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Medical History and Physical Exam for Urinary Tract Infections

Exam Overview

If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), your initial evaluation by your doctor will include a medical history and physical exam. A medical history includes an evaluation of your current urinary tract symptoms, history of urinary tract infections or other urinary tract problems, family health history, and sexual history. You and your doctor will discuss your general health and the results of previous testing.

For women, your doctor will:

  • Evaluate the possibility of pregnancy and any history of reproductive problems.
  • Include a pelvic exam if symptoms indicate a possible pelvic infection or urethritis.
  • Examine your lower back, abdomen, and the area just above where the pelvic bone and the lower abdomen meet for tenderness, pain, or abnormalities.
  • Take your temperature.

For men, your doctor will:

  • Evaluate any history of prostate problems.
  • Examine your genitals, lower back, and abdomen.
  • Examine your rectum and rectal area to check for prostate enlargement, growths, or inflammation.
  • Take your temperature.

Why It Is Done

You have symptoms of a UTI.

Results

Findings of the medical history and physical exam include the following:

Normal

  • No pain, growths, or abnormalities
  • No prostate enlargement or tenderness (men only)
  • No discharge from the urethra

Abnormal

  • Pain or discomfort in response to pressure on the lower back, abdomen, or the area above the pelvic bone
  • Growths or abnormalities detected during pelvic or rectal exam
  • Enlarged or tender prostate gland (men only)
  • Discharge from the urethra

What To Think About

A thorough medical history and physical exam can often help rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as a vaginal yeast infection, sexually transmitted infection, or prostatitis. Provide your doctor with as accurate a medical and sexual history as you can.

Complete the medical test information form (PDF)medical test information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this test.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Last Revised May 13, 2013

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