Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of a bladder infection?

Symptoms of a bladder infection may include

  • a burning feeling when you urinate
  • frequent or intense urges to urinate, even when you have little urine to pass

Seek care right away

If you have symptoms of a bladder infection, see a health care professional right away, especially if you have severe pain in your back near your ribs or in your lower abdomen, along with vomiting and nausea, fever, or other symptoms that may indicate a kidney infection.

Kidney infections are often very painful and can cause serious health problems, so it’s best to get early treatment.

What causes a bladder infection?

Most of the time a bladder infection is caused by bacteria that are normally found in your bowel. The bladder has several systems to prevent infection. For example, urination most often flushes out bacteria before it reaches the bladder. Sometimes your body can’t fight the bacteria and the bacteria cause an infection. Read the reasons you may be at risk for UTIs.

March 2017
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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
Ann E. Stapleton, MD, FIDSA, FACP, University of Washington School of Medicine