact of a UTI on a pregnancy. I’ve been looking but can’t find anything of any credence. Thanks so much!
Hi Jeannine, can you send me a direct message so I can share a couple of studies via email? At this stage I’m not aware of any research that specifically looks at embedded UTI during pregnancy, but other studies may be helpful. It may also be a good idea to find a practitioner with experience diagnosing and treating recurrent/chronic UTI. Melissa
I have been suffering from UTI’s for years and it seems to only get worse. I get shorter breaks in between the next UTI. I do the dipstick and it comes back high with white blood cells but when I do a culture test they always come back negative. My urologist has given me antibiotics, but it only fixes the problem once it has shown up again, not helped to prevent it. What are some things I could suggest with him to look at to see about preventing UTI’s?
Hi Kimberly, you may like to read our info about chronic infection, and why that may be the cause of your recurrent symptoms. As for resources to share with your doctor, I can send you some links to additional scientific references if you like. If so, just send me a direct message. Melissa
i’ve been having wbc and bacteria in my urine , however not much of uti symptoms . this happen for 5 years after child birth. took 3 antibiotics still the same result. went for urine culture test which doc only said it’s cause u have higher urine prone to infection, no cure.
Hi there, are you able to send me a message directly with a little more info? I may be able to share helpful resources. Melissa
My mother is is 85 years old and she has been suffering with recurrent UTIs for a few years. When she has a UTI, she experiences dizziness and severe shortness of breath. Her doctors don’t believe these symptoms are related to a UTI, but we believe they are. We would like to pursue NGS testing, but it seems the tests must be ordered by a doctor? Can you offer any advice?
Hi Susan, sorry to hear your mother is experiencing that. The testing requirements tend to differ per state in the US, so depending where you are, you may be able to order a test without going through a doctor first. Having said that, it’s essential to find a practitioner who is able to interpret the results, and discuss the best treatment approach with you. Most practitioners are unfamiliar with this type of testing. I can provide some further info if you get in touch directly, or you could reach out to the two companies we’ve listed on our site to discuss options. Melissa
I’ve been suffering with recurrent UTIs for 2-3 years now, it has dramatically reduced my quality of life. I have visited a urologist and further investigations have not revealed any damage to my bladder or anything else remarkable, I continue to get UTIs month after month despite antibiotics and d-mannose. Sometimes the urine culture is negative despite symptoms and other times shows an infection is present. Having read about the biofilm in the bladder wall, what tests can discover this and what is the best treatment plan?
Hi Kim, it’s an experience that is shared by many! We have some information on alternative testing methods here, and about treatment approaches here (including a few specialists). You can reach out if you have further questions after reading these. Melissa
I’ve read various articles online that say culture testing is only 15 to 23% accurate. Do you have any sources that can corroborate that?
Hi Alex, we have a list of studies that reference the inaccuracy of culturing. The list is quite long though – too long for a comment. I can share it with you if you send me an email. Melissa
Hey I had a UTI a couple months ago and it came back like three weeks I took medicine it went away then the symptoms came back I took another pac of medicine the brown pill makes ur pee orange the symptoms went away then it came back I’m so frustrated cause now they saying I’m UTI negative but I still feel the symptoms idk what to do at this point seems like the doctor can’t help much but repeat same treatment smh
Hi Maria, we speak to so many people with similar stories! If you haven’t already, you may like to read our info on recurrent UTI treatment, alternative testing methods and chronic UTI. It may be necessary to find a practitioner that has experience successfully treating recurrent UTI. You can get in touch directly if you have any other questions. Melissa
I live in Ukraine and we don’t have advanced urine tests here. The only option I have is the usual culture test, but the best and the most sophisticated lab in our country/city just doesn’t accept samples without an added preservative (boric acid), which, according to research on animals, can lower test sensitivity even more (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21967098). I’m concerned if it is even worth making this test with boric acid if even usual samples without any preservatives often provide false-negative results. Are my concerns valid? Is it worth looking for a smaller worse equipped lab that does the test the usual ancient way, so to say?
Hi Iryna, I’m living in Ukraine at the moment and am looking for the best UTI clinic. Did you have any luck finding high quality treatment/testing?
