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Do You Know the Difference Between UTI And Yeast Infection?

Overview

Urinary tract infections, UTIs, and yeast infections are common women’s health issues. Every woman will experience one or both in a lifetime. But, do you know the difference between UTI and yeast infection?

It can be difficult to tell between the two common infections affecting women. Many UTI and yeast infection symptoms can be similar. However, a UTI can be far more serious than a yeast infection if left untreated.

Important to Know the Difference Between UTI and Yeast Infection

Knowing the difference between UTI and yeast infection will allow you to get the proper treatment. And you can prevent further complications caused by a UTI, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Complications of an untreated UTI are . . .

  • More frequent infections
  • Permanent kidney damage
  • Low birth weight or premature births
  • Sepsis

You need to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing any UTI or yeast infection symptoms. After all, the difference between UTI and yeast infection could be life or death.

The following will help you identify the difference between UTI and yeast infection when it counts.

Related: How to prevent UTIs

UTI vs Yeast Infection 

UTI Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Did you know that UTIs are the second most common infection? There are over eight million visits to the doctor per year due to UTIs.

Know the difference between yeast infection symptoms vs UTI for better overall health and to prevent chronic health issues down the road.

  • UTI Causes: The most common cause of a UTI is an excessive amount of bacteria in the urinary tract.
  • UTI Symptoms: UTI symptoms are the most challenging when it comes to the difference between UTI and yeast infection. Frequent urge to urinate, burning sensation when urinating, and dark cloudy urine are all common symptoms. If your kidneys have already been affected, you may experience fever, chills, nausea, and blood in your urine.
  • UTI Diagnosis: The diagnosis involves a urine analysis that can be done at your doctor’s office. A urine sample is collected to test it for the presence of bacteria.
  • UTI Treatment: Antibiotics are a standard treatment for UTIs.
  • UTI Prevention: Hydration is an easy prevention factor for a UTI. It is also good not to hold your urine. If you feel the urge, take care of your bathroom business. Urinating after sex is also a recommended prevention measure. Another reason to know the difference between UTI and yeast infection

Yeast Infection Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Did you know that eating yogurt could prevent yeast infections? This is due to the live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus or probiotics. However, yeast infections can also be present in other parts of your body, besides the vagina, like the mouth.

  • Yeast Infection Causes: Yeast infections are commonly caused by the Candida albicans fungus, and 75 percent of women will get at least one yeast infection in a lifetime.
  • Yeast Infection Symptoms: Like in the case of a UTI, you may experience painful urination if you have a yeast infection. Making it essential to know the difference between UTI and yeast infection. Itchiness, burning, or soreness around the vaginal area is another common symptom. You may even have redness or swelling of the vulva. These symptoms can be associated with thick vaginal discharge that is mostly odorless.
  • Yeast Infection Diagnosis: A physical exam and a vaginal swab are done in order to diagnose a yeast infection. Although, symptoms are self-explanatory and sufficient to start treatment.
  • Yeast Infection Treatment: An over-the-counter medication or antifungal cream can treat a yeast infection. There are several other treatments as well.
  • Yeast Infection Prevention: The first step to preventing a yeast infection is to alter your wardrobe choices. The following prevention tip is wearing cotton underwear and not wearing tight-fitting jeans or pants. Another way to prevent yeast infections is to change out of those sweaty workout clothes as soon as possible.
Chat With a Doctor to get treatment for a UTI or Yeast Infection

Risk Factors of Getting a Yeast Infection vs Bladder Infection

Risk factors for yeast infections include:

  • weak immune system
  • excessive use of antibiotics 
  • being pregnant
  • having uncontrolled diabetes
  • use of hormonal birth control containing high levels of estrogen
  • douching or using vaginal sprays
  • wearing tight underwear/ clothes that provide a moist environment

Risk factors for a UTI can include:

  • using diaphragms or spermicide as contraceptive methods
  • having sex
  • wiping from back to front after a bowel movement
  • kidney stones
  • urinating without completely emptying the bladder
  • having a urinary catheter

Females are more prone to developing UTIs as compared to males because the female urethra is shorter, providing easy access to the bladder and allowing bacteria near the vagina to enter it more easily. 

