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Is it a UTI infection…or is it chlamydia?

Know if UTI symptoms in women are an STD

Diagnose possible STD symptoms today

UTI vs. STD: An Overview

A UTI infection has many of the same symptoms as common STDs chlamydia and gonorrhea. And interestingly, both UTI infections and STDs can be triggered by sex, especially in younger women.

While only STD and chlamydia testing will let you know for sure which one you have, it’s a good idea to know as much as you can about the differences between the two.

How Does Sex Affect UTI Infections?

It’s no secret that sex can lead to chlamydia and other STDs, but many people don’t realize that sex can trigger UTI infections. Here’s why:

  • Female anatomy. Women have shorter urethras compared to men. This anatomical difference makes it easier for the bacteria to travel to the bladder and cause an infection.
  • Movement. UTI infections happen when bacteria get in the urinary tract. The more foreign objects and substances come in contact with the urethra, the more opportunities bacteria have to spread. That’s why sex and use of spermicides can lead to UTI infections in women.
  • Certain birth control methods. The use of diaphragms or spermicidal agents can increase the likelihood of contracting a UTI. Keep in mind that these methods don't protect against common STDs like chlamydia.

Chlamydia Symptoms vs. UTI Symptoms

Common chlamydia symptoms in women include:

  • Painful urination
  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Low-grade fever

UTI symptoms may include:

  • Painful urination
  • A strong, persistant need to urinate
  • Pevlic pain in women
  • Low-grade fever

Based on the symptoms, it can be difficult it differentiate between these two ailments, especially if you have never experienced a UTI before.

Should I Get STD Testing or UTI Infection Testing?

STD symptoms and chlamydia symptoms can look a lot like UTI symptoms. Both conditions can cause abdominal or stomach pain, along with painful urination. When experiencing possible chlamydia or STD symptoms, it's critical to get tested for STDs, since untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause infertility in women.

The tricky thing is that chlamydia symptoms (which also include vaginal discharge, nausea, fever, and spotting) often don’t show up. At all. That means that a lot of people with chlamydia never get the STD testing they need. And to make things even more confusing, chlamydia symptoms often mimic symptoms of gonorrhea, another common and potenitally harmful STD.

Whether you have symptoms of an STD or a UTI infection, it’s important to seek medical care. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to long-term complications like infertility or ectopic pregnancies. Untreated UTI infections can become painful and lead to kidney complications. Luckily, both are fairly common conditions and can be cured with antibiotics, but a proper diagnosis is the first step to a cure.


Written and researched by Abby Morgan


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