Urinary Tract Infections - Symptoms

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What are urinary tract infection symptoms and signs?

Lower urinary tract infection

  • Bladder (cystitis): The lining of the urethra and bladder becomes inflamed and irritated.
  • Dysuria: pain or burning during urination
  • Frequency: more frequent urination (or waking up at night to urinate, sometimes referred to as nocturia); often with only a small amount of urine
  • Urinary urgency: the sensation of having to urinate urgently
  • Cloudy, bad-smelling, or bloody urine
  • Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pressure or pain
  • Mild fever (less than 101 F), chills, and "just not feeling well" (malaise)
  • Urethra (urethritis): Burning with urination

Upper urinary tract infection (pyelonephritis)

Symptoms develop rapidly and may or may not include the symptoms for a lower urinary tract infection.

  • Fairly high fever (higher than 101 F)
  • Shaking chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Flank pain: pain in the back or side, usually on only one side at about waist level

In newborns, infants, children, and elderly people, the classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection may not be present. Other symptoms may indicate a urinary tract infection.

  • Newborns: fever or hypothermia (low temperature), poor feeding, jaundice
  • Infants: vomiting, diarrhea, fever, poor feeding, not thriving
  • Children: irritability, eating poorly, unexplained fever that doesn't go away, loss of bowel control, loose bowels, change in urination pattern
  • Elderly people: fever or hypothermia, poor appetite, lethargy, change in mental status

Pregnant women are at increased risk for an UTI. Typically, pregnant women do not have unusual or unique symptoms. If a woman is pregnant, her urine should be checked during prenatal visits because an unrecognized infection can cause pregnancy complications.

Although most people have symptoms with a urinary tract infection, some do not.

The symptoms of urinary tract infection can resemble those of sexually transmitted diseases.

Return to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

See what others are saying

Comment from: CarlyD, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI) about 3 days ago and I am on ciprofloxacin pills. For symptoms I get stomach pain, blood when I urinate and I have to go a lot more than usual. I have an idea about the symptoms because I've had 4 or 5 urinary infections by now. I'm on around 7 daily pills for medical conditions but the doctor said those have nothing to do with bringing anything on. I never had one of these infections until after taking all the pills. I try the best I can with bathroom hygiene but maybe some people get UTIs more than others, who knows. Best of luck everyone!

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Comment from: Niki, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I have been suffering from urinary tract infection and cystitis since I was 19 when I was student. I stayed in hospital for few days, the E. coli bacteria was the cause of it. They gave me antibiotics and since then I have had this problem at least 100 times (2 to 6 times yearly). It is an awful unbearable pain after urinating and it lasts from 3 to 10 days. I have never seen blood though. I have seen several doctors, sometimes there was the E. coli, sometimes there was no bacteria at all although I was in pain. Doctors always are giving me antibiotics (Septrin, Bactrimel, Ciproxin, etc.) which do not always work. I have noticed that taking antibiotics or not, the infection lasts the same period and symptoms slow down after few days. I have tried all type of medicine and natural treatments with no results (I am informed of all details about this disease and I take all protection to avoid it). So far my mother was also in the same pain all her life and I definitely think it may also be inheritable.

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