There are some symptoms similar to both a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), so sometimes it may be difficult to to discern which type of infection your symptoms represent. What follows may help you to spot the difference quickly and take action.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
This quite common complaint (particularly among women) is an infection that is easily treated with antibiotics. A UTI is caused by a bacteria in the urethra, the bladder, ureter, or kidneys. It is usually accompanied by painful urination and a burning sensation.
Women should never try to treat themselves by drinking cranberry juice thinking it will pass, as this will not clear the infection. It is imperative to see an OBGYN specialist from Women’s Pavilion of South Mississippi whenever you experience these symptoms as an untreated UTI can progress to a serious kidney infection.
Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
Incidences of this infection have been rising steadily. According to the CDC, almost 20 million cases are diagnosed each year. An STI can be derived from oral, vaginal, or anal sex. It’s also possible to get a sexually transmitted infection from intravenous drug use, or even childbirth and breastfeeding.
Sadly, sometimes an STI has no noticeable symptoms and can be present for many years, eventually leading to severe complications like chronic pain, infertility, and cancer. This type of infection can be easily spread to a sexual partner, and can even damage the fetus if you become pregnant. For all these reasons, it is essential to be tested once or twice a year for STIs, regardless of your symptoms.
How to Tell The Difference
These common symptoms include the following:
- Burning and painful urination
- Frequency and urgency of urination
- Foul smelling urine
- Cloudy or dark urine
- Pelvic pain
Sometimes it’s possible to have both infections.
Do Not Self Diagnose
If you have any of the above symptoms see a gynecologist immediately. Both of these infections can be successfully handled as long as they are diagnosed and treated early. Since a Sexually Transmitted Infection may not always present noticeable symptoms, ask to be tested once or twice a year to protect yourself and your partner.
Choosing to forego the advice of a professional and treat the condition yourself can be very harmful to your health, which is why you should always seek treatment for a UTI or STI from a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist.
Contact Women’s Pavilion of South Mississippi immediately if you experience any of the symptoms of a STI or UTI, and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you with one of our exceptional OBGYNs!