What Could Be Mistaken For A Uti
There are several conditions whose symptoms mimic UTIs. Sexually transmitted infections cause symptoms also common in UTIs, such as painful urination and discharge.
Vaginitis, caused by bacteria or yeast, can result in a burning sensation when urinating and similar discomfort that may mimic a UTI.
Often mistaken for a UTI, interstitial cystitis , or painful bladder condition, is a chronic condition affecting the bladder that does not improve with antibiotic treatment. Symptoms of IC include increased urgency and more frequent urination as well as pain in the pelvic area.
Other conditions to rule out are overactive bladder, pregnancy, prostatitis, diabetes, cancer, and kidney stones.
How Is Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed
In order to ensure a clean urine sample, a physician will likely have you clean your genital area with a special wipe beforehand, and ask that you do a midstream catch of the urine.
If a UTI is diagnosed, youll be treated with antibiotics. Its important to note that false negative results do occur and that almost all women who experience typical UTI symptoms and a negative urine culture actually do have a UTI. 30209-4/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 11)
If youve had a prior UTI, your healthcare provider will look at prior cultures to see which bacteria were found, if any, and which antibiotics were used this often guides therapy in recurrent UTIs.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Overactive Bladder Or Uti
Even though UTI and overactive bladder affect the same part of the body, their causes and risk factors are very different. While anyone can get a UTI, womens bodies are especially susceptible because of the length and location of the female urethra the tube that attaches to the bladder to remove urine from the body. Since a womans urethra is short, bacteria doesnt have to travel very far to cause infection. In addition, the female urethra is located close to the rectum, making it easy for bacteria from the skin and rectum to easily enter the urinary tract.
Overactive bladder is caused by a completely different mechanism than UTI. Normally, when the bladder fills with urine, nerve impulses send signals to the brain that the bladder is full. As your brain receives these signals, the bladder wall muscles begin to contract to force out urine. With overactive bladder the bladder wall becomes hyperactive, contracting too frequently and forcefully. This can even happen when the bladder isnt full.
- Consuming large amounts of caffeine or alcohol
- Age-related changes in cognitive function
Don’t Miss: Cysts On Bladder And Kidneys
Causes Of Cystitis And Urinary Tract Infections
Causes of cystitis
Cystitis can affect anyone, but women are at a much higher risk. The most common cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection, but it can also occur if the bladder gets damaged or irritated in another way.
Other causes of cystitis include:
- Friction from sexual intercourse
- Irritation from chemicals found in perfumed soap or bubble bath
- Damage from a catheter or bladder surgery
- Medical treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy medications
Causes of urinary tract infections
Anyone can get a urinary tract infection, although women and girls are at a higher risk than men and boys. This is because the urethra is shorter and closer to the anus.
Other causes include:
Who Is Most Susceptible To A Bladder Infection
UTIs are more common in women than men. This is partly due to their anatomy in women, the urethra is shorter, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder and cause an infection.
Other risk factors for bladder infection include:
Any medical condition or injury that prevents you from emptying your bladder completely
Any medical condition that weakens your immune system
Being a woman in or after menopause
Having a UTI in the past
Needing to have a bladder catheter
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent UTIs. These include the following:
Drink plenty of water.
Empty your bladder immediately after sex.
Dont hold it when you feel the need to go.
Think about switching to a different method of birth control if you currently use one with spermicide.
Consider vaginal estrogen if youve gone through menopause.
Don’t Miss: Hernia Of The Urinary Bladder
Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Vaginal Infection
|Volume 13: October 2021|
|Whats the Difference Between a Urinary Tract Infection and Vaginal Infection?|
|If you experience discomfort in your genital area or when you urinate, you may have an infection. Two types of infections that commonly affect these areas are urinary tract infections and vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. While each of these conditions are distinct, some of their symptoms, causes, and prevention methods are similar. The good news is that both conditions are treatable and more importantly preventable! The good news is that both UTIs and Bacterial Vaginosis are conditions that are treatable and more importantly preventable! Although UTIs and vaginal infections are quite different, its possible to have both at the same time. In fact, treating a UTI with antibiotics can sometimes lead to a vaginal infection. In addition, having bacterial vaginosis may predispose you to getting recurrent Urinary Tract Infections.|
|Know How to Tell the Difference!Understanding the differences between a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis and a urinary tract infection is important so you can get the appropriate treatment or clearly describe symptoms to a doctor if these issues do not clear up on their own. The chart below that outlines symptoms of common infections including UTIs, Yeast Infections, Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomoniasis.|
Favorite Organizations For Essential Uti Info
We love the patient-friendly foundation page of the American Urological Association website. Here, youll find lots of support and educational resources for those with urological issues. Our favorite part is that all your must-know info can come straight to your mailbox: UCF offers free subscriptions to its UrologyHealth Extra magazine.
