How To Tell If You Have A Bladder Infection Vs. UTI

Is there any feeling more horrible than when you start to feel something going wrong "down there?" You've got to pee every two minutes, to the point where you dare not stray more than a few steps from a bathroom — but the only thing worse than the constant need to go is the fact that when you do, it hurts! It's an all too familiar feeling for many women, but even men get bladder infections, too (via WebMD).

Your first thought, once you feel an infection coming on, is how to stop the pain and discomfort. Do you drink a quart of water, knock back a few glasses of cranberry juice, or see what over-the-counter treatments your local drugstore has to offer? Alternatively, should you make an appointment with your doctor? If you choose this last option, though, you may be wondering, "just what, exactly, should I tell them is wrong? Do I have a urinary tract infection (UTI), or could it be a bladder infection instead?" 

Well, as Healthline points out, it's either one thing, or it's both. Bladder infections are actually a type of urinary tract infection, but they aren't the only kind.

There are several different types of UTIs

Healthline does say that bladder infections are the most common type of urinary tract infection – so if you are experiencing burning pain when you urinate and only a few drops come out every time you go, then yes, you very likely have a bladder infection. You may also feel a certain amount of pain in your pelvic or pubic area with this type of infection. If you have urethritis, which is an infection in your urethra (the tubes that connect your bladder to the place where the urine comes out), you may feel some itching when you pee.

With a kidney infection, the most serious type of UTI, you may experience the same symptoms you would with a bladder infection. There could also be other signs of trouble like blood in your urine, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, severe back pain, nausea, vomiting, chills, and/or fever. Once these symptoms kick in, get yourself to a doctor, stat! You've only got two kidneys, and if anything happens to them, you could be at risk of serious complications. In fact, kidney infections left untreated can even prove to be fatal, so they are nothing to mess around with (via Healthline). 

Whether you think you have a bladder infection or a different type of UTI, you should speak with your doctor.