Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Yeast Infection are two different types of infections that can affect the urinary tract. Men and women are both vulnerable, but they are more common in women. One major difference in the symptoms is the presence of white discharge with an abnormal odor in the case of yeast infection.
|Description||Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections of any part of urinary tract which includes the urethra, bladder, ureters, or the kidneys||Yeast infections affect different parts of the body in different ways. It may affect the mouth, esophagus, vagina, skin, and bloodstream. While comparing with UTI we are talking about vaginitis (vaginal)|
|Causal Agent||Mostly E. coli bacteria, other bacteria, viruses or fungi may rarely be the cause.||Fungus called Candida albicans|
|Risk Factors||After sexual activity or when using a diaphragm for birth control, menopause, diabetes, enlarged prostate, congenital urinary tract abnormalities, and inflammation, patients using catheter, after urinary surgery||Immunosuppressive drugs, after chemotherapy, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, while taking oral contraceptives, use of douches or perfumed vaginal hygiene sprays, after sexual intercourse with an infected partner|
|Symptoms||Lower urinary tract infection (aka simple cystitis) — burning with urination and having to urinate frequently; no white discharge. Upper urinary tract infection (aka pyelonephritis) — flank pain, fever, or nausea and vomiting.||Vaginitis - Itching or soreness in the vagina. Pain or burning while urinating. Presence of white discharge with an abnormal odor.|
|Medication||Antibiotics like nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin, Augmentin, doxycycline, and fluoroquinolones.||Antifungal drugs like antimycotics or clotrimazole, topical nystatin, fluconazole, and topical ketoconazole.|
What it means
What is UTI or Urinary Tract Infection?
UTI is a bacterial infection that affects part of the urinary tract. When it affects the lower urinary tract it is known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection) and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).
What is an Yeast Infection?
Yeast is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina. Our immune system normally keeps the growth and proliferation of yeast in check but when it fails, infection may occur. Yeast infection is also known as candidiasis, candidosis, moniliasis, or oidiomycosis. Commonly found forms include oral thrush and vaginitis. Severe form of Candidiasis is referred to as candidemia and it can occur in pharynx, esophagus and skin.
The symptoms of UTI can be categorized in two parts: lower and upper urinary tract infections.
Lower urinary tract infection is also referred to as a bladder infection. Symptoms include:
- Burning with urination
- Having to urinate frequently (or an urge to urinate) in the absence of vaginal discharge
- Pain above the pubic bone or in the lower back
- Cloudy or bloody urine, which may have a foul or strong odor
- Low fever
Upper urinary tract infection or pyelonephritis symptoms include:
- Flank pain
- Nausea and vomiting in addition to the symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection.
If the infection travels to the kidney then symptoms include:
- Severe abdominal pain (sometimes)
- Chills, hot-cold feeling, or night sweats
- Fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Flushed, warm, or reddened skin
Yeast Infection Symptoms
Symptoms of yeast infection in the vagina/penis:
- Red patchy sores near the head of the penis for men
- Severe itching with a burning sensation
- Severe itching and burning in the vagina
- White discharge
- Irritation and soreness in the vulva
Symptoms of yeast infection in other parts of the body:
- Thrush is commonly seen in infants when the tongue gets coated with a white layer. It is not considered abnormal in infants unless it lasts longer than a couple of weeks.
- Eruptions on skin with redness, itching and discomfort
- Discomfort, soreness, and eruptions in the pharynx, esophagus.
How to Tell the Difference Between UTI and Yeast Infection
In the following video, Dr. Pam Brar explains the primary symptoms of yeast infection and how they are different from the symptoms of a urinary tract infection:
Who can get it?
UTI and yeast infection are more common in females because of their anatomy, short Urethra.
- UTI's are common in sexually active women.
- Urinary catheterization increases the risk for urinary tract infections.
- A predisposition for bladder infections may run in families.
- Anatomic, functional, or metabolic abnormalities
- Voiding dysfunction, not being able to completely empty urine from the bladder.
Yeast Infection is common in:
- In immunocompetent persons, those who have a weakened or undeveloped immune system
- Cancer patients, after chemotherapy
- People who have undergone transplants
- AIDS patients
- Non-trauma emergency surgery patients.
- Pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives have been reported as risk factors.
- Diabetes mellitus and the use of anti-bacterial antibiotics are also linked to an increased incidence of yeast infections.
- Diet high in simple carbohydrates has been found to affect rates of oral candidiases.
- Hormone replacement therapy and infertility treatments may also be predisposing factors.
- Wearing wet swimwear for long periods of time is also believed to be a risk factor.
Treatment for UTI
UTI is treated with nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Commonly used antibiotics include trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin, Augmentin, doxycycline, and fluoroquinolones. Phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Pyridium) may be given to relieve the burning pain and urgent need to urinate.
Yeast Infection Treatment
Yeast infection is commonly treated with antimycotics, antifungal drugs like topical clotrimazole, topical nystatin, fluconazole, and topical ketoconazol. For vaginal infection a one-time dose of fluconazole (150-mg tablet taken orally) is very effective. In severe infections amphotericin B, caspofungin, or voriconazole may be used.