Is there a difference between a UTI and a yeast infection?
UTIs and yeast infections are not the same thing, but they are related. Have you experienced the vicious cycle that follows UTI treatment? Talk about kicking a girl while she’s down.
It happens all too often that just when your UTI symptoms have subsided upon finishing your cycle of antibiotics, you notice itchiness, burning, and inflammation that heralds the arrival of your next problem: a yeast infection. Now you either need more treatment, ranging from a prescription of Diflucan to clear up your yeast infection or the (awful) nightly insertions of Monistat Yeast Infection Treatment for a week. At this point, your UTI has dragged out into a multi-week epic journey.
There’s an easy explanation for why this happens. While antibiotics are super effective at clearing out the bacteria that cause UTIs, the broad range antibiotics prescribed for UTIs don’t effectively distinguish between the good bacteria from the bad. You need the good bacteria to balance the pH of your vagina and keep yeast (which normally lives in small numbers in your vagina) from growing out of control.
So now you’re in a bind: antibiotics are the only treatment for a UTI, and a UTI isn’t something you can ignore. But antibiotics will often leave you with another ailment you need a physician's help to clear up. So what can you do?
If you need to take antibiotics for a UTI, you can do your best to give your body's good bacteria an extra boost by eating yogurt with live cultures or taking probiotics containing Lactobacillus acidophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus is an organism that normally lives in your vagina—one of the “good guys.” Eating yogurt or consuming probiotics may help you replenish your vagina with protective organisms, hopefully preventing a yeast infection.
The best place to start, though, is prevention. Stay on top of your preventive care by doing everything you can to avoid a UTI in the first place:
- Stay well hydrated—your body’s best natural defense against bacteria adhering to your urinary tract is to urinate frequently.
- Do not hold your urine. Go to the bathroom regularly to help flush bacteria. Be sure to wipe from front to back to avoid moving bacteria closer to your urethra.
- Urinate promptly after having sex.
- Try to avoid or dramatically limit consuming items which increase your bladder pH. This includes sugar, processed and pre-packaged ready-made items, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and other animal protein, fish, lots of corn, wheat, and potatoes.
- Take the over-the-counter supplement, Uqora, a simple drink mix designed to fight off bacteria and improve urinary health when you need it most, like after sex or prolonged exercise. Uqora’s active ingredients hinder bacteria from adhering to the urethral wall which is extremely helpful in preventing infections. Additionally, Uqora also helps you flush out bacteria quickly and supports the immune system with fighting off UTI’s.
Heading into the antibiotic zone? Goodluck and godspeed, friends.