V-Health – Yeast Infection vs. Urinary Tract Infection: What’s the Difference?

V-Health – Yeast Infection vs. Urinary Tract Infection: What’s the Difference?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections can be experienced by both men and women but. predominantly occurs in women. Having problems ‘down there’ might be embarrassing, but it’s important that you get all the facts before you panic. The symptoms for these two can be very similar, which is why it’s important to consult a doctor if you’re unsure of what you have as the treatments for each varies.

The difference between a yeast infection and a urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections can be experienced by both men and women but predominantly occurs in women. Having problems ‘down there’ might be embarrassing, but it’s important that you get all the facts before you panic. The symptoms for these two can be very similar, which is why it’s important to consult a doctor if you’re unsure of what you have as the treatments for each varies.

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection is an infection due to bacteria in the urinary tract. It specifically targets the urethra and bladder and can cause a lot of pain and serious complications if it spreads to your kidneys. It can occur in any part of your urinary tract such as the ureters (the tubes that move urine from the kidneys into the bladder), urethra, and bladder. As the bladder clears waste from the body through the urethra its job is to flush pathogens from the urinary tract and keep you safe from infections, but sometimes you can still get a UTI no matter how careful you are. Women are more prone to UTIs because their urethra and anus is closer which increases the risk of spreading bacteria.

You can generally identify a UTI as follows:

  • Pain or burning when urinating.
  • The need to use the restroom often.
  • Pressure in your lower abdomen.
  • Cloudy or bloody urine or urine with a strong smell.

How are UTIs spread?

You can contract a UTI if you:

  • have intercourse, but it can also occur if you’re not sexually active.
  • use certain types of contraceptive methods such as diaphragms or spermicide.
  • not wiping right.
  • have kidney or bladder stones.
  • urinate without emptying your bladder.
  • have a urinary catheter.

What are the risks of UTIs?

  • recurring infections, especially in women.
  • permanent kidney damage due to untreated UTIs.
  • increased risk for pregnant women to deliver premature or low weight babies.
  • urethral narrowing in men from recurring UTIs.
  • sepsis, especially if the infection spreads to your kidneys or up the urinary tract.

A yeast infection occurs when there is an overproduction of the candida fungus. This is normally found in the vagina and helps to maintain the balance of healthy bacteria. You can get an infection in moist areas of the body such as the mouth, throat, gut and vagina. A yeast infection can have the following symptoms:

  • pain when urinating or having intercourse.
  • itchiness of the vagina and vulva.
  • unusual discharge that can be odourless with the consistency of cottage cheese or thick and milky looking.

how to protect yourself

You can’t avoid getting a UTI or yeast infections completely, but there are steps you can take to try to avoid it.

  • drink plenty of liquids, especially water.
  • wipe front to back to avoid transferring bacteria from the anus to the urethra.
  • make sure you completely empty your bladder when you urinate.
  • avoid using douches, powders, scented feminine products etc to maintain the balance of good bacteria in the vagina
  • relook your birth control methods to less invasive solutions.

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