“What is the difference between UTI and yeast infection?”
“Am I suffering from a urine infection or a yeast infection?”
“Can bladder infections result in yeast infections as well?”
“Can yeast and urine infections occur simultaneously?”
These are some frequently asked questions that plague the minds of women suffering from recurrent bladder (or urine infections) and yeast infections. Urine and yeast infections often produce very similar symptoms. Both are characterized by painful, itchy and burning sensation and these symptoms often get worse with time. Often, the antibiotics used for treating urine infections end up killing the good bacteria in the urinary tract, resulting in a yeast infection simultaneously. Needless to say, this can be a nightmare for the sufferer.
In this guide, we will study the similarities and differences between UTI vs. yeast infections so as to become more informed in the matter in order to take corrective steps for their quick resolution.
Bladder infection vs. yeast infection: differences and similarities
Bladder or Urinary infections infect any part of the urinary tract including the bladder, ureters, and, in extreme cases, the kidneys. Yeast infections are also called Candida infections and they tend to affect any body part including the vagina, mouth, breast and nipples, food pipe (esophagus), and even the bloodstream. Naturally, since the topic of this article is UTI vs. Yeast infections we will be only talking about vaginal yeast infections (that are also known as vaginitis.) Here are some more similarities and differences between UTI and yeast infections.
- The causal agents of UTIs are bacteria, mainly the E.coli. Other classes of fungi and bacteria could also lead to bladder infections. As opposed to this, the causal agents in Yeast infections are only fungi called Candida Albicans.
- Factors which lead to UTIs are sexual activities, improper hygiene following bowel movement, pre-existing health issues like diabetes or other conditions that compromise immune system, the use of catheters in senior patients etc. In case of yeast infections, the risk factors go up due to immunosuppressant drugs, chemotherapy, use of douches, vaginal perfumes or shower gels, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and infections through sexual partners.
- Some of the symptoms of yeast infection and bladder infections or UTI are very similar in that; both are accompanied by pain and burning sensation. In Vaginitis, additionally, there is a white thick discharge as well as intense itchiness. In UTI on the other hand, there is no discharge or itching but there may be an urgency to urinate frequently but this produces little or no urine and may be accompanied by pain, burning, fever etc.
- An important difference between UTI and yeast infection is that the former, if left untreated, can develop into serious life threatening conditions such as pyelonephritis or severe kidney damage. On the other hand, yeast infections are merely annoying as they tend to cause extreme discomfort and intense itching. However, yeast infections are no more than that as they do not turn into anything serious.
- Other important differences between bladder infection and yeast infection lie in the medications used for treating them. UTI or bladder infections are treated using antibiotics. These include doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Fluoroquinolones etc. In yeast infections, the line of treatment mainly includes anti fungal or antimycotic medication such as Clotrimazole, Fluconazole, Ketoconazole etc. Many over the counter medicines like Monistat® and their generic equivalents can effectively treat Yeast infections.
Why do I get a yeast infection immediately following UTI?
This is a common issue faced by many women. Most tend to immediately get yeast infection following a bladder infection. The main reason behind this is the use of antibiotics used for treating the UTI. The complete course of antibiotics needs to be taken as failure to do so will lead to recurrence. However, these medicines end up being a double edge sword as they even kill off the natural bacteria in the vagina that help balance the pH of the region. This allows the fungus to grow uncontrollably leading to vaginitis.
What can one do to prevent simultaneous UTI and yeast infections?
- Drink plenty of fluids. Include cranberry juice and supplements as these are known to help prevent and treat existing UTIs.
- Eat plenty of probiotic foods like Sauerkraut, yogurt with live cultures, Miso etc especially when taking antibiotics for treating bladder infections. This will ensure maintaining good bacteria and help keep your vaginal pH in check.
- Avoid wearing tight underwear, thongs, tight or skinny jeans as studies have confirmed the correlation between tight clothing and frequent UTIs.
- Cut down on sugar as it feeds bacteria and fungi causing such infections.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Rest well and exercise well to reduce stress which is a leading factor in causing all kinds of infections.
- Some home remedies have been proven to be highly effective for preventing yeast infection while battling UTI. These include inserting a tampon dipped in 3% potassium sorbate and water solution in the vagina overnight.
We hope these UTI vs. yeast infection differences and similarities help you identify exactly what is bothering you so that you can take corrective measures for overcoming the problem.