Painful urination is an alarming symptom to most people. Urinary tract infections are often accompanied by a burning sensation during urination, and discomfort around the abdomen. This is also true of many sexually transmitted diseases. The shared symptoms of the two can cause anxiety, but there are some ways to get an idea of whether or not your symptoms are caused by an STD.
UTIs affect the urinary tract, making urination painful or strained. They can also lead to more frequent urination, or a failure to pass urine. Because STDs affect the genital region, they can have similar effects. Some of the shared symptoms include:
- Dark or cloudy urine
- Pain or discomfort during urination
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- More frequent urination
- Difference in discharge
You’ll notice that all of these revolve around the urethra, bladder and kidneys. There are other symptoms that can help you differentiate between the two, since they are not symptomatic of UTIs. Check those to see if it’s more likely that you have a UTI from intercourse or an STD.
STDs Similar to UTIs
A burning pain during urination is a symptom common among STDs. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, gential herpes and trichomoniasis can all cause discomfort during urination. Though not all STDs are curable, many of them are, and those without a cure can be treated and managed. Chlamydia is treated with prescription antibiotics, and can be cured. Gonorrhea can also be cured, and the treatment is through antibiotics. Some strains have emerged that are resistant to antibiotics, however. Trichomoniasis can be cured through antibiotics, typically through one or two doses. There is no cure for genital herpes, but through an antiviral, it can be controlled, letting you avoid outbreaks. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can begin treatment to cure or reduce the effects of any potential STD. You may even rule out STDs altogether and find you have a UTI. If you often find yourself experiencing the discomfort of a UTI, look into chronic UTI treatment with probiotics.
How to Tell the Difference Between the Two
When you have discomfort related to urination, there’s a possibility it could be an STD or a UTI. There are some symptoms that are only associated with STDs, however. The presence of any of these symptoms can help you rule out a UTI as the cause of your infection:
- Blisters in the genital region
- Sore throat
- Vaginal rash
- Swollen joints
- Pain during sex
- Spotting outside of menstruation
Having any of these symptoms suggests your problem is likely an STD and not a UTI. However, even if you have none of these, you could still potentially have an STD. Many of them are asymptomatic and can go unnoticed for a while. The best option moving forward is to get tested, if there’s any chance at all you could have an STD. Testing for STDs is recommended as part of routine healthcare, so be sure to take care of that aspect of your health for your own health and the health of your sexual partners.
Concern over whether you may have an STD can be very stressful. Ignoring discomfort and putting off the inevitable will only make things worse in the long run. Pay close attention to your symptoms and get tested as soon as possible. If you are prone to UTIs, like many women are, learn how to prevent a UTI and avoid future anxiety and concerns.
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