Meaning of E. Coli in Urine Culture Results and Possible Treatment

Urinary tract infection (UTI) can be caused by different microbes such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Bacteria are the most common offenders in our body, though the body has a natural defense system to get rid of these bacteria out of your body when they gain access to your urinary tract. However, there are times when your natural defense is unable to fight back, giving bacteria the chance to cause an infection in the bladder, urethra, or kidneys.

READ ALSO: E. Coli Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Risk And Treatments

Your doctor may ask you to go to the lab for a urine test in which they will look for Escherichia coli or E. coli, to confirm your symptoms are due to a urinary tract infection.

What is the meaning of E. Coli in urine culture?

A urine culture is a test that aids in detecting and identifying the type of organism that’s causing a UTI When your lab results indicates presence of E. coli in your urine, it means you have a urinary tract infection. Additional tests may be required by your doctor to confirm the type of infection. E. Coli is among the most common causes of UTIs. Your doctor will confirm the presence of these bacteria in your urine through a urine culture test. They will also check for the presence of bacteria, red blood cells, or while blood cells.

You may be asked to wipe your genital area before the sample is taken, to avoid contamination. They will then examine your urine and if they find something specific, they will proceed with a urine culture test to confirm an infection. This test will help confirm the types of bacteria causing infection.

Understanding the results of the urine culture tests

Urine culture results normally takes about 2-3 days. However, some organisms don’t grow that quickly in the culture, so you may have to wait longer for your result.

READ ALSO: How to Prevent Recurrent, Chronic Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

In some cases, different types of bacteria may grow in a culture, this indicates contamination. Your doctor may ask for a repeat culture in some cases for proper confirmation.

There may be no visible symptoms if a urine sample shows the presence of E. coli, indicating a urinary tract infection. When symptoms do appear, they may include:

  • Strong urge to urinate
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Passing strong-smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Pelvic pain around the area of the pubic bone.

Treatment with antibiotics

It is vital to identify the best treatment option for E. coli in urine culture. Antibiotics are usually recommended by doctors to treat urinary tract infections. Your doctor may prescribe Ciprofloxacin, Doxycycline, Nitrofurantoin, Levofloxacin, and others. Symptoms should cease after taking these drugs for some time, but you may have to continue taking these for another week or so to complete the entire course. Your urine may turn red or orange when using urinary tract analgesics.

READ ALSO: Seven Ways to Treat a UTI Without Antibiotics

For Recurrent UTIs

For cases of recurrent or frequent UTIs, your doctor may prescribe low dose antibiotics that you have to take for six months or longer. They may prescribe specific antibiotics that you have to take after a sexual encounter – this is usually the case when your UTI is related to sexual activity. Vaginal estrogen therapy may also help if you’re postmenopausal..

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

  • Drink lots of water to help dilute your urine and ease burning sensation.
  • Avoid beverages such as coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks that may cause irritation to your bladder.
  • Apply a heating pad directly on your abdomen to relieve bladder pressure and discomfort.

Treating UTIs with cranberry juice

Drinking cranberry juice helps relieve pain caused by the infection. Cranberry juice may not work for everybody, but you can drink lots of it to increase your chance of getting rid of UTIs. People already on aspirin or warfarin should avoid drinking cranberry juice.


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