Yeast Infection vs UTI: Knowing the Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Sourav Gupta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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yeast infection vs uti

Yeast Infection and Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) can be easily confused due to some of their similar symptoms.

They are two different conditions that require different treatments and causes.

UTI is generally caused due to bacteria known as E. Coli, and Yeast Infection is due to Candida species of fungi.

As per the National Center of Biotechnology Information, UTI is a common infection affecting 50 to 60% of women in their lifetime.

In this article, we will learn about the difference between Yeast Infection vs UTI based on their symptoms and causes.

Fact:
Women are at greater risk of developing UTIs than men because women have shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.

A quick review: Yeast Infection vs. UTI

Yeast InfectionUTI
Type of InfectionFungal infection caused by Candida speciesBacterial infection caused by E. coli or a Fungi
LocationPrimarily affects the genital area, like the vaginaPrimarily affects the urinary tract
SymptomsItching, burning, and redness in the affected areaFrequent urination, burning sensation, pelvic pain
DischargeThick, white, and cottage cheese-like dischargeCloudy or bloody urine
Urinary SymptomsUsually, no urinary symptomsFrequent urge to urinate, pain during urination
Risk FactorsAntibiotic use, weakened immune system, diabetesSexual activity, female anatomy, urinary tract abnormalities
TreatmentAntifungal medications (topical or oral)Antibiotics (specific to the bacterial strain)
PreventionGood hygiene, avoiding douching, breathable clothingStaying hydrated, proper hygiene, emptying the bladder fully

What is a Yeast infection

Yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge, and intense itchiness in the vagina and the vulva.

It is caused due to candidiasis fungi, due to which is also known as vaginal candidiasis.

Vaginal yeast infection can affect up to 3 out of 4 women in their lifetime.

The symptoms can range from mild to moderate, including itching and burning sensations in the vagina, especially during urination or intercourse.

What is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

A UTI is a bacterial infection in any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. 

Most infections involve the lower urinary tract (the bladder and the urethra) and are generally caused due to a bacteria known as E. Coli.

Women are at greater risk of Urinary Tract Infections than men.

The symptoms of UTI include a strong urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, and a small amount of urine.

Can you have a UTI and Yeast infection together

Yes, you can get UTI and Yeast infection simultaneously; even Yeast Infections can cause UTIs.

As per a study published by the National Center of Biotechnology Information, Urinary Tract Infections associated with Candida (causes fungal Infection) included 6.8% of patients.

However, 93.2% of UTIs were related to bacterial pathogens.

So, it is essential to check for both these infections as they can occur together.

Consult your doctor; they may diagnose and recommend you the proper treatment.

Symptoms of UTI and Yeast infection

UTI burning pain - symptomsSource: pixelshot
UTI burning pain – symptoms

Yeast infections and UTIs can cause various symptoms that affect various parts of the body.

Pain and itching of the genitals, along with a thick curd-like discharge, occur in Yeast infection.

There can be swelling in the infected area, the vagina, or the vulva in a vaginal infection.

On the other hand, UTIs can cause pain and a burning sensation while urinating.

You may have an urge to urinate more often, even when you don’t have to.

The urine can appear cloudy, red, or pink due to blood and foul smell.

You can also experience fever or chills, nausea, or vomiting, which may indicate a severe infection.

Causes

Hair Thinning After Stopping Birth ControlSource: g-stockstudio_from_Getty_Images
Taking birth control pill

Urinary tract infections occur when the bacteria enter your urinary system.

You don’t need to be sexually active to experience UTI.

Some of the things that can cause a bacterial buildup in the urethra and lead to UTI are as follows:

  • Contact with the stool containing E. Coli
  • Exposure to STIs
  • Putting off urinating frequently
  • Use of spermicides during sex
  • Sex

Whereas yeast infections occur when a fungus known as Candida builds up in moist areas of your skin.

You can get this condition even if you are not sexually active.

Some of the factors that can cause vaginal yeast infection are as follows:

  • The immune system changes due to stress, illness, and pregnancy
  • Medication such as birth control, antibiotics, and steroids
  • Diabetes
  • Wearing tight cloth creates a moist environment in the vaginal area
Warning:
Wearing tight underwear or pants can create a moist environment in the vaginal area, increasing the risk of getting a fungal infection.

Diagnosis

Doctors use different methods of diagnosis for Yeast Infections and UTIs.

The UTI diagnosis uses a urine sample that the person has to fill in a small cup.

The doctor will send the sample to the laboratory, where they will test the presence of bacteria.

Whereas a doctor can diagnose a yeast infection by simply examining the area and a culture test.

During the culture test, a cotton swab is used to collect the samples from the affected area.

Treatments

Yeast infections and Urinary Tract infections require different treatments.

The cause of Yeast infection is a fungus, and the general cause of UTI is bacteria.

Treatment of UTI involves antibiotics that help in clearing bacterial infections.

The dosage and class of antibiotics are decided after diagnosing the type of infection and your medical history.

The symptoms may go as you start taking antibiotics, but you should complete the course prescribed by your doctor.

However, people can treat Yeast infections in different ways, such as creams, ointments, or oral tablets.

Various anti-fungal medicines are available over-the-counter to help with mild yeast infections.

For severe infections, you may need prescription-strength anti-fungal medicines.

You can prevent yeast infections by eating natural, unsweetened yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Conclusion

In summary, yeast infections and UTIs are distinct conditions with different causes and treatment approaches. 

Yeast infections result from fungal overgrowth and affect the vaginal area, while UTIs are bacterial infections in the urinary tract. 

UTIs are treated using antibiotics, and Yeast Infections are treated using antifungal ointments and oral tablets.

Seeking proper medical advice is important to receive appropriate care and avoid other complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if it’s a UTI or Yeast infection?

The symptoms of UTI include frequent urination, a strong urge to urinate, and a burning sensation during urination. While yeast infection involves itching, burning, and thick white discharge. You can decide what you have based on these symptoms.

Can a Yeast Infection cause painful urination?

Yes, a Yeast Infection can cause painful urination in some cases. Other common symptoms of Yeast Infections are itching, burning, and thick white discharge.

Can you have UTI and a Yeast Infection at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to have both UTI and Yeast Infections together. While both of them are different conditions, it is common for individuals to experience both infections. Talk to your doctor for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Can a Yeast Infection act like UTI?

Yeast Infection is itchy and uncomfortable and includes symptoms like redness, burning, and swelling of the vulva. Sometimes a white, odorless discharge can also be there. It can be confused with the UTI, as it causes a burning sensation when urinating.

Citations:
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