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Urine Infection (cont.)

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What are urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms and signs in women, men, and children?

The UTI symptoms and signs may vary according to age, sex, and location of the infection in the tract. Some individuals will have no symptoms or mild symptoms and may clear the infection in about two to five days. Many people will not spontaneously clear the infection; one of the most frequent symptoms and signs experienced by most patients is a frequent urge to urinate, accompanied by pain or burning on urination. The urine often appears cloudy and occasionally dark, if blood is present. The urine may develop an unpleasant odor. Women often have lower abdominal discomfort or feel bloated and experience sensations like their bladder is full. Women may also complain of a vaginal discharge, especially if their urethra is infected, or if they have an STD. Although men may complain of dysuria, frequency, and urgency, other symptoms may include rectal, testicular, penile, or abdominal pain. Men with a urethral infection, especially if it is caused by an STD, may have a pus-like drip or discharge from their penis. Toddlers and children with UTIs often show blood in the urine, abdominal pain, fever, and vomiting along with pain and urgency with urination.

Symptoms and signs of a UTI in the very young and the elderly are not as diagnostically helpful as they are for other patients. Newborns and infants may develop fever or hypothermia, poor feeding, jaundice, vomiting, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, the elderly often have mild symptoms or no symptoms of a UTI until they become weak, lethargic, or confused.

Location of the infection in the urinary tract usually results in certain symptoms. Urethral infections usually have dysuria (pain or discomfort when urinating). STD infections may cause a pus-like fluid to drain or drip from the urethra. Cystitis (bladder infection) symptoms include suprapubic pain, usually without fever and flank pain. Ureter and kidney infections often have flank pain and fever as symptoms. These symptoms and signs are not highly specific, but they do help the physician determine where the UTI may be located.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/7/2014


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