Cloudy, bad-smelling urine is a symptom of a bladder infection, specifically a urinary tract infection, states Healthline. Other symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a burning pain when urinating, a frequent urge to urinate and a feeling of pressure or cramps in the lower abdomen.
A bladder infection is caused when bacteria travel up the urethra and enter the bladder, explains Healthline. Usually, bacteria are washed out of the bladder, but in the case of an infection, they cling to the walls of the bladder and proliferate, causing symptoms.
There are many risk factors for bladder infection, according to Healthline. They include having a urinary catheter in place, old age, surgery along the urinary tract and a narrowed urethra. Other risk factors are obstructions and abnormalities of the urinary tract that are either caused by injury or are congenital. An enlarged prostate is a risk factor for men and pregnancy is a risk factor for women. Diabetics are also more prone to bladder infections.
A bladder infection is diagnosed through a urinalysis or a urine culture, notes Healthline. These tests let the doctor know if there are bacteria, blood cells and other pathogens in the urine that lead to an infection. When an infection is diagnosed, the doctor prescribes antibiotics to kill the bacteria and other medications to relieve the symptoms of pain and burning.