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Date of last update: 8/13/2017.

Forum Name: Urinary tract infections

Question: Urine culture results

 lolachola - Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:54 pm


I just received my urine culture results from a doctor at a walk-in clinic (I've dealt with this doctor before and I am not confident in her diagnoses). The results said that I have 80 x E6 CFU/litre and mixed bacteria/no dominant species. I got a call from the clinic last week telling me my results were ready which is strange because they generally only call you if there is a problem but when I saw the doctor, she said that it didn't show too much bacteria and that I should just continue with the antibiotics that I am currently on (Cipro). I have problems with intercourse related UTIs and have an appointment with a urologist in less than a month. I'm worried though that the walk-in dr. was not interpreting the results of the urine culture correctly after reading some information on the internet about what is a "normal" amount of bacteria per litre.

Thanks for your help in advance!
 lolachola - Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:00 pm

I forgot to mention that I am 30 years old, a woman, and have had about 7 UTIs in the past year.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:39 am

User avatar I think following up with the urologist, as you plan, is the best thing for you to do. Seven UTIs are too many for sure. You may need to have some kind of long-term antibiotics once they rule out any structural concerns.

I don't actually have answers as to what the bacterial counts are or interpreting them but Cipro is a good antibiotic which will, hopefully, clear up the present bacteria.

Good luck with this.
 lolachola - Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:44 am

Thanks very much Debbie. I just finished my 14 day treatment of Cipro and it seems to have cleared it up. Now I just hope I don't get another before my appointment with the urologist! I'm taking acidophillus and cranberry pills to try to prevent any further infections. Hopefully this helps!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:33 pm

User avatar Hi Lolachola,

I agree with Debbie that seeing a urologist will be helpful. UTI's following intercourse are relatively common. There are also other things that can occur such as a urethritis from irritation rather than overt infection (termed honeymoon urethritis). The urologist can also look to see if there are any structural abnormalities that may be predisposing you to UTI's.

Regarding the bacterial count, generally >100,000 colonies is considered positive from a clean catch sample. 80,000 is often considered positive if symptoms are present.

The tricky part of interpreting culture results when the specimen is from a clean catch (as opposed to a catheterization) is that the bacteria may be from the surrounding skin rather than the bladder. So, if the cutlure grows many different bacteria (mixed flora) it is often considered contamination.

Best wishes.
 lolachola - Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:28 pm

Thank-you so much Dr. Lowe. I hope the urologist will be able to rid me of these recurrent UTIs because they are so uncomfortable and expensive between the antibiotics and then treatment for the yeast infection which invariably results!
 lolachola - Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:24 pm

It seems that my UTI has not gone away completely even after finishing the 14 day course of Cipro. I'm really getting frustrated because I can't seem to rid myself of this infection. I'm wondering whether I should stop having sexual intercourse until I meet with the urologist on November 21? I'm not sure if by having intercourse I am continuing to introduce bacteria which my system just doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. I also wondered if lower abdominal bloating is a sign of a UTI? Will this ever go away or will I be doomed to have these for the rest of my life? I've never had them recurrently like this before and I'm beginning to consider celibacy because it is such an uncomfortable feeling!

Any advice on what I should be doing before my appointment with the urologist would be much appreciated. I am taking cranberry pills, drinking lots of water, emptying my bladder after intercourse, emptying it regularly the rest of the time, taking acidophillus pills, etc.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:06 pm

User avatar Hi Lolachola,

If your UTI's clearly are related to intercourse it may be advisable to abstain until you see the urologist. Have all or most of your UTI's been confirmed by culture or only diagnosed by white blood cells in the urine?

If no culture has been done it may be that you actually have urethral irritation and not true UTI's as I mentioned before. This is very common in cases such as yours.

Other things you can do to help prevent UTI's is drink plenty of fluid. Urinating after intercourse may help flush bacteria out of the bladder/urethra to prevent infection. The jury is still out on cranberry supplements. They may or may not actually help. Basically, they are safe so there really isn't a downside to trying it. Basically, keep doing everything your already doing.

Seeing the urologist will be helpful.

Best wishes.
 lolachola - Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:26 pm

Thanks for your advice again Dr. Lowe. The majority of my UTIs have been confirmed by urine cultures and not just the white blood cell counts. A few of the UTIs I was having almost a year ago I didn't go for the urine cultures because I was ignorant of the fact that it is important to know the strain of bacteria in order to know which antibiotic is sensitive/resistant. Once I understood the importance I started going for the urine cultures everytime. One of the times they isolated Klebsiella Pneumonia and another time they found mixed bacteria/no dominant species. I just went to the walk-in clinic yesterday and they did another urine culture, the results of which I should be receiving in a few days.

I have definitely decided with my partner to abstain from intercourse since I have been sick more than healthy in the past few months.

I thank you very much for your advice. Hopefully once I meet with the urologist we can get this thing under control.
 lolachola - Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:48 pm


I have one more question. I now have what I am almost 100% certain is strep throat. The reason I am confident is that I had a positive culture for strep throat back in the beginning of August around the same time I tested positive for a UTI. I have the exact same symptoms of strep that I had then -- feeling that I am swallowing golf balls, swollen lymph nodes, no nasal congestion or any other typical "cold" symptom. I will go to get a throat culture to confirm this but I am wondering is there is an association between my UTIs and strep infections? I understand that my immune system could be weak and this is why I seem to be susceptible to infections rather than fighting them off. I'm not sure if the doctor's need to investigate this connection or not.

Also, if I am feeling like my immune system is weakened, is there anything you can recommend to boost it?

Thanks very much!

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