7 Signs That You May Have a Urinary Tract Infection

When you have a spinal cord injury, it’s vital to keep an eye out for urinary tract infections. Learn the most common symptoms to watch for.

7 Signs That You May Have a Urinary Tract Infection

Learn the symptoms of urinary tract infections.

If your bladder is impacted by your spinal cord injury (i.e., you have a neurogenic bladder), you may have occasional or frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). These occur when there is an increased amount of bacteria (or other microorganisms) in the tissues of the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. This can happen if you use mechanical aids to empty your bladder, such as a catheter. Bacteria can enter the bladder and, if not flushed out, can cause a UTI.

7 UTI symptoms

If you have a urinary tract infection, you may experience:

  1. More frequent urination or the need to catheterise more than normal
  2. Leakage of urine between normal voiding or catheterisation
  3. Increased muscle spasms
  4. Fever
  5. Back pain
  6. Milky, cloudy, or darkly colored urine
  7. Foul smelling urine

If you have a UTI

It is important to contact your healthcare provider at the first sign of a urinary tract infection. Not everyone develops all of these symptoms. Your urine will be tested and medications will be prescribed if an infection is present.

Be sure to take all the antibiotic prescribed, and to contact your healthcare team again if your symptoms return. If you experience frequent urinary tract infections, additional tests or treatments might be recommended.