More often than not, Yeast Infections and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) for confused with each other.
While they are both infections that affect the lower pelvic and genital regions, they both have clear and distinct causes and symptoms.
By the end of this article, you will be able to tell the difference between a yeast infection and a UTI vis a vis their causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
What is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. It is brought on by the entry of bacteria into the urinary tract, frequently by genital contact or from the rectum. UTIs can also result from uncontrolled diabetes.
A strain called Escherichia coli (E. coli), is responsible for 80% to 90% of all UTIs, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Symptoms of UTI include:
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Urine that may be red or pink from blood
- Pain or feeling of pressure in your lower abdomen, back, and sides
- Fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting in severe cases
Causes or risk factors
Risk factor of getting a UTI include:
- Weakened immune system
- Sexually active
- Kidney stones or another blockage in your urinary tract
- Sex with a new partner
- Contraceptive methods such as spermicide and/or diaphragms
- You wipe from back to front after a bowel movement
- Urinating without emptying the bladder
- Using a urinary catheter
- Urinating when you feel the urge and not holding your bladder
- Wiping from front to back
- Take cranberry supplements
- Urinate before and after sex
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated
- Evaluate your birth control method
What is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infection is a fungal infection of the vagina and vulva which occurs when there is an overgrowth of Candida, a type of fungus that lives inside the body, in a moist area of the skin.
Vaginal yeast infections are very common. According to the Office on Women’s HealthTrusted Source, about 75% of all females will have at least one yeast infection during their lifetime.
Symptoms of yeast infection
- Vaginal discharge that’s thick and white, almost like cottage cheese
- A vulva and vagina that feels itchy and irritated
- A swollen and red vulva
- A burning sensation, especially when you pee or have sex
- A sore vagina
- A vaginal rash
- Watery vaginal discharge
Causes or risk factors
- Using douches or vaginal sprays
- Wearing tight underwear and clothes that create a warm, moist environment
- Being Pregnant
- Weakened immune system
- Hormonal birth control
- Wear cotton underwear
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing around your genital area, such as pantyhose.
- Change out of wet swimsuits as soon as possible.
- Do not douche or use vaginal spray or deodorizers near your genitals.
- Avoid abuse of antibiotics
- Changing female sanitary products regularly
- Avoid scented feminine hygiene products
- Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
This Could Be The Reason Why You Are Experiencing Pain During Sex
Diagnosis of UTI vs Yeast Infection
The diagnosis of yeast infections and UTIs varies.
A urine sample is used to diagnose a UTI. Midway through your stream, you’ll be prompted to add pee to a little cup. To provide a diagnosis, a laboratory will examine the urine for particular microorganisms.
After swabbing the afflicted area, a yeast infection will be determined. The swab will be examined at a lab for the Candida fungus. The affected area will also be physically examined by your doctor to look for swelling and other symptoms.
If your doctor suspects you have one infection or the other but is unable to make a medical diagnosis, they may order tests for both a UTI and a yeast infection.
Treatment of UTI vs Yeast Infection
The good news is that Yeast infections and UTIs can both be easily treated.
Antibiotics are given to you if you have a UTI. After taking the antibiotics for a few days, you might feel a reduction in symptoms. To stop the UTI from coming back, you must take the whole course of antibiotics. There are also other medications available for treatment that are not antibiotic based.
Antifungal drugs are needed for yeast infections. These come in a range of treatments and are accessible for prescription or non-prescription purchasing such as oral medication or a vaginal suppository. The length of the course of treatment varies and can be anything from one dose to several doses spread out over a week.
Just like UTIs, you should take the yeast infection medication for the entire recommended duration to prevent the condition from coming back.
It’s possible that you have recurring UTIs and yeast infections that require a more aggressive treatment. Your doctor will outline these treatments if you experience multiple infections over a short course of time.
Both UTIs and yeast infections should clear up after taking medications within days or a few weeks. You must make sure to take prescribed or over-the-counter medication as directed for the entire recommended length of time to prevent the infection from returning.