What Is the Difference Between a Bladder Infection and a UTI?

Reviewed on 10/12/2021

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, the bladder, the ureters, and the urethra. A bladder infection (cystitis) is a type of UTI. Symptoms include pain or a burning on urination, urinary urgency, urinary frequency, blood in the urine, and others.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, the bladder, the ureters, and the urethra. A bladder infection (cystitis) is a type of UTI. Symptoms include pain or a burning on urination, urinary urgency, urinary frequency, blood in the urine, and others.

UTIs (urinary tract infections) are infections that affect the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, the bladder, the ureters, and the urethra.

A bladder infection (cystitis) is a type of UTI.  

Other types of UTIs include: 

  • Kidney infections (pyelonephritis) 
  • Infections of the urethra (urethritis)

What Are Symptoms of a Bladder Infection and a UTI?

Symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • Pain or a burning on urination 
  • Urinary urgency
  • Urinary frequency
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower abdominal discomfort

Symptoms of an infection of the urethra include:

  • Pain or a burning on urination 
  • Discharge

Symptoms of a kidney infection include the symptoms of a bladder infection and: 

  • Pain in the flank (one or both sides of the lower back, where the kidneys are located)
  • Fever
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting

See a doctor right away if you have symptoms of a kidney infection, because delayed treatment can result in serious complications.

How Are Bladder Infections and UTIs Diagnosed?

Bladder infections and other UTIs (urinary tract infections) are diagnosed with a urine test. 

For recurrent bladder infections, additional testing may be performed to check for abnormalities in the kidneys, ureter, bladder, or urethra, or to look for kidney stones. Tests may include: 

What Is the Treatment for a Bladder Infection or a UTI?

Most UTIs (urinary tract infections) are treated with antibiotics

Medications to treat bladder infections include: 

Cranberry juice and cranberry extracts and supplements are often suggested as a home remedy for UTIs, but there are no reliable studies on the effectiveness of cranberry juice for treating a bladder infection and it is unlikely to be helpful. 

Medications to numb the bladder and urethra and reduce the burning pain of some UTIs include: 

Medications to treat kidney infections include: 

QUESTION

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Reviewed on 10/12/2021
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults-the-basics?search=UTI&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20130604/can-you-skip-antibiotics-for-urinary-tract-infection#1