Other Conditions that Cause Similar Symptoms

Another possibility that can occur is having UTI and yeast infection at the same time. This often results from taking antibiotics to treat a urinary tract infection and ending up having a yeast infection as well. Treatment for both is required if such is the case. 

Although UTIs and yeast infections are common, their similarity in the presenting symptoms is confusing. Additionally, symptoms overlap with other conditions or infections as well and can cause people to mistake one condition for another.

Conditions causing symptoms similar to those of yeast infections and UTIs include:

  • Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a bladder condition that leads to frequent urination and chronic pain in the bladder region.
  • Bacterial vaginosis causes painful urination, itching, and a foul odor. An overgrowth of bacteria in/around the vagina leads to bacterial vaginosis.
  • Ovarian cysts: are growths that develop on the ovaries. Ovarian cysts can cause abdominal discomfort, a frequent urge to urinate, bloating, and pain in the lower back.
  • Sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and mycoplasma. 

Special Care for Pregnant Women

When pregnant, hormonal and anatomical changes can increase the risk for urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Additionally, pregnant ladies and their babies tend to experience complications, even in the case of simple ailments. UTIs and yeast infections during pregnancy increase the risk of preeclampsia, low birth weight and premature labor.

Pregnant women who have symptoms of a UTI or a yeast infection should consult their doctor without delay. Such infections should be treated right away to prevent any severe complications. Your doctor will determine the best and safest treatment for you since some antibiotics and antifungals cannot be taken during pregnancy.

When to Consult a Doctor

Identify and treat the right infection to stay as healthy, happy, and comfortable as possible. And knowing the difference between UTI and yeast infection will help you do that.

If you have questions about UTIs and yeast infections, talk to a doctor online and get the answers and treatment you require. It is vital to treat these infections as soon as detected.

Related: How to Get Rid of a UTI Faster

Chat With a Doctor to get treatment for a UTI or Yeast Infection

FAQs About UTIs and Yeast Infection Answered by Your Doctors Online Team

What is the difference between a UTI and yeast infection?

The Candida fungus causes a vaginal yeast infection, whereas a UTI is usually caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. Both yeast infections and UTIs cause lead to pain while urinating or discomfort in the genital area. 

Can a UTI cause itching all over the body?

Itching is not a common symptom of a UTI, but vaginal itching is commonly associated with a yeast infection. A complicated urinary tract infection may result in a rare condition called sepsis. Sepsis is a result of bacteria entering the blood circulation. This can cause symptoms such as a fever, skin rash, hypotension, nausea etc.

How to tell the difference between a UTI and a yeast infection?

UTI symptoms include burning or painful sensation while urinating, frequent urge to urinate and cloudy, foul-smelling urine. Yeast infection symptoms may include discomfort when urinating, which is usually accompanied by vaginal soreness or itching. Vaginal yeast infections also present with a thick, odourless discharge.

Do I need medical care for a yeast infection or a UTI?

Yes, you need to consult a doctor if you have a yeast infection or UTI symptoms. However, it is best to seek treatment to prevent any complications. Complications of an untreated UTI include frequent infections, permanent kidney damage or sepsis.

Can a yeast infection cause a UTI?

Yeast infections do not cause UTIs, but it is possible to have both conditions simultaneously. Taking antibiotics to treat a UTI can trigger a yeast infection. 

What does UTI discharge look like?

Urinary tract infection can cause cloudy urine or blood in the urine. Urethritis(inflammation of the urethra) can lead to a urinary tract infection in men. 

Is a yeast infection a UTI?

No, a yeast infection is caused by candida and is a fungal infection presenting with vaginal soreness, itching and thick white discharge. Bacteria usually cause a urinary tract infection. 

Can a UTI turn into a yeast infection?

A urinary tract infection does not convert into a yeast infection but taking antibiotics to treat a UTI can trigger a yeast infection. Antibiotics can mess up normal vaginal flora causing a yeast infection to occur.

Can yeast infection feel like UTI?

Some symptoms of a UTI and yeast infection overlap. Vaginal discomfort, soreness, abdominal discomfort and pain when urinating are some symptoms that overlap in the case of both infections.

Doctors Treating this Issue
dr asim cheema

Dr. Asim Cheema

Internal Medicine

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