UTI vs Chlamydia Infections: Difference and Comparison

Different types of infections can occur along the urinary tract and reproductive organs. The similarities between the symptoms of STDs and UTIs make them difficult to recognize.

Mistaking UTIs for STDs and vice versa can lead to severe complications.

UTIs and Chlamydia are both bacterial diseases that can put one’s life at risk. The signs of these can be confusing. Therefore, it is vital to check the symptoms’ timing and their changes over time.

Women are more vulnerable to such infections and diseases than men.

Key Takeaways

  1. UTIs are bacterial infections in the urinary system, while Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
  2. UTI symptoms include pain during urination, frequent urination, and lower abdominal pain; Chlamydia presents no symptoms but can cause pain during sex, abnormal discharge, and pelvic pain.
  3. UTIs are treated with antibiotics targeting specific bacteria, while Chlamydia is treated with a single dose of antibiotics like azithromycin.

UTI vs Chlamydia Infections

The difference between UTI and Chlamydia is that E. Coli bacteria cause the former while the latter is due to Chlamydia Trachomatis. Both conditions are treatable. Burning sensation and pain while urination and abdominal pain are symptoms that both infections have in common.

UTI vs Chlamydia Infections

Urinary tract infections arise when bacteria enter the urethra and travel to the bladder. It is possible for the different parts of the urinary tract to be infected.

Lifestyle and other factors can contribute to such infections. When the bacteria from the anus gets into the urethra, one is infected. It is necessary to wipe down the genital area every time after urination.

Chlamydia is a common infection that is seen mostly among young women. It can be resolved within weeks after diagnosis. Safe sex and regular tests can prevent this disease. Using antibiotics like Azithromycin and Doxycycline are used for treatment.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonUTIChlamydia Infections
TransmissionNot SexuallySexually
Bacteria Escherichia ColiChlamydia Trachomatis
Site Urinary TractCervix and genital tracts
DiagnosisUrine CultureNAAT tests
Transmission to foetusNever Possible

What is UTI?

UTI, or Urinary Tract Infection, is an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system. Kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra can be affected by this infection. This infection is prevalent in women. In many people, reoccurrence is also reported.

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The symptoms of UTI are fever, pain in the abdomen, tiredness, severe changes in your urine, and a burning sensation while urinating. Also, a constant urge to urinate and little urine indicates the infection.

UTIs can be classified based on their occurrence site. Cystitis happens in the bladder. Pyelonephritis is when kidneys are infected, and Urethritis occurs at the urethra.

The common cause of UTIs is a lack of proper hygiene. Since the urethras are shorter in women, the bacteria that reach the urethra move faster to the bladder to form the infection.

Genetic causes can also contribute to UTIs. Hormone changes, kidney stones, multiple sclerosis, or something that affects urine flow can contribute to such infections.

Drink plenty of water or fruit juices like cranberry juice to prevent UTIs. Including vitamin C in the diet can also reduce the risk of this infection.

Don’t hold the urine for a long time after the urge is felt. Wipe the genital area once after using the toilet, and before and after sex, cleanse the area to keep the infection away.

Antibiotic treatment is followed to cure this infection. Following such treatments also have its side effects like a vaginal Candida infection.

The body itself can manage uncomplicated UTIs. Before the condition worsens, it is best to seek medical advice.


What is Chlamydia Infection?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease primarily seen in women. This STI doesn’t have evident symptoms in most cases. Usually, the signals of chlamydia come a week after the intercourse.

For women, the symptoms include vaginal discharge with a foul odour, painful and abnormal periods, pain while intercourse, fever, abdominal pain, itching, burning sensation, and pain while urinating.

The symptoms in men include abnormal discharge from the penis, a burning sensation around the penis, itching, and pain or swelling around the testicles.

Chlamydia can occur in body parts like the anus, throat, and eyes. Discomfort and abnormalities in these areas also indicate the disease.

Having sex without a condom or sharing sex toys can transmit the disease from an infected person to another individual. It can also be transmitted from a mother to a child during pregnancy.

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Chlamydia can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It can pass even through genital contact. One can prevent the disease by having safe sex.

Use a condom or dental dam. Clean sex toys before and after use. Take regular tests to prevent the spread.

This disease is treatable using antibiotics. It is key to treat chlamydia, as if untreated, it can have serious repercussions. Untreated chlamydia in women can lead to PID; in men, it can cause pain in the testicles.

People having chlamydia are more prone to HIV. This disease has certain complications, like inflammation of the testicles in men and reactive arthritis. Among women, pregnancy complications are seen as a result of untreated chlamydia.


Main Differences Between UTI and Chlamydia Infections

  1. UTIs don’t make a difference in vaginal or penile discharge. But the changes in discharge are a strong sign of chlamydia.
  2. UTIs are caused by gastrointestinal bacteria, while chlamydia occurs due to Chlamydia Trachomatis bacteria.
  3. Chlamydia is passed on through sexual intercourse, but UTIs cannot be transmitted through sex.
  4. UTIs can be diagnosed by urine culture, whereas chlamydia is diagnosed using NAAT tests from swabs of the cervix.
  5. UTIs show a range of symptoms, but chlamydia doesn’t necessarily have strong symptoms.
Difference Between UTI and Chlamydia Infections
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrurol.2010.190
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/nri1551

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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