For both men and women, if you have pain or burning when you urinate, it may be a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI occurs when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up into your bladder. Most UTIs can be easily taken care of. Because this tends to be an awkward subject to talk about, getting a straight answer can be difficult. So, here’s a look at four common UTI-related misconceptions:
1. UTIs are the same as yeast infections.
Though the symptoms are similar, UTIs and yeast infections are not the same. UTIs occur when you get bacteria into your urinary system, and antibiotics are usually prescribed for UTIs. Yeast infections occur when too much of the fungus Candida builds up on your skin, and antifungal medications are often used to treat yeast infections.
2. Only women can get UTIs.
3. If you get frequent UTIs, stop having sex.
Women are more likely to have a UTI after sex than men. For women, urinating before and especially after sexual activity helps get rid of UTI-causing bacteria. For women who have recurrent UTIs after sex, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to take after sex.
4. Cranberry juice can prevent UTIs.
- Keeping well hydrated and urinating regularly
- Taking showers instead of baths
- Minimizing douching, sprays or powders in the genital area
- Training girls to wipe front to back on the toilet
See your doctor for any UTI symptom that is severe or concerning. Your doctor can determine if a UTI, yeast infection or another illness is causing your symptoms and determine the best treatment for you.
Reviewed by Brian Cohen, MD, MPH, FACS, a urologist with Mission Urology.