Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR)

VUR Information for Families

What is a VUR?

Vesicoureteral reflux, or VUR, is a condition in which urine flows backward from the bladder into the ureters during urination. VUR is found in 35 percent of children who have a urinary tract infection (UTI) with fever. When children have recurrent UTI, VUR is thought to increase the risk of kidney damage.


In most children, reflux is a birth defect caused by an abnormal attachment between the ureter and bladder with a short, ineffective valve. In some children, an infrequent urination pattern may cause reflux to occur. A child with VUR is more likely to develop a kidney infection, which can lead to kidney damage.

VUR symptoms

As VUR does not cause pain, discomfort or problems with urination, it is a silent abnormality that usually goes undetected unless there is a UTI condition. The average age of diagnosis is 2 to 3 years, and approximately 75 percent of children treated for reflux are girls.


Although surgery is sometimes required, reflux will often gradually disappear by age 5 or 6. Imaging studies can determine the grade of the VUR condition. High grades of VUR may require a daily low dose of an antibiotic, given – sometimes for several years – in hope of preventing recurrent UTIs and kidney damage.