Your Health

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

While it is possible to have a urinary tract infection (UTI) without any symptoms, most people notice symptoms.
The Female Urinary System
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Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include the following:
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Feeling of urgency to urinate
  • Burning or pain while urinating
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Urinating only small amounts of urine at a time
  • Pain over the area of the bladder (the pubic area or lower abdomen) or in the lower back
  • Pain along the sides under the ribs (back and flank pain)
  • Blood in the urine, or on the tissue after wiping following urination in women
  • Cloudy looking urine, possibly with pus
  • Unpleasant smell to urine
  • New onset of incontinence (inability to hold the urine during the day or night)
The following symptoms suggest that the infection has gone up into the kidneys, a more serious problem:
  • Fever, chills
  • Severe pain in the lower back
Children (babies in particular) may have less common symptoms of UTI, such as:
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Incontinence
  • Loose stools, diarrhea
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Slow weight gain ( failure-to-thrive )
Older people may have more vague symptoms of a UTI, such as fatigue, confusion, loss of appetite, or trouble walking.

References

American Foundation for Urologic Disease. Urinary tract infections in adults. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/ . Accessed July 31, 2010.

Griffith’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 2001 ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Urinary tract infections in adults. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/utiadult/ . Published December 2005. Accessed July 31, 2010.

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