Urinary tract infections (UTI's) and bacterial vaginosis are two different conditions that can cause similar symptoms. The burning sensation you feel during urination or intercourse is similar between UTI's and BV, but there are also some differences in their causes and treatments. In this article, we'll discuss these similarities and differences so you can know what's going on with your body if you think you have a UTI or BV.
Result of Imbalance
BV is an infection of the vagina and is a result of an imbalance of natural bacteria that are present in the vagina. BV is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It does not cause symptoms to appear until sometime after you've had sex, so it can be hard to know for sure if something is wrong with your body.
BV has been linked to other health issues, like urinary tract infections or yeast infections; however, these conditions do not always go hand-in-hand with each other.
You may have heard of "burning" or "stinging" when you urinate. This is actually a common symptom of UTI's, which are caused by bacteria in the bladder. The burning sensation you feel during urination or intercourse is similar between UTI's and BV (bacterial vaginosis), but they do not always occur at the same time.
Another way to tell if your symptoms are caused by more than one infection is if they come and go on their own; sometimes people get both infections at once—the symptoms will come back after being gone for a while.
Caused by Bacteria
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that get inside your bladder through the urethra. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a type of bacterial infection in the vagina and can cause symptoms that are similar to UTIs.
- You may have symptoms if you have an infection in your urinary tract, including:
- Painful urination or urgency to urinate
- Blood in urine (dizziness) or blood in stool or both
Treated with Antibiotics
Both conditions are typically treated with antibiotics to lower the infection risk.
Antibiotics may be used to treat both UTIs and BV; however, they're not always necessary in each case. The reason for this is that it's possible that you have an overgrowth of bacteria on your skin (called “leaky gut”) instead of an actual infection. This can lead to symptoms like nausea, weight loss or bloating due to food sensitivities or allergies—and sometimes even more serious health problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you experience these side effects after taking antibiotics for urinary tract infections or bacterial vaginosis, there's a chance that you don't need them for either condition anyway.
You may have heard that douching is a good way to prevent or treat urinary tract infections. This is not true. In fact, it can actually make your symptoms worse.
Douching can cause irritation in the vagina and upset the natural balance of bacteria in there, leading to infections like BV or UTIs. It's important not to do this at all—especially if you're pregnant or trying for a baby.
The best way to reduce your risk of getting an infection from BV is by practicing good hygiene habits: washing your hands after using the bathroom (and before eating), wiping down any surfaces where you've touched yourself with toilet paper, using condoms when having sex (or asking partners if they're on birth control) and avoiding sex acts that involve dirty fingers touching each other's genitals unless they've been washed first."
Diagnosing UTIs by checking urine.
To diagnose UTIs, doctors look for symptoms and examine urine samples.
To detect the presence of a UTI:
- Urine tests are used to identify germs in your urine that can cause infection. A doctor will take a sample of your urine and send it off to a lab for testing. The results will tell you whether there are bacteria in your body and how many germs there are, as well as what type of bacteria they are (E. coli or Staphylococcus). Doctors also use this test to determine if you need treatment for an infection before antibiotics do any good at all (this is called "culture proven").
Several Ways to Treat a UTI
You can treat urinary tract infections by drinking plenty of water, using a heating pad, or taking antibiotics.
- Drink lots of fluids to make sure that your kidneys are working properly.
- Use a heating pad on your abdomen and lower back for 20 minutes at a time until you feel better or have passed the infection (usually 3-5 days). If there's no improvement after one week, see your doctor again because this could mean something more serious than just an uncomfortably warm toilet seat.
- Take two different antibiotics at once—one that kills both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria (such as ampicillin), plus another antibiotic with broader spectrum coverage against aerobic bacteria like E. coli O157:H7 (ceftriaxone) or some strains of S. pneumoniae such as HSP60. This combination works best because it has both types of coverage needed when treating UTIs in women who are pregnant; however if none work then use whichever one works best first before trying another type later down stream if necessary.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common condition, and it may be asymptomatic. In fact, many women who have contracted BV may not notice any symptoms at all due to it being non-active sometimes. Symptoms include:
- Sensitive skin
- Tenderness and irritation in the genital area
- A foul odor from discharge from the vagina
- Painful urination.
- White discharge from your vagina.
- Foul smell coming from your vagina.
- Burning sensation during urination or intercourse, especially around the vaginal area (or in general). If you have this symptom, it's important to see a doctor who can rule out other causes of discomfort and rule out conditions like UTIs, which are more common than BV and might be causing pain in addition to making you notice that something else is wrong with how much urine comes out of your body each day.
Differences and Similarities of UTI and BV
UTI's are caused by bacteria that get inside your bladder through the urethra. They can be passed from one person to another during sexual contact or during vaginal birth. UTIs are also more common in women who have had frequent sex partners and/or douches (pills that clean out your vagina).
BV is an infection of the vagina (the lower part of your body between your legs) caused by an imbalance of natural bacteria that are present in the vagina. Most cases of BV go away on their own over time without treatment; however, some people need medicine to help relieve symptoms like discharge and burning pain during sex..
That’s all for now. I hope this article has helped you understand the differences between UTI's and BV, so that you can make a more informed decision when it comes time to treat your infection.