Urinary Tract Infections

The urinary tract is the system that creates and disposes of urine. This includes your bladders, kidneys, and the tubes that connect them. When germs or other unwanted material enters this system it can cause infection. Most urinary tract infections are bladder infections, which is usually not serious if treated immediately. If not treated, bladder infection can spread to the kidneys, and kidney infections are serious and can cause permanent damage.

A urinary tract infection may be present if you experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Having to urinate often with little urine coming out
  • Stomach feels tender, heavy
  • Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
  • Pain on one side of your back (kidneys)
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea, vomiting


To diagnose a urinary tract infection, your doctor will test a sample of your urine. This is the most commonly and sometimes only test for diagnosing urinary tract infections.

To cure a bladder infection your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that usually remove the infection. There is no need for surgery or other treatment for a bladder or urinary tract infection.

Almost all urinary tract infections can be treated completely. Symptoms of bladder infection usually vanish within 24-48 hours of treatment. If you have a kidney infection, it could take up to a week or more for symptoms to alleviate.