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What’s the Difference Between a Yeast Infection and a UTI?

A yeast infection is a type of vaginitis, which affects the vulva and vagina, while a urinary tract infection (UTI) affects the bladder and urethra. Though these conditions occur in different areas of the body, they are close enough that one might be mistaken for the other if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

What Is a Yeast Infection?

A yeast infection occurs when there’s an overgrowth of Candida in the vagina. These are very common. Women are particularly susceptible to yeast infections when they’re experiencing hormonal changes, such as those that occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Yeast infections cause symptoms such as:

  • Burning and itching of the vagina and vulva
  • A thick white vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese
  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • Swelling or a rash around the vagina and vulva
  • Pain when urinating

What Is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria from the genital or anal area gets into the urethra. Symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Pain and burning during urination
  • Frequent feeling that you need to urinate
  • Cloudy urine
  • Urine that’s pink or red
  • Pain or pressure in the back, sides, or lower abdomen
  • Pelvic pain
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Fever, nausea, and vomiting

What Should I Do If I’m Experiencing Uncomfortable Symptoms?

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, the best course of action is to see your local medical provider for a diagnosis. It’s possible to have both a UTI and a yeast infection at the same time, which can make it difficult to diagnose the problem yourself.

You can treat a yeast infection with an antifungal suppository or cream. Your medical provider may also prescribe a pill to help you with a yeast infection. UTIs are treated with antibiotics. Prompt treatment can help you avoid complications associated with these problems.

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