Hi Iryna, urine culture tests have caused problems for a lot people with recurrent and chronic UTI, because of the issues listed above for a start. The advanced testing methods mentioned here are possible to order internationally, but you’ll need a practitioner that can help you interpret the results. There is another approach being used in the UK that you might be interested in. A study was recently published that outlines this protocol and you may like to share it with your doctor. I hope this helps. Feel free to get in touch directly. Melissa
I’m 43 yrs old and I don’t remember the last time I had a UTI, but I do remember the symptoms. Recently, I had blood in my urine and burning sensation when I urinated (a trickle) for about 1/2 a day and then it was gone. The following evening I had mild lower left abdomen pain. By the third day it seemed to be all cleared up. As soon as I felt the burning sensation I hydrated with green juices and water. Although, the symptoms were gone I called my dr anyway to get tested. Both tests came back negative and the symptoms haven’t returned. What could it be?
Hi Mary, that’s great to hear your symptoms haven’t returned, I hope it stays that way! I don’t want to speculate as to what could have caused it – we hear many stories about various things that cause short-lived symptoms in people, from kidney stones to vigorous exercise – it’s different for everyone. If you do figure it out, I’d love to hear what you discovered :). Melissa
I have never had bladder problems my entire life. I am 43 yrs old and got a confirmed UTI infection back in March. My culture grew out Klebsiella. I was given cipro for 7 days and my symptoms NEVER cleared up. Repeat cultures tested negative and I was labeled with “I.C.”. It doesn’t make sense to me. About 6 weeks after the initial infection, I was given a 5 day course of macrobid which didn’t seem to help much…maybe a little. I am scheduled for a cystocopy with hydrodistention and I’m terrified. Is it possible to see biofilms or leftover infection in the bladder with the cystocopy?? I am in Oregon and can’t find any doctors here to do longer urine culture testing.
Tammy, I’m in Oregon too. If you should see this, I can give you docs that will test you correctly. If you get in touch with Melissa at Live UTI Free, she can put you in contact with me.
Hi Tammy, many of those who reach out to us share a similar experience to what you’ve described. I’ve also been there. I can share more information about embedded infection and biofilms via email, if you’d like to get in touch. Melissa
I’ve had UTI for over two years take medicine and when it’s gone the UTI comes back. Each time they take sample send off and call in another medicine. She looked inside of bladder saw some irritation. Now sending me to Infectious disease Doctor.
Hi Betty, we hear a lot of similar stories. It seems standard urine culturing has failed many people. If you want to chat about it further, you can reach me directly via our contact form. Good luck with the new practitioner! Melissa
Ive never had a UTI but I went in for a routine pregnancy test to be approved for birth control. My doctor came back and asked if i had symptoms because I appeared to have a UTI. When I said no she left it at that. It’s been 2 weeks and I have symptoms (burning, lower abdominal/back pain, frequency), I’ve taken two at home tests that came back positive. I went to get tested to have it treated and the test came back negative at the doctors. I was asked why I was making up symptoms for drugs. I am not understanding why 1) it was positive before and negative now 2) why I have symptoms now and not before but the test results are opposite 3) why a UTI treatment is considered drug seeking?
Hi Nikki, yours isn’t the only story like that we’ve heard – we’ve even heard of people submitting 2 tests in one day, to have one come back negative and another positive. As you’ve read, standard urine culturing can be very inaccurate. Most chronic UTI practitioners do not rely on urine culturing, but will take symptoms into account and use different methods to identify what is causing them. It’s frustrating that your practitioner dismissed your concerns and went as far as suggesting you were seeking unnecessary treatment. Unfortunately, this is also not an uncommon scenario. It can take perseverance to find a practitioner who is willing to investigate deeper. Feel free to reach out via our contact form for more info. Melissa
I tested positive for E faecalis by a NGS test even though a routine urine culture I did the same day came back negative. My E faecalis bladder infection continues even after I’ve taken several antibiotics that the NGS test said it’s been tested/proven to be susceptible to. How could this be? The pain is debilitating.
