3 Uncommon Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection You Should Know

uti, Fred A. Williams, MD

About 40% of women develop at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in their lifetime. Having one UTI over the span of decades doesn’t sound too bad, but not all women are that lucky.

It’s estimated that 20-30% of women will have a second UTI within 3-4 months. And for 11% of women, UTIs become an ongoing problem, recurring at least once every year and often more frequently.

UTIs typically cause a specific cluster of symptoms: a strong need to urinate, frequent urination, burning when you urinate, and passing small amounts of urine. Women receive comprehensive care for UTIs at Fred A. Williams, MD, so call the office in Paris, Texas, if you experience any of those symptoms.

We’re also available to answer your questions if you develop one or more of these three uncommon symptoms of a UTI.

Side and suprapubic pain

Pain during urination is on the list of typical UTI symptoms, but other types of pain often aren’t mentioned because they’re less common. An uncomplicated urinary tract infection may cause mild to moderate suprapubic pain, a type of pain that most patients experience as a feeling of pressure or discomfort just above the public bone.

You may also experience a more generalized pelvic pain or cramping in your abdomen. Short-lived pelvic pain may occur during your infection. It can also turn into chronic pain after the infection clears up.

When your infection travels from the bladder to your kidneys, you can develop flank pain, or pain that’s felt in your side. Flank pain arises as the infection causes swelling in the kidneys. When that happens, you’ll experience a steady, aching pain.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a generic symptom that you may not associate with a UTI, but it’s a classic sign of an infection. Many women experience fatigue before other symptoms of a UTI appear. Whether or not you develop fatigue depends on variables like your overall health, age, and the severity and location of the infection.

If you already have a weakened immune system due to a medical condition, medications, or your age, you’re more likely to become fatigued at the early stage of an uncomplicated UTI. However, fatigue is also a sign that the UTI that started in your lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder) has spread to your kidneys.

Confusion or changes in mental state

The symptoms of UTIs in older adults are often uncommon and complex. For example, seniors may have bacteria in their urine, which indicates a UTI, but not have any of the typical symptoms.

When seniors have a UTI, they often develop confusion, disorientation, and dizziness. These uncommon symptoms most likely arise due to the infections’ impact on their immune system.

An untreated UTI will only worsen, leading to more severe symptoms, and giving the infection time to spread to your kidneys. If you’re not sure your symptoms are due to a UTI, it’s best to schedule an appointment so we can determine the cause of your symptoms and begin treatment if needed.

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