Bladder Infection: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Symptoms of a bladder infection are similar to those of any lower urinary tract infection (UTI). These symptoms are similar in men, women, and children. The main symptoms of bladder infection are

  • pain,
  • discomfort, or
  • burning when trying to urinate.

There may be a sense of needing to urinate frequently (urinary frequency) or having to urinate urgently (urinary urgency). Passing only a small amount of urine even though you feel the need to urinate is another common symptoms. A cloudy appearance to the urine can be present if there is a bacterial infection that produces pus in the urine. The urine also may be red in color due to bleeding. Alternatively, the urine may not be changed in appearance, but red blood cells, bacteria, or white blood cells may be detected on microscopic examination of the urine.

Men and women may feel pain in the lower abdomen. Men may also feel pain in the rectum, while women may feel pain around the area of the pubic bone. Fever is not a common symptom of bladder infection; fever is more typical of urinary tract infections that have spread to the kidneys or bloodstream.

It is possible to have a bladder infection without having the characteristic symptoms. Infants may not have specific symptoms and may appear lethargic and fussy. Also in the elderly, specific signs and symptoms may not be present. In some cases, bladder infections may not cause symptoms at all.

Causes of bladder infections

Bladder infection is typically caused by a bacterial infection. The bacterial type known as E. coli (Escherichia coli) is the most common organism responsible for bladder infection or cystitis. Other types of bacteria that can cause bladder infection and other urinary tract infections include staph organisms (from skin) and other gut bacteria (Proteus, Klebsiella, and Enterococcus).

Other bladder infection symptoms and signs

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Brusch, John L. "Cystitis in Females." Aug. 15, 2016. <>.