Are UTIs and STIs the same thing?

This is a common question we receive from people concerned about their sexual health. While both conditions can cause discomfort and affect your urinary system, they are not the same thing.

In this blog post, we will discuss what UTIs and STIs are, how to tell the difference between them, and why it’s important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is a UTI?

A UTI or urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria that infect the urinary system. The urinary system includes the bladder, ureters, urethra, and kidneys, and it carries waste out of the body.

Women are more likely to experience UTIs, but they can happen to anyone. The most common symptom of a UTI is a burning sensation while urinating. Other symptoms may include frequent urination, cloudy or bloody urine, and lower abdominal pain.

UTIs can be caused by sexual activity but are not considered sexually transmitted infections.

What is an STI?

Sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, are infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that are spread through sexual contact.

STIs can affect both men and women, and some of the most common infections include:

Symptoms can vary depending on the infection but may include:

  • Unusual discharge from the penis, vagina, or rectum
  • Genital sores
  • Itching or burning sensations
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain during urination
  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, nausea, etc)

It’s worth noting that many STIs may not cause any symptoms at all. You can contract an STI and not even know you have it.

How to tell the difference

Although UTIs and STIs can share similar symptoms, it can be difficult to know which one you have.

An STI is more likely if you have symptoms like blisters or discharge, whereas the frequent urge to urinate can indicate a UTI.

With all that said, the only way to know for sure is to get tested.

Final thoughts

UTIs and STIs may share similar symptoms, but they are different conditions that affect the body in different ways. However, it’s imperative you get both treated as soon as possible.

If you’re unsure whether you have a UTI or an STI, contact Better2Know to learn more about our services and take the first step towards protecting your sexual health. Our team of Sexual Health Advisors can discuss your symptoms with you so you can make the best possible decision for you and your health.

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