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Common signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection include frequent or intense urges to urinate, painful urination, and milky, cloudy, or reddish-brown urine. In severe cases, symptoms may include fever or chills, pain in the back or side, nausea, and vomiting. Although most people with a UTI will develop symptoms of the infection, some people with the condition will exhibit no symptoms. Children may experience symptoms that are somewhat different from those seen in adults.

Urinary Tract Infection Signs and Symptoms: An Introduction

Not everyone with a urinary tract infection (UTI) will develop symptoms of the condition. However, most people with a UTI will develop some urinary tract infection symptoms.

Common Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection

Common symptoms include:
  • Frequent or intense urges to urinate, even when you have little urine to pass
  • A painful, burning feeling during urination
  • Milky, cloudy, or reddish-brown urine.

More Severe Symptoms

More severe urinary tract infection symptoms may indicate that the UTI has reached the kidneys. Severe symptoms include:
  • Fever or chills (usually does not occur if the infection is in the bladder or urethra)
  • Pain in the back or side below the ribs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.

Symptoms in Children

Children who have urinary tract infection symptoms may be misdiagnosed because their symptoms may be overlooked or attributed to another disorder.
  • Irritability
  • Not eating normally
  • Unexplained fever that will not go away
  • Incontinence
  • Loose bowels
  • Not thriving.
Unlike adults, when children have a UTI, they are more likely to have fever and no other symptoms of a urinary tract infection. This can happen to both boys and girls, and children should see their doctor if they experience symptoms, especially when there are changes in the child's urinary pattern.
(Click Urinary Tract Infection in Children for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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