Bladder Infection Symptoms:

8 ways to tell if you have a bladder infection

Sitting on the edge of my seat at an over-priced after-hours doctor with a painful bladder infection was not how I wanted to spend my Sunday. The 3 or 4 trips I had to make to the disgustingly dirty toilet when I couldn't hold on any longer were awful. I was in pain and just wanted to be curled up in bed.

When I finally got in to see the doctor, I blurted out "I have a bladder infection!"

She said “There is only one illness where patients come in and tell you what they have... not their symptoms”.

Once you have had a bladder infection most of these symptoms are ones you won't ever forget. Bladder infections can be easy to diagnose based on these symptoms and often can be treated before tests come back confirming the infection, which means you get treated quicker.

Here are some of the common bladder infection symptoms:

Dysuria or it burns when I pee!

One of the most recognisable bladder infection symptoms is pain when weeing. It is often described as "razor blades in your pee hole". If you are feeling this, even slightly and you are prone to recurrent bladder infections– it is definitely time to get onto fixing it!

This feeling can vary in intensity from a mild twinge that you barely notice at the start of a bladder infection, right through to tears streaming down your face burning hot pain.

Click here for some quick and easy ways to help minimise the pain of dysuria while you are seeking treatment to fix the problem.

Frequent urge to urinate

This is feeling like you need to wee. Heaps.

When a bladder infection is full blown, you can feel like you are needing to wee constantly. Its a deep throb, with a pressure on your pee hole and even once you have finished weeing and there is nothing left in you, you will still feel like you have to go again. Badly.

Only weeing a small amount at a time despite feeling a need to pee a lot. 

Unless this has happened to you, it can be difficult to describe just how frustrating this is. Imagine you are really busting for the toilet and you finally get to go. But when you go you can only pee a teeny tiny amount. For a split second there is relief as that urgent feeling is gone. But that only lasts a second before it is back again and just as uncomfortable and urgent. Now imagine that happening all day long! Definitely one of the more annoying bladder infection symptoms.

Cloudy or strong smelling urine

A bladder infection symptom that is often overlooked is cloudy or smelly urine. We don't typically spend a lot of time checking out our wees so this easily goes unnoticed unless it is quite noticeably different or very strong smelling.

The smell is difficult to describe and is often stronger if you are also dehydrated, as it concentrated. Cloudy urine can be a good early warning sign of a bladder infection if you keep an eye out for it.

Feeling Rubbish

This bladder infection symptom is difficult to describe because it is not as straight forward as flaming hot pee hole. Lethargy, lack of concentration and just a general ill feeling often make the fact that you are peeing every five minutes even worse.

When I have a bladder infection there are a lot of subtle changes throughout my entire body. I get incredibly tired, emotional - on the verge of tears or anger and really struggle to concentrate. Often I can struggle to hold a conversation when I have a bladder infection and all I want to do is lie down and sleep.

Blood in urine

The first time this happened to me I thought I was dying!

Blood in your urine turns it pink coloured and it can be quite a scary thing to look down into the toilet bowl and see, especially if you already feel like there is something definitely not right with your body. Click here for what bloody urine can mean, and why you should get onto treating it as soon as possible.

Aches and Pains

A bladder infection symptom that I have experienced often is a lot of pain in my abdomen and back – similar to really bad period pains. The pain is deep down inside but it is pretty hard to pinpoint where. Definitely uncomfortable and definitely a sign that you are not well.

Aches in the back can also be a sign of a kidney infection so it is important that if you are experiencing aches and pains with your bladder infection that you work on getting it treated as quickly as possible.


An unusual bladder infection symptom that I have had often is a hot and cold fever. I know that these don't always come with bladder infections, but they have for me. It is not always a full on fever but still noticeable. You feel incredibly hot and burning up alternating with being freezing shaking cold. Again this can be a sign of a kidney infection which can be quite serious, so working to clear the infection as soon as possible is ideal.

Click here for 2 easy to miss bladder infection symptoms, that caught early can help prevent a bladder infection.

More information on bladder infection symptoms

Why bladder infection pain is a good thing


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