What Is the Difference Between a Urinary Tract Infection & a Bladder Infection?

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There is often confusion about the difference between a urinary tract infection and a bladder infection. The bIadder is part of the urinary system, and a bladder infection is considered a type of urinary tract infection (UTI).

Common Terms

  • Also called cystitis and commonly referred to as inflammation of the bladder, bladder infection is the most common UTI.

Common Source

  • The majority of UTIs are caused by Escherichia coli, or E. coli bacteria, which is normally present in the colon but can pass through the urethra and into the bladder, often causing an infection.

Common Cause

  • This usually happens through sexual intercourse or from exposing the urethra to direct sources of bacteria, usually the anus or, for women, the vagina.

Common Symptoms

  • Symptoms commonly associated with various UTIs are similar. Bladder infections are specifically characterized by a strong, frequent urge to empty the bladder, although little or no urine is actually excreted. Sometimes pain or a burning sensation can take place.

Further Symptoms

  • In some cases, urine will appear cloudy or may have blood mixed in it. In most cases, the urine will have a strong, foul odor. Pelvic pressure or lower abdominal discomfort is also common, and a mild fever can occur.

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