STDs and UTIs can often be mistaken for one another due to their similar symptoms. It is important to understand the differences between these two infections, as they drastically differ in treatment and health risks, meaning sexual active individuals should seek out same-day testing as soon as symptoms of an STD appear.
The knowledgeable team at Advanced Urgent Care of Pasadena has explained the key differences between STDs and UTIs.
Differences between an STD and a UTI
Urinary tract infection
The urinary tract is made up of the urethra, the bladder, the kidneys, and the ureter. UTIs occur when bacteria accumulates in any of these areas, normally affecting the bladder. These infections are fairly common and although they cannot be directly transmitted, they can occur when bacteria is passed through genital contact and sexual partners do not empty their bladders immediately after intercourse.
Sexually transmitted disease
Sexually transmitted diseases vary in severity, symptoms, and treatment based on the type of STD, which is contracted. STDs can be passed through sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual contact. Some STDs such as HPV can also be transmitted through the mouth during non-sexual contact. STDs are normally transmitted from one affected individual to a sexual partner, which is why sexually active people should seek regular STD testing, or same-day STD testing if symptoms indicate a need for urgent medical attention.
UTIs and STDs find the most common ground in their symptoms. Symptoms of UTIs include cloudy, odorous, or discolored urine, as well as a painful, frequent need to urinate. STDs differ in symptoms, however, diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause similar complications during urination.
There is a common misconception that UTIs are not something to be concerned about. UTIs can range from mild to severe infections, which could seriously damage the kidneys over time. Mild UTIs can be fairly easy to treat with over-the-counter probiotic supplements and antibiotic-rich food. However, if symptoms persist, sufferers should visit a reputable physician to obtain treatment. STDs can cause a wide range of health problems, however, even the most common STDs such as chlamydia can have serious effects on fertility if left untreated. STDs such as Syphilis can be fatal, which is why individuals should seek immediate care through STD testing if common symptoms appear such as bumps, sores, rashes, or bleeding.
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