Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Take the Urinary Tract Infection Quiz

What is a UTI?

For someone who is experiencing a urinary tract infection (UTI) for the first time (or if it has been a while since they have had one), the symptoms can be frightening. On the other hand, some people with a urinary tract infection may not experience any symptoms at all. In certain cases, your doctor may be sure of the diagnosis simply by listening to your description of the symptoms and onset of the condition, while other cases pose diagnostic challenges.

What are the most common symptoms of a UTI?

In general, the most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection involve the process of urination:

  • Pain or a burning feeling during urination
  • A feeling of urgency, or feeling the need to urinate frequently
  • An altered appearance of the urine, either bloody (red) or cloudy (containing pus)
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum (men) or in the area of the pubic bone (women)
  • Passing only a tiny amount of urine even when the urge to urinate is strong
  • Urine that has a foul odor

Other, more generalized, symptoms can also accompany a urinary tract infection:

  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Fever is not common if the infection is in the lower urinary tract (urethra or bladder), but may be present, especially if the infection has spread to the kidneys or blood.

Quick GuideBladder Infections: UTI Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Bladder Infections: UTI Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

What are symptoms of UTI in infants?

Infants with a urinary tract infection are less likely than adults or older children to have the characteristic symptoms. Urinary tract infections can develop in both male and female infants. Affected babies may have a fever and no other symptoms. Infants who have a urinary tract infection may:

  • be irritable, have a fever, and
  • have loose stools and/or feeding problems.

Because of the nonspecific nature of many of these symptoms, urinary tract infections can be more difficult to diagnose in infants.

The symptoms can also appear nonspecific and the diagnosis may be more difficult in the elderly or those in healthcare settings who require long-term catheter use.

Urine testing (urinalysis) will establish the diagnosis of a urinary tract infection. The urine is examined for the presence of red blood cells that signify bleeding into the urine and for white blood cells that signify infection. A culture of the urine is also taken to identify the organism responsible for the infection and to determine the effectiveness of different antibiotics against the offending organism. If recurrent infections develop, further types of testing including imaging studies and/or visual examination of the bladder (cystoscopy) may be recommended.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms Resources

Read patient comments on Urinary Tract Infections - Symptoms

Doctor written main article on Urinary Tract Infection

Medically reviewed by Michael Wolff, MD; American Board of Urology

REFERENCE:

"Overview of Candida infections"
UpToDate.com


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Reviewed on 3/17/2017

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