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Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR): When Urine Goes the Wrong Way

Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR): When Urine Goes the Wrong Way

By: Urology Care Foundation | Posted on: 26 Feb 2020


Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR) is a common condition affecting children 5 years and younger. It is also the subject of our latest patient education video.

Your pediatric urologist may refer to VUR as "reflux" for short.

We've all heard of acid reflux. It's when stomach acids move up, causing pain or a burning feeling in the chest area. This is not the only type of reflux the body can have.

The bladder can also have reflux. Reflux of the bladder is when urine moves up, rather than down. VUR is when urine flows backwards from the bladder up towards the kidney.

If urine flows the wrong way to reach the kidneys, it can cause infections, kidney injury and scarring. If VUR and kidney infections are left untreated, it can cause long-term kidney damage. About 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with VUR each year.

Family history may be a factor. A parent who had VUR is more likely to have a child with it. And, about 1 in 3 siblings of a child with VUR can have it. VUR can be found before a child is born. But it is commonly diagnosed when a young child develops a urinary tract infection.

VUR is rare in an older children and adults. About 3 out of every 4 children treated for VUR are girls. Treatment for VUR depends on your child's symptoms. The good news is that most children will outgrow VUR and have no lasting problems.

In mild cases, no treatment or mild antibiotics are used to control infections. But, when kids have repeat infections and fevers from VUR, it can be a serious problem.

For more information about VUR, watch the video below, or read our VUR Web Article and VUR Patient Guide. To find a pediatric urologist near you, visit our Find-A-Urologist web tool.