If you’re making frequent –and painful– trips to the bathroom, you might assume you have a urinary tract infection. But, there are other conditions that cause pelvic pain and trouble with urination, such as sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
So, how can you tell if you’re suffering due to a UTI or an STI?
It’s difficult to differentiate a UTI from an STI based on symptoms alone. Both types of infection cause burning during urination, pelvic pain, and a frequent, sudden urge to urinate. However, if you are sexually active and also have vaginal symptoms such as discharge, bleeding and/or irregular periods, it may suggest an STI. It’s important to talk to your doctor about your specific symptoms and risk factors.
The only way to determine exactly what kind of infection you are dealing with is to be tested.
Why it’s important to seek treatment
Urinary Tract Infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder. In most cases, UTIs can be successfully treated with a short course of antibiotics and symptoms will clear up within a few days. When left untreated, urinary tract infections can lead to serious complications including recurrent infections, kidney disease, and even sepsis.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are bacterial infections that spread through sexual intercouse and develop in the reproductive organs, the urethra, throat, and rectum. Both infections are curable and treated with antibiotics. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause permanent health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and increased risk of HIV.
If you think you have a UTI or an STI, visit our clinic today. With onsite lab testing, our compassionate providers can determine the cause of your symptoms and provide you with an appropriate treatment plan.