UTI vs. Yeast Infection: How To Not Confuse The Two
UTI vs. Yeast Infection: How To Not Confuse The Two
HealthApril 5, 2023 UTI vs. Yeast Infection: How To Not Confuse The Two By Louise Smithson Women are all too familiar with the discomfort and pain that come with a urinary tract infection (UTI) or yeast infection. Both infections share… Read More

As women, we are all too familiar with the pain and discomfort that come with urinary tract infections (UTIs) or yeast infections. These infections share similar symptoms, such as burning during urination, itching, and genital discomfort. It can be challenging to distinguish which infection you have, causing confusion. Let's explore the differences between UTIs and yeast infections and learn how to prevent and treat them.

UTI: What Is It?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects any part of your urinary system, including your bladder, kidneys, and urethra. Women are more susceptible than men because of their shorter urethra, making it effortless for bacteria to enter the bladder.

You may experience pain with urination, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, and pelvic discomfort if you have UTIs. In severe cases of UTIs, fever, and chills – a sign that medical attention is required – can occur.

Bacteria E. coli, naturally found in the gut, usually caused UTIs. Other bacteria, such as Klebsiella, Proteus, and Staphylococcus, can also cause UTIs.

Yeast Infection: What Is It?

A vaginal fungal infection called a yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida, usually present in the vagina in small amounts. Yeast infections, although not sexually transmitted, can affect women of all ages.

Itching and burning around the vagina and vulva are the most common symptoms of yeast infections, white discharge that resembles cottage cheese, and pain during sex. In severe cases, the skin around the vulva may crack, causing discomfort and bleeding.

UTI vs. Yeast Infection: How To Tell The Difference

Although UTIs and yeast infections share similar symptoms, certain key differences distinguish them from one another.

UTIs typically cause pain or a burning sensation during urination, whereas yeast infections do not. UTIs also cause cloudy or strong-smelling urine, which is not related to yeast infections.

Conversely, yeast infections often cause thick, white discharge resembling cottage cheese, while UTIs do not. Yeast infections also cause itching and burning around the vulva, which UTIs do not.

It is essential to get a proper diagnosis from your healthcare provider to determine which infection you have, given these symptoms.

Preventing UTIs And Yeast Infections

Lower the possibility of developing these bothersome infections by taking steps toward prevention. Here are some tips to help prevent UTIs and yeast infections:

  • Practice good hygiene – To ensure personal hygiene, remember always to wipe yourself from front to back after using the restroom and wash your genital area with soap and water daily.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing – Tight clothing and undergarments can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Wear loose-fitting clothing and cotton underwear to allow your skin to breathe.

  • Stay hydrated – Consuming enough water helps to naturally flush dangerous bacteria from your urinary tract.

  • Avoid douching – Disrupting the healthy balance of bacteria and fungi in your vagina through douching can leave you more vulnerable to infections.

  • Urinate after sexual intercourse – Urinating after sexual intercourse can help flush away any bacteria lingering in your urinary tract.

Treating UTIs And Yeast Infections

If you suspect you have a UTI or yeast infection, see your doctor immediately for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor prescribes medication to help treat the infection.

For UTI treatment, antibiotics kill the bacteria causing the infection. It is crucial to complete the full course of antibiotics, even if feeling better, to make sure the infection clears entirely.

For yeast infections, antifungal medication in the form of creams, suppositories, or oral medication prescribed. Follow your doctor's or pharmacist's instructions, and finish the full course of treatment.

In severe cases, such as pelvic exams or surgery, your doctor may recommend additional tests or treatments based on the severity of your infection.


While UTIs and yeast infections cause discomfort and pain, they are easily treatable with the right diagnosis and medication. Knowing the differences between these two infections and taking appropriate steps to prevent them can help keep you healthy and comfortable. Seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms and work to prevent these infections from occurring.

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