Medically reviewed on August 31, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Both bladder infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs) can occur when the urinary tract becomes infected. However, it’s important to note that while bladder infections can be categorized as a type of UTI, UTIs cannot be exclusively characterized as bladder infections.
This distinction arises from the fact that UTIs encompass a broader range of infections that can affect various parts of the urinary system, including the bladder, urethra, kidneys, and ureters.  Understanding the differences between these two conditions is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment for people experiencing urinary tract infections.
Urinary tract infections can occur when bacteria—often fecal bacteria like E.coli—from the skin or rectum enter the urinary tract, causing inflammation. In addition to the urethra, the infection can impact the bladder and kidneys if left untreated. 
People with a UTI often experience the following symptoms :
Sometimes, UTI patients may also have a fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting, or they may feel fatigued or confused. 
While anyone can get a UTI, people with vaginas are more likely to get UTIs since their urethras are shorter.  In fact, fifty to sixty percent of people assigned female at birth (AFAB) will experience a UTI. 
To diagnose a UTI, a healthcare provider will conduct a urinalysis or urine culture to identify signs of a UTI, such as white blood cells. They’ll then likely prescribe an antibiotic to rid your urinary tract of the bacterial infection, which may include: 
A bladder infection is a type of UTI that occurs when bacteria travel through the urinary tract and make their way up to the bladder. That said, bladder infections are just one type of UTI. Others include infections that impact the: 
A bladder infection is also referred to as “cystitis,” which is characterized by inflammation of the bladder. All that said, a bladder infection will typically show up with the same symptoms as a general UTI, which may include: 
If you’re experiencing extremely painful symptoms or if you’ve notice blood in your urine, the infection may have traveled to the kidneys, causing kidney infection. 
Like all UTIs, a bladder infection will be diagnosed using a urine sample and treated with an antibiotic. Typically, symptoms will dissipate within a few days following treatment. 
Urinary tract infections, including bladder infections, can be quite uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life. So, how long can a UTI go untreated? Sometimes, your immune system can heal a UTI on its own. However, if the symptoms worsen, it is important to consult a healthcare provider. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of developing UTIs :
Overall, there is little difference between a bladder infection vs a UTI—a bladder infection is merely a type of UTI. They share virtually the same symptoms, and both can be treated with antibiotics.
If you believe you’re experiencing a UTI and are looking for ways to relieve UTI pain, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible to prevent the infection from reaching the kidneys, which can lead to a serious and potentially life-threatening condition if left untreated.
For a convenient assessment, Everlywell provides telehealth appointments for UTI treatment online and prescriptions. Book your appointment today.