Hi Kim, sorry to hear your treatment hasn’t been successful yet. Can you send some more information via our contact form so I can share any resources that may be helpful? Melissa
I have been getting a lot of uti’s. About 5 in the past 9 months. I was going to urgent care when I got one. They would give me a prescription for antibiotics and it would go away. Then I would get another one. I recently went to my gynecologist. I told him about my reoccurring uti’s. He told me that was way to many. He sent my urine off for testing. It came back negative for infection. He told me I could have kidney stones or bladder cancer. I’m going in 2 days for an ultrasound on my kidneys. I’m 55 years old. I’m very upset and worried. I just don’t understand why the pain stops and I feel better after I start the antibiotics if it’s not a Uti. What are your thoughts on this. Please let me know. Thank you, Gia Knight
Hi Gia, many studies have shown that the standard UTI culture is inaccurate, and we have heard numerous stories from people who have had negative results, then later found out there was a pathogenic cause for their symptoms. It is possible to receive negative urine culture results while still suffering from an infection. Like you mentioned though, UTI symptoms can have many causes, and it’s very important to work with a health practitioner. If you’d like to chat more about this, you can reach me directly via our contact form. Melissa
Could you please tell me if there are any studies on biofilm “disrupters” like InterFase Plus? Do they work?
Hello, I started using Uqora after speaking to my doctor. It helped for about two months. But now I have to call my doctor. It’s back! I have seen two doctors and they really just give me meds and send me on my way. I go to the bathroom before and after sex, I’ve been with my husband for 13 years. I try to drink 100 oz. Of water a day. And really nothing is help. I honestly am starting to give up. If you have any ideas or just anything I can do differently.
Hi Cindy, many people say the turning point was finding the right practitioner. If you’re interested in pursuing this, you can send us a direct message with some information on where you’re based. We may have helpful information we can share. Melissa
Hi Eileen, this is something we’re currently looking into. It seems most studies into biofilm disrupters test action against biofilms in vitro, however, we are unaware of any conclusive studies that support their use against biofilms in the bladder. This is a frequently asked question, so we’ll cover it in as much detail as we can in a future article. If you come across any relevant research in the meantime, please send it our way! Melissa
It’s so refreshing and reassuring to actually be able to read the facts for once.
I’m 20 y/o and have struggled with UTIs starting at the age of 15, in the last 5 years I have dealt with frustration, shame and accusations of lying about my pain by doctors because of negative results leaving me with self doubt and wondering what is wrong with me and if I’m going to be like this forever. UTIs have been such a recurring problem in my life that I get anxious when I feel one coming on to the point where I will put off a doctor appointment because I’m worried that the results are going to come back negative and my GP will not recognise and listen to my pain.
I wish this information was much more widespread and understood especially by GPs and other health care professionals.
Thankyou for taking the time to put together this article.
Hi Brittany, thanks for the encouraging feedback. I completely understand the anxiety that comes with the constant fear of UTIs. It can take time to find the right practitioner, and I hope you do. You might like to check out the information in our recurrent UTI testing and treatment articles, to see if any of those alternative options resonate with you. We are also working on some resources that may help when you do visit a doctor. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out directly via our contact form. We’d love to hear about your progress. Melissa
Hi Melinda, can you please send me a direct email and let me know where you are based? Melissa
Hello, I have been dealing with this problem too for a year now or more. Every time after sex I have all these symptoms and every time I have to do an ECBU that comes back negative. I take antibiotics, but I feel that the symptoms are getting stronger last time I even had blood while peeing for two days. I really don’t know what to do anymore, I try to do everything the right way from drinking tons of water to pee and clean myself. Could you please advise
Hi Maria, as IC is a term used to describe a grouping of symptoms with no identified cause, it’s not something that you can be tested for. I just responded to your other comment about testing too. We can chat more via email if you have further questions. Melissa
Hi, I think IC is what an urgent care Dr suggested I get tested for. Because I have some symptoms of a UTI but the dip stick test was negative. Do you mind sharing your symptoms and experience with getting diagnosed with IC.
Hi Kenya, I’m so glad to hear you found something that worked for you! Melissa