What’s the difference between a lower and upper urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections can affect anyone of any age. This is why it is important to know the signs and symptoms of UTIs and the differences between upper and lower urinary tract infections. The good news is that in most cases, the problem is diagnosed quickly and treatment given to resolve any issues with pain and frequency of passing urine. Below we explore these differences and what you need to look out for.

Upper urinary tract infections

Upper UTIs are not as common as lower UTIs but it is still good to know what to look out for so that you can seek help. An upper urinary tract infection mainly refers to the kidneys and the tubes that lead from the kidney into the urinary bladder – these tubes are called the ureters. A urinary infection of the kidney is referred to as pyelonephritis. Symptoms can include lower back pain that may be severe, nausea, vomiting and a high fever.

Lower urinary tract infections

A lower urinary tract infection refers to the inflammation and infection of the bladder and the urethra, which is the tube that leads from the bladder, enabling urine to exit the body. Women are more prone to lower UTIs than men. Cystitis refers to inflammation of the bladder and urethritis refers to inflammation of the urethra.

Signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection

Here’s what you need to look out for if you suspect that you have a lower urinary tract infection. One of the biggest symptoms is that you will be passing urine more frequently and this is often accompanied by a burning sensation. Urine is also offensive smelling, cloudy and you may be able to see blood. Many people also complain of suffering from lower back pain. Elderly people who have a lower urinary tract infection may also appear confused and agitated.

If you are wishing to see a private urologist in Harrogate for any issues that you may be having in relation to urinary infections or problems with passing urine, then we can help you. Please do get in touch with us today for a private consultation.

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