Bladder Infection - Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of a bladder infection in women?

Because cystitis is seen more commonly in women, most signs and symptoms listed below pertain to cystitis in women unless otherwise indicated.

General symptoms of bladder infection may include:

  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency (urge to urinate)
  • Hesitancy to void urine
  • Bladder pain (pain around the pelvic area)
  • Incomplete voiding of urine
  • Urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of urine)

Fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting, and poor oral intake are rarely seen in bladder infection, although they are more common in more severe urinary infections such as kidney infection.

Some common signs of bladder infection are:

  • Lower abdominal tenderness
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Tenderness on the sides of the back (flanks)
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • In elderly patients, lethargy or confusion may be the only signs
Return to Bladder Infection (Cystitis)

See what others are saying

Comment from: SEPF, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I was having severe pain in my lower right abdomen. Initially, I attributed this intense pain to menstrual cramps and the fibroid tumors I knew were present. However, after my cycle ended, the pain remained and worsened. Still, I was blaming the pain on the uterine fibroids. Even with my high tolerance for pain, the pain was unbearable and seemed to have moved from my lower right side to my lower back. I began to question if the pain was due to an increase in the size of the fibroids, one or more of the fibroids degenerating as they sometimes do when they outgrow the blood supply, or, possibly, the pain was because of a bladder infection. I only considered a bladder infection because of the intense pain in the lower right region of my abdomen as I had not experienced an increased urgency nor frequency of urination nor any burning during or at the end of urination. So, I visited my gynecologist 4 days back and sure enough she called yesterday stating I had a bladder infection and she was calling in a prescription to the local pharmacy for pickup. The moral here is be careful of self-diagnosis; the symptoms can be misleading. Better to go to the doctor and let the experts figure it out for you!

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Comment from: JudyP, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

When I get a bladder infection, I have all the normal symptoms, i.e., burning, extreme pain at the end of urinating, chills, and the general "I wish this would go away" feeling. However, in addition I get diarrhea and I pass out quite frequently and have right flank pain. My urologist can't explain these last few symptoms.

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