Urinary tract infections and yeast infections are often associated with each other. This is because they are conditions that primarily occur in women. Also, they are both located in the vaginal area. However, as similar as these two conditions are, they are completely separate in their definitions and causes.
The main goal of the urinary system is to remove waste from the circulating blood and excrete it from your body. The process starts in the kidneys, where the blood is put through a filtration process. Once the urea, excess water and other impurities are filtered from the blood, they are used to create urine. The urine is then sent through each kidney’s ureter to the bladder. The bladder acts as a storage facility for the urine. When it is full, it sends the urine through the urethra out of the body.
Urinary Tract Infections
Oftentimes, bacteria that are normally found in the stool, in the intestinal tract or on the skin can be spread into the urinary system through the urethra. Normally, your immune system handles these situations and kills the bacteria before it can have any adverse effects. However, when your immune system does not handle the bacteria, they begin to colonize in the urinary system, reproducing and spreading up the urinary tract. The frequent urge to urinate, dark urine or painful urination is all signs of urinary tract infection.
Yeast infections (also called vaginitis) are inflammations of the vagina and/or vulva caused by the fungus Candida (also called yeast). They are caused when there is an introduction of new bacteria in the vagina or if there is an increase in the ratio of yeast to regular bacteria in the vagina. Symptoms include burning or soreness in the vagina. You may also experience pain when you try to have intercourse. In some cases, there is even a white, thick discharge that is often compared to cottage cheese.
Relationship between UTIs and Yeast Infections
Urinary tract infections and yeast infections have several areas where they have similarities. First is the location. The vulva is where the urethra is located and it is also the site of a yeast infections. Also, taking antibiotics for a urinary tract infection may kill some of the bacteria that are normally present in the vagina. This causes an increase in the yeast to bacteria ratio and leads to a yeast infection. In some cases, symptoms of urinary tract infections can be mistaken for yeast infections because the symptoms can be quite similar.
With all the similarities between a yeast infection and a urinary tract infection, they can be prevented by similar means. Start by practicing good hygiene. Keep your genitals clean and dry. Wash them at least once a day with mild soap and water. Stay away from soaps with dyes or fragrances as they can cause irritation to the urethra or disrupt the pH balance of the vagina. You should also maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to boost your immunity and prevent infection.