Bladder infections are often more annoying than they are serious. But they can travel up to your kidneys, where they can cause more severe problems.
So it’s important to treat bladder infections right away. Doctors usually use antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection. Women, especially, should watch for symptoms. They are more likely to get bladder infections than men are.
Symptoms. The most common sign of cystitis (the medical term for a bladder infection) is a burning feeling when you pee. Some people might call it a “scalding” sensation. Other symptoms you might have include:
Need to pee more often.
Peeing only in small amounts at a time
Cloudy or bloody urine
Urine that smells worse than it should
Pain around your pelvis
In older people, prolonged tiredness (fatigue) or mental confusion might be signs of a more serious urinary tract infection. If you help take care of a child, you may want to watch for accidental daytime wetting that wasn’t happing before. Other signs include a drop in appetite and vomiting.
When to Call a Doctor. Get medical help at once if it hurts to pee and you also have any of these symptoms:
Belly or back pain
You should also call your doctor if:
Symptoms return after you’ve finished treatment.
You also have discharge from your vagina or penis. This may be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or other serious infections.
You have ongoing pain or a hard time peeing. This may also be a sign of an STD, a vaginal infection, a kidney stone, enlargement of the prostate, or a bladder or prostate tumor. Or it could be that the infection is resistant to the antibiotic your doctor prescribed.