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Symptoms and Signs of Bladder Infection in Adults

Doctor's Notes on Bladder Infection in Adults

Bladder infections (also termed cystitis) in adults is an infection of the bladder, in most individuals, caused by bacteria. Signs and symptoms of a bladder infection may include a burning feeling when you urinate and frequent intense urges to urinate even if you have little or no urine to pass. Other signs and symptoms include discomfort in the lower abdomen, urine that can be cloudy, smelly and may contain blood. Bladder infections can lead to kidney, urethral and prostate infections.

The major cause of bladder infections are bacteria that progress retrograde (move up against urine flow) into the bladder. The most common bacteria that do this action are Escherichia coli that normally colonize in the feces. Many other bacteria can also occasionally cause bladder infections and the parasite Schistosoma can lodge in the bladder tissue and cause ulcers and bladder bleeding; it increases the risk of developing bladder cancer.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.