While it is possible to have a urinary tract infection without any symptoms, most people notice symptoms.

The Female Urinary System

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include the following:

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Feeling of urgency
  • Burning or pain while urinating
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Urinating only small amounts of urine at a time
  • Pain over the area of the bladder [the pubic area or lower abdomen] or in the lower back
  • Pain along the sides under the ribs [back and flank pain]
  • Blood in the urine, or on the tissue after wiping following urination in women
  • Cloudy looking urine, possibly signifying visible pus
  • Unpleasant smell to urine
  • New onset of incontinence (inability to hold the urine, during the day or at night)

The following symptoms suggest that the infection has gone up into the kidneys, a more serious problem:

  • Fever, chills
  • Severe pain in the lower back

Children (babies in particular) may have less common symptoms of UTI, such as:

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Incontinence
  • Loose stools, diarrhea
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Slow weight gain (failure-to-thrive)

Older people may have more vague symptoms of a UTI, such as fatigue, confusion, loss of appetite, or trouble walking.