A urinary tract infection is a common bacterial infection that affects the bladder. People with this infection, which is also called a UTI, typically experience symptoms that include increased urinary urgency and frequency. Other symptoms of a UTI are blood in the urine, burning during urination and pelvic pain. People who develop any symptoms of a UTI should consult a physician for further evaluation and care, as these symptoms can also be signs of other diseases.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Certain types of sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, can cause symptoms that mimic a UTI, reports the American Urological Association. These bacterial diseases can cause inflammation of the urinary tract, leading to sensations of urinary urgency or burning during urination. Patients who develop these symptoms should seek medical care immediately to prevent the unintentional spread of a sexually transmitted disease to an intimate partner.
The prostate gland is a small organ in men that sits beneath the bladder and wraps around the urethra—the thin tube that carries urine out of the body. Men with a prostate that is enlarged owing to a disease called benign prostatic hyperplasia can exhibit symptoms that mimic a UTI. These symptoms can include increased or urgent urination, explain health experts with the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, or NKUDIC. Similarly, men with prostate cancer may develop severe inflammation within the prostate gland due to cancerous cell growth. During the disease process, irritation and inflammation can extend from the prostate into the bladder. As a result, men with prostate cancer can experience increased or painful urination or blood within the urine, report medical professionals with the National Cancer Institute.
In 2009, more than 70,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with bladder cancer, according to estimates provided by the American Cancer Society. Bladder cancer, a condition in which cancerous cells grow along the lining of the bladder, can cause symptoms in patients that mimic a UTI. The primary symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine and increased or burning urination, explain medical experts with the American Cancer Society.
Increased urinary frequency and volume are symptoms of diabetes that can mimic a UTI. Patients with type II diabetes may also have recurrent UTIs owing to high levels of sugar within the blood, explains the American Diabetes Association. Additional symptoms associated with diabetes include increased thirst or hunger, weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision or tingling within the hands or feet. Patients who develop these symptoms should seek medical care as soon as possible.
Chronic inflammation of the bladder is a disease called interstitial cystitis. This disease can cause symptoms that mimic a UTI but are not the result of bacteria in the bladder, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. Symptoms of interstitial cystitis typically include painful urination, increased urinary frequency and pain during intercourse, explains the NKUDIC.
- Medline Plus: Frequent or Urgent Urination
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Prostate Enlargement—Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Urinary Tract Infection
- American Urological Association: Adult UTI
- National Cancer Institute: What You Need To Know About Prostate Cancer - Symptoms