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H Pylori Test

This detects the presence of H pylori bacteria which causes digestive-related conditions.

Collection method

Typically breath (BreathTek™)

Test preparation



Ages 18+ only; Could vary by provider

Turnaround time

Typically 48-72 hours

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H Pylori Test

Helicobacter pylori (also called H. Pylori) is a type of bacteria that can infect the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. It is a common bacterial infection worldwide; the CDC estimates that about half of the world's population is infected with H. pylori.

Testing for H. Pylori can be done in a few different ways, with stool tests being the most common type of testing, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What are the different ways to be tested for H. pylori?

There are several different tests that can be used to diagnose an H. pylori infection. Here are some of the most common, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Breath test
  • Stool test
  • Blood test
  • Endoscopy

Your healthcare provider will determine which test is best for you based on your symptoms and medical history.

When should I get tested for H. pylori?

You should consider getting tested for H. pylori if you are experiencing the symptoms of an H. pylori infection. These symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, are:

  • An ache or burning pain in your stomach (abdomen)
  • Stomach pain that may be worse when your stomach is empty
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent burping
  • Bloating
  • Unintentional weight loss

You may also need to be tested if you have a history of peptic ulcers or if you have a family history of stomach cancer, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Additionally, if you are about to start a course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can increase the risk of stomach ulcers, your doctor may recommend testing for H. pylori.

If you are unsure whether you need to be tested for H. pylori, you should talk to your healthcare provider, who can evaluate your symptoms and medical history and recommend appropriate testing if necessary.

What to expect during an H. pylori test

Your experience with H. pylori testing will vary depending on what kind of testing you and your provider decide to get. Here is an overview of what to expect, with each of the common H. pylori tests.

Stool test for H. pylori

This type of test looks for H. pylori in a sample of your stool. You will be asked to collect a sample of stool in a sterile container (usually at home), and then bring the sample to the laboratory or clinic, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Blood test for H. pylori

This test checks for the presence of antibodies to H. pylori in the blood, according to the Mayo Clinic. A blood sample will be collected from your arm or hand and then sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Breath for H. pylori

This test involves drinking a solution containing a small amount of radioactive carbon and then breathing it out into a bag or machine. If H. pylori bacteria are present in the stomach, it will break down the solution, releasing the carbon. This carbon can be detected in the breath sample, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Endoscopy uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera and light on the end (called an endoscope) to examine the digestive tract and collect a sample of the lining of the digestive tract for testing. During an endoscopy procedure, you will be sedated with medication and the endoscope will be inserted through your mouth and down your upper digestive tract, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Understanding your H. pylori test results

H. Pylori results will indicate either positive or negative, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your healthcare provider can help you interpret your results and advise you on what steps to take next.

If you have a positive result, you may need to undergo further testing or treatment to help clear the infection and prevent potential complications. If you have a negative result but still have symptoms of an H. pylori infection, your healthcare provider may recommend additional testing or further evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms.

Finding an H. pylori test

H. pylori testing can be ordered by medical providers at primary care clinics, walk-in clinics, urgent care clinics, or walk-in laboratories.

The best way to find a provider near you who can order H. pylori testing is to use Solv to find a provider or lab near you.

Can I test for H. pylori at home?

While there are some H. pylori testing kits that are available for home use, it is important to note that these at-home tests are not as accurate as medical-grade testing.

If you have concerns about H. pylori or are experiencing symptoms, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you talk to your healthcare provider, who can evaluate your symptoms, order any necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment if needed.

Cost of H. pylori testing

The cost of H. pylori testing will vary, depending on your location, the type of test you get, and your insurance coverage. Currently, the average cost of H. pylori testing in the US varies between $87 to $699

More about H. pylori

The exact cause of H. pylori infection is not completely understood, however, according to the NIH, it is thought to be primarily spread through close contact with an infected individual or through exposure to contaminated food or water.

If you are diagnosed with an H. pylori infection, your doctor may recommend treatment with antibiotics and acid-reducing medications to help clear the infection and promote healing of any ulcers or other damage to the digestive tract.

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H Pylori Test FAQs

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about lab tests.

The treatment for H. pylori infection usually involves a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medications such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), according to the Mayo Clinic. The antibiotics help to kill the bacteria, while the PPIs reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach, which can help to promote the healing of any ulcers or other damage to the digestive tract.
Yes, H. pylori infections can be cured with appropriate treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, it is important to complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if symptoms improve before the treatment is finished, in order to ensure that the infection is fully eradicated.
H. pylori infections have been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer, particularly in individuals with long-standing, untreated infections, according to the Mayo Clinic.
According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated or long-standing H. pylori infection can lead to complications like:
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Stomach cancer
  • Stomach lymphoma
In addition, chronic inflammation of the stomach lining caused by H. pylori infection can lead to other digestive problems, including gastritis and dyspepsia.
There is no surefire way to prevent an H. pylori infection, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of infection. These include practicing good hand hygiene, avoiding contact with contaminated water or food, and avoiding smoking, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Yes, H. pylori is contagious and can be spread through close contact with an infected individual or through exposure to contaminated food or water, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, not everyone who is exposed to H. pylori will develop an infection, and some people may carry the bacteria without experiencing any symptoms.

This publication is not intended to solicit the purchase of laboratory testing from any individual consumer.

Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on Jan 25, 2023

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Dr. Rob Rohatsch currently serves as Chief Medical Officer for Solv Health. Dr. Rohatsch brings his extensive background in multi-site ambulatory medicine operations, on-demand healthcare, and consumerism to Solv, where he helps drive strategic initiatives in a cross functional executive role. He brings comprehensive healthcare expertise ranging from medical group operations to revenue cycle management and clinical expertise.

Dr. Rohatsch completed his military service in the US Air Force and earned his MD from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Rohatsch served on the Yale School of Medicine faculty teaching at the medical school and is currently on faculty at the Haslam School of Business at the University of Tennessee teaching in the Executive MBA Program. He also serves on several boards and chairs The TJ Lobraico Foundation.

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