The symptoms of a bladder infection, or urinary tract infection, are hard to ignore as they can be both painful and frustrating.
According to the National Institutes of Health, urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria entering the urethra and ultimately, the bladder. Most of the time, your body can get rid of these bacteria on its own, but occasionally, when it cannot, an infection develops.
Although a urinary tract infection most commonly develops in the bladder, it can spread to the kidneys.
Women are more prone to these type of infections because their urethra is shorter than a man's and closer to the anus. The risk for a urinary tract infection increases after sexual activity or when using a diaphragm as both can introduce bacteria to the area.
Bladder infections must be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, a bladder infection can cause kidney damage.
Here's how to spot some of the most common symptoms of a bladder, or urinary tract infection.
Increased Urge to Urinate
The most common symptom of a bladder infection is pressure in your abdomen that feels as though your bladder is full. This creates a persistent urge to urinate, even when your bladder is empty.
People with bladder infections find themselves making frequent trips to the restroom only to pass little or no urine. The urge to urinate may be so strong that it can wake you several times during the night.
When you do go to the bathroom, urinating is accompanies by stinging or burning that can be intense and uncomfortable. The pain and/or burning may intensify at the end of your urination stream and can linger for a few seconds after you have completed urinating.
Urine Appearance and Smell
If you have a bladder infection, your urine has a foul odor and/or appear cloudy, bloody or concentrated.
Pain and Fever
Bladder infections can cause pain in the back, side, groin, stomach and/or abdomen.
You may also develop a fever that's accompanied by chills.
Having sexual intercourse may also be painful when you have a urinary tract infection.
A child who has a bladder infection can have different symptoms than adults. But like adults, bladder infections in children may require antibiotic treatment.
Call your child's primary care physician if he:
Has unusual bedwetting or trouble holding his urine Experiences changes in eating habits Develops a fever Vomits Has abdominal pain Develops yellowing of the skin