This no-nonsense clearinghouse is run by the National Institutes of Health, and provides gobs of information on urinary tract infections from the National Library of Medicine. We especially like that you can easily find the latest published research on UTIs and that theres a quick link to current clinical trials for those who are interested.
The CDC is a trusted go-to source for the writers and editors of Everyday Health, thanks to their commitment to science-based research and reporting. What makes the CDC a particularly helpful resource for urinary tract infection information is the fact that their antibiotics and treatment guidelines for UTIs are always up-to-date.
Recommended Reading: Home Remedies For Bladder Cancer
Can A Uti Lead To Interstitial Cystitis
The cause of IC still has not been determined. Theories include injury to the bladder, problems with communication between the bladder and the brain, and even autoimmunity. There are certain things that can trigger flares of IC, such as foods, drinks, and certain activities. UTIs are also known to trigger flares of IC, but its not clear if they are a cause.
Interstitial Cystitis Vs Uti: How To Tell The Difference
Interstitial cystitis and urinary tract infections are frequently confused with one another. This article will illuminate the differences between IC and UTI.
Cystitis is the medical term for inflammation of the bladder.
Most cases of cystitis are caused by a bacterial infection, called a urinary tract infection . By definition, UTI occurs in the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, kidneys, urethra, etc.
UTI-caused cystitis may be called bacterial cystitis or bladder infection.
Interstitial cystitis is non-infectious cystitis caused by chronic inflammation in the bladder.
Both interstitial cystitis and UTI are more common in women than men. They both share similar symptoms. But treatment is very different for these interconnected conditions.
Interstitial cystitis affects up to 4 million men and up to 8 million women in the United States, according to the Urology Care Foundation. Many IC patients claim their IC symptoms began as kids, making it important to look for these symptoms in young children.
Well give you the basics on how to tell them apart, but youll need to see a doctor to be 100% sure whether or not you have interstitial cystitis or a UTI. This is because the high-quality diagnostics are mostly unavailable outside of a hospital lab.
Also Check: Bladder Control Medication For Men
Overview Of Urinary Tract Infections
, MD, University of Riverside School of Medicine
In healthy people, urine in the bladder is sterileno bacteria or other infectious organisms are present. The tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body contains no bacteria or too few to cause an infection. However, any part of the urinary tract can become infected. An infection anywhere along the urinary tract is called a urinary tract infection .
What Are Cystitis And Urinary Tract Infections
Your urinary tract is made up of your kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Your body uses this system to rid itself of waste, including bacteria. Your kidneys produce urine, which travels to the bladder for storage before emptying through the urethra.
Normally, your urine does not contain bacteria. When bacteria are introduced to your body through the urethra, they can cause a urinary tract infection that is uncomfortable and potentially harmful to your body.
Recommended Reading: How To Empty Bladder Without Catheter
Cystitis Or Uti Whats The Difference
Is it cystitis or UTI? Unless youre medically trained this may not be the first question you ask yourself when rushing back to the toilet for another painful experience. We all come across complicated sounding medical terms from time to time, but do we really know what they mean?
Having a better idea of what cystitis and UTIs are can help explain why you may have those painful symptoms and why different types of self-care may be useful in relieving symptoms or even preventing them reoccurring. It may also help you decide when its time to get help.
So, here are some of the basics on UTIs and cystitis plus a few other terms you may come across along the way.
Prevention Of Urinary Tract Infection
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a UTI:
- Drink plenty of water and other liquids to help flush out bacteria.
- Urinate frequently, or about every two to three hours.
- For women: Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Urinate before and soon after having sexual intercourse.
- Avoid synthetic underwear, tight pants, and lingering in wet gym clothes or a bathing suit. Though none of this can cause a UTI, these habits can increase the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid vaginal deodorants, douches, powders, and other potentially irritating feminine products.
- Use a method of birth control other than a diaphragm, spermicide, or unlubricated condoms.
Also Check: I Feel A Lot Of Pressure On My Bladder
How Do You Get Urinary Tract Infections
The design of the human body makes it so it isnt hard to get a bacterial UTI, because the infection comes from outside, through the urethra. Bacteria in the genital area can enter the urethra and the urinary tract, either because wiping after going to the bathroom, sexual activity, or unsanitary conditions. Once the bacteria have entered the urethra, the body tries fight them off, but sometimes the bacteria multiply and cause an infection.
In the case of a fungal infection, usually the fungus gets to the urinary tract through the blood stream. Those who develop this type of infection are usually ill with a disease that has compromised their immune system, such as AIDS.
