Your urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Any part of this system can become infected, but most infections occur in the lower urinary tract — the urethra and the bladder.

Women are more likely to develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) than are men. A UTI in the bladder is painful, but is easily treated. However, if the urinary tract infection spreads to your kidneys, it can cause serious complications and permanent damage.

Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms

A urinary tract infection does not always have signs and symptoms, but most people have some symptoms that may include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria) or cloudy, strong-smelling urine