Many sexually transmitted diseases can produce symptoms similar to those of a UTI or urine infection. The main ones include Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. In this guide we are going to cover a very important topic that will help you answer questions like: “Is it UTI or Something Else?” or/and “Am I suffering from urine infection or STD?”
Comparison of Urine Infection Vs STD in males and females
UTI or urinary tract infection, also called bladder infection is an infection that affects the urethra, bladder and/or kidneys. It is more common in women than in men and develops when the Escheria Coli bacteria enters the urinary system. Women tend to develop UTIs more frequently than men because of shorter urethras which facilitate ease of transfer of bacteria from the anus to the bladder. UTIs are also common after having sexual intercourse because bacteria get introduced into the urethra during sexual activity.
Symptoms of UTI
- Pain, irritation and burning while urinating
- Increased frequency of urination
- Urgent need to urinate but producing only little urine each time
- Bloody urine
In some cases, the bacteria also enter the kidney causing a kidney infection that is characterized by following symptoms:
- Back or side pain
- Flu-like symptoms
UTI vs. STD symptoms
As stated above, many sexually transmitted diseases are likely to mimic the symptoms of UTI. The symptoms of STDs such as Chlamydia are:
- Burning pain in men during urination
- Urination with white discharge
- Women with Chlamydia also experience burning while peeing.
- The amount of discharge in women with Chlamydia is more than that in men.
As can be seen, a comparison of UTI vs. STD Chlamydia shows that the symptoms are quite similar. This leads to confusion between the two.
UTI vs. Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea can be spread through the vagina as well as through oral sex. Left untreated, it could lead to infertility. Gonorrhea symptoms include:
- In men, gonorrhea symptoms can be seen within a few days after sexual intercourse. These include, painful, burning and itching during urination.
- Pus may also be present and it could be seen dripping from end of penis.
- In women, Gonorrhea presents yellowish discharge. Often this is mistaken for normal vaginal discharge.
Can UTI and Chlamydia occur at the same time?
Many STDs not only mimic the symptoms of a UTI, they can also cause you to have a UTI. This happens when the bacteria travels to not just the sex organs but the urethra as well. Therefore, symptoms of both conditions may be confusing which makes diagnosis rather difficult.
The best way to tell if you are suffering from a UTI vs. Chlamydia vs. Gonorrhea is to get yourself thoroughly examined by your doctor. A simple lab test can demonstrate if the symptoms are caused by either UTI or STD. The sexually transmitted organisms infect the urethra but they are classified separately from the organisms causing UTIs because of their mode of transmission.
Treatment for UTI
UTIs are treated using antibiotics. Your doctor might also prescribe some urinary anesthetic containing phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Pyridium) which can provide rapid relief from symptoms. This relief of symptoms should not be mistaken for elimination of the infection; you must continue taking full dose of antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor.
Non medical treatment of UTI
Apart from taking your antibiotics, you must also do the following:
- Drink plenty of (sugar and caffeine free) fluids. Fluids help you flush out the bacteria. They also dissolve the antibiotics better. This helps you get full benefit of the drug.
- Drink cranberry juice (preferably sugar free) as it helps keep the urine acidic.
- Avoid drinking orange juice as it could increase inflammation.
The best ways to prevent UTIs include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Urinating after sexual intercourse
- Women must wipe from front to back instead of the other way round to prevent germs from anus coming closer to the urethra
- Avoid wearing tight nylon underwear or thongs
- Avoid douching or using harsh perfumed soaps, creams or lubricants in the private areas.
UTI and STD symptoms especially those of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are very similar. If you are doubtful about your UTI symptoms, or the symptoms do not go away despite taking antibiotics; then do talk to your doctor. Lab tests can accurately show if you are suffering from STD or UTI. In either case, prompt diagnosis and medication can prevent further complications.