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The difference between a yeast infection and UTI

 To keep Miss V healthy, she has to have a balance of certain ‘good’ bacteria (Photo: Shutterstock)

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is quite different from yeast infection although it’s quite common to mistake one for the other. These two infections affect Miss V and if left untreated can result in more serious infections.

Many women experience one or the other of these illnesses at some point in their lives. For some, they happen so frequently that you can actually treat yourself, which you shouldn’t by the way.

So how do you know you have one and not the other. Let’s look at the difference below.

Urinary tract infection

The most common symptom of a UTI is a burning sensation when you pee. Other symptoms include peeing more frequently than usual, foul smelling, discoloured or cloudy urine, fever or chills, pain in lower abdomen, lower back, sides and pelvis.

As the name suggests, a UTI comes about when you get bacteria in your urinary tract. This can be caused when you delay going to pee too long, have been exposed to STIs, have had sex, use a diaphragm and spermicides and when Miss V gets into contact with stool. 

If left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection.

Yeast infection

Unlike a UTI, if you have a yeast infection, you will first notice a change in the look and consistency of discharge. This may be accompanied by itchiness, pain around Miss V and pain during sex or when you pee.

To keep Miss V healthy, she has to have a balance of certain ‘good’ bacteria. Self explains that there is a presence of Candida and Lactobacillus in our lady parts. However, when there is too much Candida, you are bound to get a yeast infection. Candida thrives in moist, warm areas.

Increase in Candida can be caused by immune system changes due to pregnancy, stress, etc. Other causes include high blood sugar, wearing damp clothing or fabric that doesn’t breath too close to Miss V, hormones and certain medication like antibiotics and birth control. 

Please note that you don’t need to be sexually active to get either of these infections. However, Healthline explains that other factors make one predisposed to getting either or both.

You’d be more prone to get a UTI if you’re obese, have delivered multiple children, are sexually active, have a weak immune system, are pregnant, have diabetes or have gone through menopause.

Women who are on hormonal birth control, diabetic, pregnant, use vaginal douches, have recently taken antibiotics or steroids or have a compromised immune system are more prone to yeast infections.

If you suspect that you have either of these, visit your doctor as soon as you notice the symptoms. It’s best to avoid over-the-counter medication since you might not know which of the two infections you are treating.

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