Urinary Tract Infection (cont.)

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Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms and Signs

Lower urinary tract infection (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
  • Urgency: the sensation of having to urinate urgently
  • Hesitancy: the sensation of not being able to urinate easily or completely (or feeling that you have to urinate but only a few drops of urine come out)
  • Cloudy, bad-smelling, or bloody urine
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Mild fever (less than 101° F), chills, and "just not feeling well" (malaise)

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 your 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 you are pregnant, your urine should be checked during prenatal visits because an unrecognized infection can cause pregnancy complications or miscarriage.

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/21/2013

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