Generally, bladder infections are classified as urinary tract infections (UTIs), which emerge anywhere in the urinary tract, such as the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Lower tract UTIs are more common since bacteria can enter more easily.
It is common for bladder infections to be caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is found naturally in the large intestine. Various symptoms can indicate a bladder infection, but you’ll typically notice changes during urination. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Pain or Burning Sensation When Urinating
Painful urination can signify that you might have a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs can be caused by bacteria or by inflammation of the urinary tract. There are four parts of your urinary tract: the urethra, the bladder, the ureters, and the kidneys. The ureters carry urine from your kidneys to the bladder; any of these organs can inflate during urination.
A UTI can cause blood in your pee, so you need to see a doctor immediately. UTIs don’t go away on their own and can spread to your kidneys, resulting in serious illness.
Having Frequent Urination
Many people are prone to frequent urination due to problems with their urinary tract and bladder, which may seem obvious. However, the most common cause of frequent urination is bacterial infections. UTIs occur when an outside infection invades the body and causes inflammation (swelling) in your urinary system.
Strong-smelling urine is also often caused by urinary tract infections. Additional symptoms of a UTI include an intense urge to urinate, a need to urinate frequently, and a burning sensation when you urinate. In addition, bacteria cause urinary tract infections. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria if you have one.
Lower Back or Abdomen Cramps
Symptoms of a UTI include cramping pain, pressure, or soreness. You usually feel cramps in your pelvis or lower back. You may feel this pain when you have a UTI. This is because the bacteria that cause a UTI can plague the lining of your urinary tract, leading to inflammation and irritation. Additionally, urine can be used as a medium for these bacteria to continue growing.
A UTI may also spread from the bladder to the kidneys, causing a more severe condition known as pyelonephritis. The symptoms include:
It is typical for a UTI that affects only your lower urinary tract to cause flu-like symptoms, but when it affects your kidneys, your body’s immune system may kick into high gear. A fever above 101°F (38.3°C) is a common symptom of a kidney infection.
There may be no apparent cause for chills. For example, you can be wrapped up under a blanket, still, shiver, and feel very cold. However, in extreme cases, chills may lead to rigors, which are episodes of uncontrollable shaking. Immediately seek medical help to stop these shivers and chills.
Nausea & Vomiting
When you have symptoms of a kidney infection, such as bloody urine or nausea and vomiting, seek medical attention immediately. A severe bladder infection can cause serious complications, such as blood poisoning, tissue damage, or even death. You should consult a doctor about these causes, and once you have a specific diagnosis, the doctor can prescribe a particular treatment.