Urinary tract infection, adults - Symptoms of urinary tract infection
NHS Choices Medical Reference
Lower urinary tract infection
The symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection (UTI) include:
- cloudy urine
- a need to urinate more frequently, either during the day, or night, or both
- pain or discomfort when passing urine
- an urgent need to urinate (holding in your urine becomes more difficult)
- unusually unpleasant smelling urine
- blood in your urine (haematuria)
- abdominal pain
- a feeling of tenderness around your pelvis
- back pain
- a general sense of feeling unwell
Upper urinary tract infection
The symptoms of an upper UTI include:
- a high temperature (fever) of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or above
- uncontrollable shivering
You may also experience pain in your side, back or groin. The pain can range from moderate to severe, and it is often worse when you are urinating.
In addition, you may experience the symptoms of a lower UTI because the infection can spread from your kidneys to your lower urinary tract.
When to seek medical advice
An upper UTI has a higher risk of complications, so it is always recommended that you visit your GP if you suspect that you have an upper UTI.
You should also visit your GP if you think that you have a lower UTI and your symptoms do not improve after five days, or they suddenly get worse.
You should also visit your GP if you have a risk factor that increases the chances of the infection causing more serious complications. Risk factors that are linked to a higher chance of developing complications include:
- a weakened immune system (immunocompromised) caused by treatment such as chemotherapy or a health condition such as HIV
type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- a foreign body in your urinary tract, such as a kidney stone, or an in-dwelling catheter (a tube that is used to drain the bladder)
- being pregnant
- being over 65 years of age