STI vs. UTI and what are the differences between their symptoms is quite a common dilemma. 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.
UTI – Urinary Tract Infection
This quite common and mostly female complaint is an infection 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 your OBGYN whenever you experience these symptoms.
Left untreated a UTI can progress to a serious kidney infection.
STI – Sexually Transmitted Infection
Incidences of this infection have been rising steadily. According to the CDC almost 20 million cases are diagnosed each year. A STI can be derived from oral, vaginal or anal sex. In addition it’s possible to get a STI from intravenous drug use, or even childbirth and breastfeeding.
Sadly, sometimes a STI has no noticeable symptoms and can be present for many years leading to severe complications like chronic pain, infertility, and cancer. It can spread to a sexual partner and even damage the fetus if you become pregnant. For all these reasons it is essential to be tested once or twice a year for a STI, regardless of your symptoms.
How To Tell The Difference
A STI and a UTI share many symptoms in common, so herein lies the problem of telling 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.
Not A Time To Self Diagnose
If you have any of the above symptoms see your OBGYN at Birmingham Obstetrics & Gynecology right away. Both of these infections can be successfully handled as long as they are diagnosed and treated early.
Since a Sexually Transmitted Infection may have no symptoms, ask to be tested once or twice a year to protect yourself and your partner.
Contact Birmingham Obstetrics & Gynecology today if you experience any of the symptoms of a STI or UTI.