• One in 20 women’s appointments is for suspected cystitis or other UTIs 
  • Many are missed by UK tests as they’re not sensitive enough to pick up bacteria 

Victoria Allen for the Daily Mail

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Women are being denied antibiotics for the misery of cystitis because of imprecise tests at GP surgeries, research has found.

Up to one in 20 doctor’s appointments for women is for suspected cystitis or similar urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Their study found more than 98 per cent of women who believe they have a UTI or cystitis are in fact right. But using the traditional British test, a third of those with an infection did not show up as having one. 

Women are being denied antibiotics for the misery of cystitis because of imprecise tests at GP surgeries, research has found (file image)

They said this was because testing in Britain is not sensitive enough to pick up the bacterial infection causing the problems, so women are often turned away without the antibiotics they need.

Using the same threshold for detecting bacteria as the British test, the study found 62.3 per cent were positive for an infection. However a more sensitive test found 98.2 per cent in fact did have unhealthy bacteria in their urine.

The research, published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, involved 220 women suffering pain when urinating or frequent and urgent trips to the loo. 

Lead author Dr Stefan Heytens from the University of Ghent, Belgium, said: ‘A substantial percentage of women visiting their GP with symptoms of a UTI are told they have no infection and sent home without treatment.’

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