Difference Between UTI and Chlamydia Infections (With Table)

There are different types of infections that can occur along the urinary tract and reproductive organs. The similarities of the symptoms in STDs and UTIs make it difficult to recognize. Mistaking UTIs for STDs and vice versa can lead to serious 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 important to check the timing of the symptoms, and it’s changed over time. Women are more vulnerable to such infections and diseases than men.

UTI vs Chlamydia Infections

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

Urinary tract infections arise when bacteria get into the urethra and travels 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 is used for treatment.

Comparison Table Between UTI and Chlamydia Infections

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 at 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.

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

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

The common cause for UTIs is a lack of proper hygiene. Since 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, before and after sex cleanse the area to keep the infection away.

Antibiotic treatment is generally followed for curing this infection. Following such treatments also have its side effects like a vaginal Candida infection. Uncomplicated UTIs can be managed by the body itself. Before the condition worsens, it is best to seek medical advice.

What is Chlamydia Infections?

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease mostly 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 bad 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, burning sensation around the penis, itching, and pain or swelling around 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 lead to transmission of the disease from an infected person to another individual. It can also be transmitted from a mother to child during pregnancy.

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, and in men, it can cause pain in testicles.

People having chlamydia are more prone to HIV. There are certain complications for this disease, like inflammation of 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 differences 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 generally show a range of symptoms, but chlamydia doesn’t necessarily have strong symptoms.

Conclusion

The subtle but significant difference between UTI and Chlamydia should be observed diligently before undergoing any treatments. Wrong treatment practices can lead to future problems. Hormonal changes during pregnancy shouldn’t be left carelessly. Perform tests for the well-being of both the child and the mother.

Embarrassment over STDs and UTIs and not finding the required treatment can pave the way for severe conditions. Remember to follow the preventive measures to maintain a healthy life.

References

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrurol.2010.190
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/nri1551
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