Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and urinary tract infections (UTIs) are two distinct conditions. The majority of people have questioned if UTI and STDs are related. Bacteria are frequently to blame for urinary tract infections. Parasites, such as the Schistosoma haematobium is know also to cause a urinary tract infection called Bilharzia. However, a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites, are responsible for STDs. Additionally, it has been discovered that fungi from the candida species can cause UTI, particularly in those with weakened immune systems.   There maybe  similar symptoms of UTI and STIs but the difference is still clear. 

UTI Vs STD differences
Photo by Jose Phiri. A discharge from male STI

While sexual activity is the mechanism of transmission for STDs, it cannot cause UTIs.  In this post I will bring out all the important differences in terms of causes, symptoms, and treatment of  UTI Vs STDs  with frequently asked questions. After reading this article you will be able to tell if you have either of them or both. 

What are the Causes of UTI and STDs

An infection involving the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra is referred to as a UTI. While STDs are a sickness brought on by a pathogens that attacks the reproductive or sexual organs. 

UTIs are frequently caused by bacteria like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas species, and Proteus, but STDs are typically brought on by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Treponema pallidum, Trichomonas vaginalis, HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis, HSV type 2, Haemophilus ducrey, and Mycoplasma genitalium. 

What are The symptoms of UTI and STD

UTI general signs and symptoms include:

  •  feeling of scorching heat when urinating
  • back aches
  • increased urination frequency
  • Fever (increased body temperature)
  • stomach aches 
  • Urine that is highly concentrated and has a strong scent could be caused by other factors and is not always indicative of a UTI.
  • Blood in urine 

The following list of sexually transmitted disease (STD) symptoms is general:

  • Vaginal or urethral discharge: Discharge can be frothy and odorous, lighter, think, brownish or white in color.
  • unpleasant urination (Pain or irritation when passing urine)
  • females with lower abdominal pain
  • Irritations in the genital areas
  • Rash warts on the privates.

UTI Vs STD. What are the differences?

To differentiate Urinary tract infection from sexually transmitted infections we compiled the  following 10 points: 

1. While UTIs cannot be contracted through sexual contact, STDs can 

2. No UTI can result in genital warts, but an STD called syphilis can.

3. While a UTI cannot always infect the anus or oral cavity, there are instances in which an STD can affect the mouth or anus.

4. Only STDs can result in pus discharge from the penis or vagina; urinary tract infections cannot.

5. Contrary to STDs, which can result in deafness and premature birth, urinary tract infections often do not complicate pregnancy for the unborn child.

6. While STDs can affect external tissue like the skin of the penis in cases of syphilis, chancroid, and Herpes simplex virus type 2, UTIs affect interior tissue or the urinary system.

7. While UTIs are frequent in children, STDs are more common in sexually active adults, especially those between the ages of 15 and 24. 

8. Most of the time, STDs do not result in fever, although UTIs frequently do. 

9. Back discomfort is a symptom of UTI in adults but not of STDs.

10. Some urinary tract infections, particularly in healthy adults, can be treated without the use of medication, but no STD can be treated without medication. 

Questions you may ask about UTI Vs STD

Do UTIs lead to STDs?

No, those infections are caused by distinct microbes. Even while bacteria are to blame for both STDs and UTIs, the particular bacteria that causes each of them varies. 

Can I Have Both An STD And An UTI?

Yes. They can both be present at the same moment. For instance, a separate type of bacterium can cause gonorrhea and a urinary tract infection in your bladder or kidneys. 

Can medications for UTIs treat STDs?

Yes. A few STDs and UTIs can be treated with antibiotics like ceftriaxone.

What STDs are similar to UTIs?

Chlamydia. This STI might make people urinate more frequently and feel burning when they release urine.

Can a woman give a man a UTI?

No, UTIs do not spread from person to person.

Can you give your partner a UTI?

No. Your partner cannot catch UTI from you.

Which antibiotic can treat STDs?

Bacteria that cause STDs can be killed by ceftriaxone, azithromycin, and benzathine penicillin.

Yeast infection in the vaginal area—UTI or STD?

Neither of the above. A vaginal yeast infection develops on the vagina, a tubular organ. Without having intercourse, you still risk getting a yeast infection.

How are  STDs and UTIs Treated?

Some antibiotics are effective against both STDs and UTIs. Take ceftriaxone as an illustration. 
Depending on the etiology determined by laboratory tests, UTIs are treated with anti-microbials. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections, such as amoxicillin, cotrimoxazole, metronidazole, Praziquantel (for bilhazia) and Azithromycin.

Prevention of UTI and  STD

The best approach to prevent STDs is to use condoms and receive treatment with your partner, although there is no single strategy to prevent UTIs. 
Using drugs like Azithromycin  taken before or after sex can help prevent STD
Given that feces are a prominent cause of UTI in kids, mothers are recommended not to let kids wear soiled diapers for too long. 
Do not keep urine for too long because it may increase chances of developing kidney infection. 

Which STI are similar to UTIs

Through symptoms you may mistake an STI with UTI. The symptom of burning sensation when urinating occurs both in chlamydia gonorrhea which can also occur in UTI. Some other causes for burning sensation on urination may include irritation by spermicides or  sex lubricant.

Take Home message.

The main distinction between UTIs and STDs is that whereas STDs are spread through sexual activity, UTIs are not. Serious kidney infections require a 5- to 7-day course of UTI treatment, and the type of STD will determine how long it takes to treat.

Read next: 5 Causes of weak erection