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Understanding Urinary Tract Infections -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections?

The symptoms of urinary tract infections include:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Abdominal pain in the area over the bladder (above the pubic bone)
  • A need to urinate immediately, as soon as any urine collects in the bladder
  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Passage of small amounts of urine at a time
  • Need to get up from sleep to urinate
  • Low back or flank pain
  • Cloudy urine
  • Bloody urine
  • Bad-smelling urine
  • Pain behind the scrotum
  • Painful ejaculation or, rarely, bloody semen

Symptoms such as fever or chills or nausea suggest the presence of a more serious infection, such as a kidney infection, and should receive immediate medical attention. Pregnant women may not have any symptoms of infection, so their urine should be checked during their regular prenatal doctor visits.

Recommended Related to

Kidney Infections: Symptoms and Treatments

Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) involve only the bladder and urethra (the lower urinary system). Pyelonephritis results when a UTI progresses to involve the upper urinary system (the kidneys and ureters). The kidneys filter the blood to produce urine. Two tubes called the ureters carry urine from the kidneys down to the bladder. Urine travels from the bladder out of the body through the urethra. Most cases of pyelonephritis are complications of common bladder infections. Bacteria enter the...

Read the Kidney Infections: Symptoms and Treatments article > >

Call Your Doctor if:

  • You develop any pain or burning or difficulty with urination.
  • Burning is accompanied by a discharge from the vagina or penis, or other sign of sexually transmitted disease, pelvic inflammatory disease or other serious infection; see your doctor without delay.
  • You notice blood in your urine.
  • You begin to urinate often and in small amounts.
  • You find yourself having to urinate very urgently.
  • You have back pain or pain in the area over your bladder.
  • You notice that your urine appears cloudy or has an unpleasant odor.
  • You develop a fever or chills, which may indicate a more serious infection, such as a kidney infection.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on March 25, 2014

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