Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms & Causes

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What causes a UTI to occur?

An infection occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the opening of the urethra, the hollow tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, and travel back into the bladder where they begin to multiply. Most infections arise from Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, which normally are found in the colon.

What are the different types of urinary tract infections?

Here’s a short list of some of the more common types:

  • Urethritis — an infection of the urethra

  • Cystitis — a bacterial infection in the bladder that often has moved up from the urethra

  • Pyelonephritis — a urinary infection of the kidneys that is usually a result of an infection that has spread up the tract, or from an obstruction in the urinary tract

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Each child is different. Some of the symptoms you child may experience include the following:

  • Babies
    • fever
    • abdominal pain, colic
    • abdominal fullness
    • foul-smelling urine
    • poor growth
    • weight loss or failure to gain weight
    • irritability
    • vomiting
    • poor feeding
    • diarrhea
  • Older children
    • urgency to urinate
    • incontinence during day and/or night
    • frequent urination
    • painful or difficult urination
    • discomfort above the pubic bone
    • blood in the urine
    • foul-smelling urine
    • nausea and/or vomiting
    • fever
    • chills
    • pain in the back or side below the ribs
    • fatigue
    • small amount of urine while voiding despite feeling of urgency
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