In general, women get more UTIs than do men and this increases with age. Statistics show that many women get more than one. Almost 20% of women who have had one UTI will go on to have a second. Of this 20%, 30% of those will have a third, and in turn, 80% of these women will have more.
What Are The Risk Factors For Getting Bladder Infections And Other Uti Infections
A person is more likely to get a bladder infection if they dont urinate frequently enough. If they hold their urine in, the bacteria can collect in the bladder and lead to infection. Try to go to the bathroom at least every two to three hours to keep this from happening.
Not drinking enough water is another risk factor for bladder infections because your body doesnt move as much urine through the bladder as quickly.
Risk factors for urethritis include having a sexually transmitted infection or from trauma to the urethra, such as due to the insertion of a urinary catheter.
In addition to these specific risk factors for bladder infections, there are general risk factors for all UTI types. These include:
risk factors for uti
- being pregnant
- having diabetes, as a person experiences changes to their immune system that make them more prone to UTIs
- having an enlarged prostate
- having low levels of estrogen, such as when a woman is post-menopausal
- having a history of kidney stones, which can block the flow of urine through the urinary tract
Women are also more likely than men to get UTIs because their urethra is shorter. The bacteria have less distance to go to reach the bladder and can cause infections.
Read Also: Overactive Bladder At Night Causes
Whos At Risk Of Utis & Bladder Infections
Anyone can get a UTI or bladder infection, but there are certain factors that put people more at risk. Generally, women experience these conditions more than men because they have shorter urethras, making the path to the bladder easier for bacteria to reach. Plus, anatomically female urethras are closer to the rectum than mens, so there is a shorter distance for bacteria to travel.
Other factors that can increase the risk of UTIs and bladder infections for both men and women include:
- Advanced age, especially in men as their prostates enlarge
- Surgical procedures within the urinary tract
- A urinary obstruction
- Urinary tract abnormality, which is caused by birth defects or injuries
- Urinary retention
- Nervous system conditions that affect bladder function, like multiple sclerosis
- A weakened immune system
How Common Are Utis And Yeast Infections And Who Gets Them
UTIs are common, with 10 in 25 women, and 3 in 25 men experiencing a UTI in their lifetime. Women experience UTIs more commonly than men because a womans urethra is shorter than a mans, and closer to the vagina and anus, resulting in more exposure to bacteria.
You may also be more at risk for a UTI if you:
- are sexually active
- have given birth to multiple children
- have diabetes
- have or have had a kidney stone or another blockage in your urinary tract
- have a weakened immune system
Women experience yeast infections more frequently than men, and 75 percent of women will get a yeast infection in their lifetime. Yeast infections commonly occur in the vagina and vulva, but you can also get a yeast infection on your breast if youre breast feeding and in other moist areas of the body, like the mouth. A vaginal yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted infection, but in rare occasions you can pass it to your partner during sex.
Your risk of contracting a vaginal yeast infection increases if:
- youre between puberty and menopause
- youre pregnant
Children And Urinary Tract Infections
Symptoms in children are different from symptoms in adults. Urinary tract infections are quite common in children. While UTIs in very young children are often associated with an anatomic abnormality, for others the infection is related to introducing bacteria into the urinary tract. UTIs in children generally peak in infancy and then again between ages 2 and 4, coinciding with potty training.
In newborns, signs of urinary tract infection include poor feeding, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, mild jaundice, and fever. For babies younger than 2, foul-smelling urine may also be a sign. For older children, the more classic UTI signs, such as urgency, incontinence, and pain while urinating occur.
How Long Does It Take To Recover
Both UTIs and yeast infections should clear up after taking medications within days or a few weeks. You must make sure to take prescribed or over-the-counter medication as directed for the entire recommended length of time to prevent the infection from returning.
You may be able to prevent both UTIs and yeast infections by practicing good hygiene and making changes to your wardrobe. Here are some prevention tips:
- Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing around your genital area, such as pantyhose and restrictive pants.
- Change out of wet swimsuits quickly.
- Do not douche or use vaginal spray or deodorizers near your genitals.
- Avoid scented feminine hygiene products.
Further prevention of UTIs include:
- using the bathroom frequently
- regularly drinking lots of fluid
- urinating before and after sex
Its also possible that drinking cranberry juice can prevent UTIs. The research results are mixed. Make sure to choose a sugar-free version. If the juice is too tart, you can water it down to make the juice more palatable.
You may also be able to reduce your chances of contracting a yeast infection if you:
- avoid hot baths and hot tubs
- change your feminine products often
- control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
Also Check: Sudden Loss Of Bowel And Bladder Control