Urology of Greater Atlanta

UTI vs. Bladder Infection - What's The Difference?

Have you started to have increased urgency to use the bathroom and at the same time not be able to go? On top of that, when you do finally go, does your urine come out with a burning sensation? Then you could have a bladder infection or urinary tract infection. But what is the difference, and how can you know? 

This article will help you to understand the difference between the two. It will also highlight some reasons why you might be at a greater risk.

The expert urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta can help you to diagnose and treat any urinary problems successfully. If you have any concerns, please call or book online. Our offices are found throughout Metro Atlanta, including Sandy Springs, GA.

Is There a Difference Between Bladder Infection and UTI?

Yes and no. 

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a condition where any part of the urinary system develops a bacterial infection. It can happen in the ureter, urethra, kidneys, or bladder. So if you have a bladder infection, it means you have a UTI. However, having a UTI does not always mean that you have a bladder infection. The infection could be in another part of the urinary tract.

How Do You Tell The Difference Between a UTI and a Bladder Infection?

Many urinary tract infections will have the same symptoms as bladder infections. They include:

  • A burning sensation while peeing
  • Feeling an urge to go, but when you try to pee, very little or nothing comes out
  • Pelvic pain

More often than not, UTIs are usually diagnosed as bladder infections. This is because they are the most common part of the urinary tract that gets infected.

However, some other symptoms may indicate that you have a kidney infection. These may include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pinkish or reddish colored urine
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea and or vomiting

Kidney infections can permanently damage your kidneys, and therefore, you should seek treatment immediately if you have any of the above symptoms.

Who's at Risk of UTIs and Bladder Infections?

Anyone can get a urinary tract infection. However, certain risk factors and behaviors could increase the likelihood of you having recurrent urinary tract infections. They include:

  • Birth Sex. Those born females have a shorter urethra, and therefore bacterial infections have less distance to travel to get into the bladder.
  • Hormonal changes. Your period, pregnancy, or menopause can all increase the possibility of recurrent bladder infections.
  • Birth control method. Spermicides and diaphragms can sometimes create an imbalance between good and bad bacteria, allowing the bad bacteria to flourish.
  • Urinary tract abnormality. Sometimes your genes or injury can cause the urinary tract to be of a different shape or size.
  • Sexual activity. Sexual intercourse can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. Peeing afterward can help flush away the bacteria.
  • Personal Hygiene. Some scented feminine products can irritate the urinary tract leading to UTIs. It’s also important to wipe from front to back if you’re a female.
  • Weakened immune system. Chronic illness that affects your immune system like diabetes.
  • Enlarged prostate. It can cause urinary retention allowing the bacteria to build up.
  • Dehydration. Again the less flow of urine you have, the more likely bacteria will build up inside the tract.

See The Specialists

At Urology of Greater Atlanta, located in Metro Atlanta, our top-rated physicians treat UTIs in men and women. If you suspect you may have a UTI, contact the office by phone or online to book a consultation and begin immediate treatment.

Stockbridge, Country Club Drive

290 Country Club Drive Suite 100, Stockbridge, GA 30281

Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge Drive

4799 Blue Ridge Drive Suite 107, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Sandy Springs

1100 Lake Hearn Drive NE STE 320
Atlanta, GA 30342

Griffin, West College Street

230 West College Street Bldg. C, Griffin, GA 30224

Spivey Station

7823 Spivey Station Blvd Suite 210, Jonesboro, GA 30236


4143 Hospital Drive NE Covington, GA 30014