May also be called: VUR Vesicoureteral (ves-ih-koe-yoo-REE-ter-ul) reflux, or VUR, is a condition in which urine (pee) abnormally flows backward (or refluxes) from the bladder into the ureters (tubes that carry the urine out of each kidney). More to Know Normally, urine is made in the kidneys and flows to the bladder through thin tubes called ureters. But sometimes a congenital (present at birth) condition can cause urine to flow backward from the bladder to ureters. This can be due to defects in the ureter or blockages in the urinary system. If backed-up urine reaches the kidneys, it can lead to urinary tract and kidney infections (UTIs) and scarring of the kidney over time. In some cases, vesicoureteral reflux can eventually lead to long-term problems like kidney damage and kidney failure. VUR is most common in infants and young children, but can affect people of any age. Treatment depends upon the severity of the condition. Many kids outgrow VUR and benefit from daily treatment with a small amount of antibiotic to help prevent UTIs. More severe cases may require surgery to correct the VUR. Keep in Mind Prompt diagnosis and treatment of VUR usually is enough to prevent kidney damage. Most kids with mild forms of vesicoureteral reflux outgrow it with no long-term complications. All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts. Back to Articles Related Articles Kidneys and Urinary Tract The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, are essential to our health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine. Read More Kidneys and Urinary Tract The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine. Read More Movie: Urinary System Watch this movie about the urinary system, which produces pee. Read More Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related Conditions Recurrent urinary tract infections can cause kidney damage if left untreated, especially in kids under age 6. Here's how to recognize the symptom of UTIs and get help for your child. Read More Urinary Tract Infections A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common reasons that teens visit a doctor. Learn about the symptoms of UTIs, how they're treated, and more in this article. Read More Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in kids. They're easy to treat and usually clear up in a week or so. Read More Urine Tests Is your child having a urine culture or urinalysis performed? Find out why urine tests are performed, and what to expect when the doctor orders them. Read More Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG) A VCUG can help evaluate the bladder's size and shape, and look for problems, such as a blockage. It can also show whether pee is moving in the right direction. Read More Your Kidneys You need at least one kidney to live. Find out why in this article for kids. Read More Your Urinary System You pee every day, but what makes it happen? Find out in this article for kids about the urinary system. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.