Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are mostly mistaken by people as the same — even though they are not.
This misconception is often due to the fact that they have similar symptoms which include frequent urination, painful urination, foul-smelling urine, cloudy or dark urine, and pelvic pain.
STDs are diseases spread from one person to another through sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual contact. HIV, chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, some forms of hepatitis, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are all STDs.
UTIs, on the other hand, are infections in any part of your urinary system which includes your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. UTIs occur when bacteria accumulates in any of these areas.
Although the two diseases have almost similar symptoms, there are unique differences between them.
Below are the major differences between STDs and UTIs.
1. STDs are majorly caused by sex while UTIs are caused by sex and other factors.
Apart from sex; diabetes, poor hygiene, kidney stones, use of tampons, menopause can be the cause of UTIs.
However, skin-to-skin contact, sharing of the syringe, childbirth, and breastfeeding can also cause STDs.
2. Bacteria is responsible for UTIs while STDs are caused by bacteria, viruses, and several other micro-organisms.
Bacteria, virus, parasites, and other microorganisms cause STDs but only bacteria causes UTIs.
3. UTIs affect just the urinary system but STDs affect more
The urinary system which includes the kidney, ureters, bladder, and urethra are the parts mostly affected when you have UTIs.
However, STDs affect the genitals, reproductive tract, urinary tract, oral cavity, anus, and mature to attack other organs and systems in worst cases.
4. Women are more at risk of UTIs
Due to their shorter urethra, women are more at risk of UTIs than men. However, both men and women can have STDs as long as there is unprotected sex and skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
5. UTIs are curable, STDs aren’t in some cases
If detected early, UTIs can be cured within 2 to 3 days of treatment while STDs take a longer time to be cured.
Also, STDs caused by virus-like herpes or HIV are incurable.
If you have any of the symptoms of a possible STD or UTI, it is advisable to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.