What are the symptoms of a bladder infection?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Symptoms of a bladder infection may be minor and go unnoticed. Most people experience pain and burning during urination and an urge to urinate often. Despite the urge to urinate, sufferers may be unable to pass more than a small amount of urine. Urine may appear cloudy, or even red, if there is any blood present. You may feel pressure near the pubic bone or lower back. Fever is not a common symptom, except in children, but you might feel generally ill. Children may experience a loss of appetite or loose bowels.

Bladder infections (urinary tract infections) are annoying and painful. You may notice:
  • Strong need to urinate often, but you might only go a little bit each time
  • Burning feeling when you urinate
  • Blood in your urine -- it may look pink, red, or brown (like tea)
  • Cloudy urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • In children, stomachache or back pain
  • In babies, fever and no other symptoms
You may not have all of these symptoms. Or, your symptoms may be mild. But without treatment from a doctor, the symptoms will likely get worse. They may grow to include throwing up, fever, and chills.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.