Learn how to test & detect a UTI: GPs vs. At-home testing

Written by

Kayleigh Maxwell

Should I go to the doctor with a UTI?

If you are experiencing unusual symptoms and suspect that you might have a urinary tract infection, it is good to check the most common symptoms of UTI before anything else. 

If you do have a urinary tract infection it may be that you’re asking yourself “Why does it hurt when I pee?” or “Why do I have cloudy urine?”. These are two of the most common signs of a UTI. The NHS provides the following list of the most common lower UTI symptoms (1) :

  • Pain when peeing

  • Needing to pee a lot at night

  • Cloudy urine

  • Needing to pee very suddenly, and very frequently

If you have any of these symptoms, it may be that you have a lower UTI (an infection of the bladder and/or urethra), and you may be wondering whether you need to book an appointment to see a doctor. We know that having to leave the house to get to the doctors is not an ideal scenario if you are in a lot of pain or discomfort.

Are there any home testing kits available for UTI?

Luckily, a lower UTI can be treated relatively easily, and you do not necessarily need to go to the doctor. You can get UTI testing and UTI treatment online with the TestCard UTI test kit (available at weldricks.co.uk, alphega-pharmacy.co.uk, zavamed.com and at Superdrug.com).  

With TestCard you can take a urine test (the same as your doctor would do) and get the results from the comfort of your home. If your results are positive, you can use our treatment partner to get antibiotic treatment delivered straight to your door. 

Studies have shown that urine infections can resolve themselves without antibiotic treatment, however, there is a risk of the infection worsening and spreading to the kidneys, which is why antibiotic treatment may often be recommended. (2,3)

If your symptoms become more severe, or you have any of these symptoms...

  • Blood in your urine

  • Pain in lower stomach or back pain

  • A fever / high temperature / feeling hot and shivery

  • Low temperature (< 36°C)

...this can be a sign of a kidney infection. A kidney infection (upper UTI) is more severe than a lower UTI, and requires immediate treatment. If you suspect a kidney infection, it is important to contact a medical professional straight away.

1 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-tract-infections-utis/

2 Gágyor, I., Bleidorn, J., Kochen, M. M., Schmiemann, G., Wegscheider, K., & Hummers-Pradier, E. (2015). Ibuprofen versus fosfomycin for uncomplicated urinary tract infection in women: randomised controlled trial. bmj, 351.

3 Falagas, M. E., Kotsantis, I. K., Vouloumanou, E. K., & Rafailidis, P. I. (2009). Antibiotics versus placebo in the treatment of women with uncomplicated cystitis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Infection, 58(2), 91-102.