Kidney and urinary tract disorders can involve one or both kidneys, one or both ureters, the bladder, or the urethra, and in men, the prostate, one or both testes, or the epididymis. Problems with the male reproductive system often manifest as persistent erection Persistent Erection Persistent erection (priapism) is a painful, persistent, abnormal erection unaccompanied by sexual desire or excitation. It is most common in boys aged 5 to 10 years and in men aged 20 to 50... read more , scrotal pain Scrotal Pain Pain in the scrotum (the sac that surrounds and protects the testes) can occur in males of any age, from newborns to older men. The testes are very sensitive, so even minor injuries may cause... read more , scrotal swelling Scrotal Swelling Swelling of the scrotum (the sac that surrounds and protects the testes) on one or both sides may be a symptom of a urinary tract disorder. Swelling can be small and detectable only by carefully... read more , or blood in the semen Blood in Semen Blood in semen (called hematospermia, because sperm are mixed with blood in the semen) can be a frightening symptom, but it is usually not a sign of a serious problem. Blood in semen is not... read more .
Some urinary tract disorders rarely cause symptoms until the problem is very advanced. These include
Sometimes, symptoms occur but are very general or vague and are not always obviously related to the kidneys. For example, a general feeling of illness (malaise), loss of appetite, or nausea may be the only symptoms of advanced kidney failure. In older people, mental confusion may be the first recognized symptom of infection or kidney failure.
Symptoms that are more suggestive of a kidney or urinary problem include
Swelling of the feet or legs
Problems with urination Control of Urination The kidneys constantly produce urine, which flows through two tubes (the ureters) to the bladder, where urine is stored (see Figure: Viewing the Urinary Tract). The lowest part of the bladder... read more (including blood in urine Blood in Urine Blood in the urine (hematuria) can make urine appear pink, red, or brown, depending on the amount of blood, how long it has been in the urine, and how acidic the urine is. An amount of blood... read more , changes in the color or odor of urine Changes in Color or Odor of Urine (See Overview of Urinary Tract Symptoms.) Normally, dilute urine is nearly colorless. Concentrated urine is deep yellow. Colors other than yellow are abnormal. Doctors usually can identify the... read more , excessive or frequent urination Excessive or Frequent Urination Most people urinate about 4 to 6 times a day, mostly in the daytime. Normally, adults pass between 3 cups (700 milliliters) and 3 quarts (3 liters) of urine a day. Excessive urination can refer... read more , gas in urine Gas in Urine Passing gas (air) in the urine, a rare symptom, usually indicates an abnormal opening (fistula) between the urinary tract and the intestine, which normally contains gas. A fistula may be a complication... read more , pain or burning with urination Pain or Burning With Urination Burning or pain during urination may be felt at the opening of the urethra or, less often, over the bladder (in the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen just above the pubic bone). Burning... read more , urgency Urinary Urgency A compelling need to urinate (urgency), which may feel like almost constant painful straining (tenesmus), can be caused by bladder irritation. Uncontrolled loss of urine (incontinence) may occur... read more , and hesitating, straining, and dribbling Urinary Hesitating, Straining, and Dribbling A hesitating start when urinating, a need to strain, a weak and trickling stream of urine, and dribbling at the end of urination are common symptoms of a partially obstructed urethra. In men... read more )
Incontinence Urinary Incontinence in Adults Urinary incontinence is involuntary loss of urine. Incontinence can occur in both men and women at any age, but it is more common among women and older people, affecting about 30% of older women... read more is an uncontrollable loss of urine, which can have a variety of causes.
(See also Biology of the Kidneys and Urinary Tract Overview of the Urinary Tract Normally, a person has two kidneys. The rest of the urinary tract consists of the following: Two ureters (the tubes connecting each kidney to the bladder) The bladder (an expandable muscular... read more .)