UTIs happen when bacteria travel into the urinary system. Your body can usually fight off bacteria. But sometimes, the immune system gets overwhelmed. This allows bacteria to grow and spread, causing UTI symptoms like:
Some of these common symptoms can easily be confused with other conditions. If you have any of the above—or other uncomfortable symptoms in the genital area—talk to a medical provider. They can help you figure out what’s going on.
Otherwise, here are a few ways to tell if your symptoms are caused by a UTI vs. something else. Plus, how to get antibiotics for UTI online with some help from Dr. B.
The urinary tract includes the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys. Bladder infections (cystitis) are the most common type of UTI. Common signs that the bladder is infected include:
A yeast infection in the vagina or penis can sometimes be confused with a UTI. But yeast infections typically cause different symptoms that include:
Antibiotics can impact bacteria in the vagina and make a yeast infection more likely. Talk to your medical provider if you develop vaginal symptoms after starting any antibiotics. And if you need to treat a UTI and yeast infection at the same time, Dr. B can help!
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is caused by an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the vagina. It shares symptoms with yeast infections (like vaginal discomfort) and the painful burning of a UTI. So BV can feel like a UTI. But the more prominent BV symptoms include:
If you have a UTI and BV at the same time, Dr. B can help you figure out how to treat BV and UTI together with prescription antibiotics. Learn more here.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can affect people with penises and vaginas. Symptoms of a chlamydia infection include:
Chlamydia doesn’t always cause symptoms or may present only mild symptoms. But even in mild cases, chlamydia can cause serious long-term problems—especially for those assigned female at birth (AFAB). Complications include infertility, increased risk of miscarriage and a more widespread infection.
That’s why it’s important to get tested for STIs regularly and to use a barrier method of birth control, like condoms. And if one sexual partner has chlamydia, both partners should be treated to prevent retransmission.
UTIs and STDs/STIs can both cause symptoms like burning with urination and pelvic pain. But UTIs typically don’t cause any discharge from the penis or vagina. They also don’t cause itching, bumps, sores or blisters around the genitals, as many STIs do.
But STIs don’t always cause symptoms. And technically, an STI can cause a UTI if it moves into the urinary system. If you’re unsure about the cause of your symptoms, talk to a medical provider.
A kidney infection is a type of UTI that requires prompt treatment. Without treatment, the infection can spread further or cause permanent kidney damage or kidney disease. Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
A kidney stone is a small pebble that forms in the kidneys. As the stone travels down the urinary system, it can get stuck in a ureter or the urethra, causing intense pain and other symptoms. A kidney stone can also block urine. So while a kidney stone is not a UTI, it can cause UTIs by blocking or slowing urine flow.
Symptoms of a kidney stone depend on where the stone(s) are and how big they are. But common kidney stone symptoms include:
If you have questions about whether your symptoms are caused by a UTI or something else, Dr. B can help! Most conditions that cause painful, burning urination or other pelvic symptoms can be treated with prescription medications. And Dr. B can help you get UTI antibiotics online—no phone or video call required.
First, fill out our online health assessment. A licensed medical provider will review your health history and symptoms. If they determine that an online UTI prescription is appropriate, they’ll send it to your chosen local pharmacy.
Dr. B offers several UTI medicines. So you can get UTI pills and excellent advice with one $15 health assessment. Start today.
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