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Understanding Urinary Tract Infections

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.

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Understanding Urinary Tract Infections -- the Basics

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are bacterial infections in the body's urinary system -- the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. In the kidneys, the infection is called pyelonephritis; in the bladder, it is called cystitis. Urinary tract infections are common in women. Children with UTIs may show different symptoms than adults.

Read the Understanding Urinary Tract Infections -- the Basics 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 14, 2015
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