Is it a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or an Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)?

Written by: Amy McConkey, NP-C

 

We see lots of patients who have symptoms of a urinary tract infection but also are worried they may have a sexually transmitted infection. It is important to distinguish the difference between the two in order to be treated correctly.

 

Many people delay seeking care for symptoms of urinary tract infections and/or sexually transmitted infections because they may feel embarrassed.  Don’t let this stop you from being screened. You need to be seen by a medical professional and diagnosed correctly.

 

Urgency (the feeling of needing to urinate), frequency (having to urinate over and over), and pain with urination can be seen in both infections.  In some cases, patients with STIs may not have any symptoms.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections are pain in the bladder area during urination or sexual activity, strong-smelling urine, changes in the way urine looks, fever, and/or feeling like your bladder doesn’t empty.  Having a UTI can also make you feel overall fatigued or just not like normal.

 

Symptoms of sexually transmitted infections are very similar to those of a UTI.  In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, a person may also experience unusual discharge, itching, burning, or fever.

 

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between UTIs and STIs because they have similar symptoms. It is important to be seen and tested for both because correct treatment, in a timely manner, can prevent complications and get you feeling better quicker.

 

 

References for above: https://digscholarship.unco.edu/capstones/25/

“So, I have this discharge…”

If you find yourself saying this lately, you are not alone!

At Obria Medical Clinics, we see many women clients with a complaint of vaginal discharge. The discharge complaint is common in women’s health and may warrant a trip to the clinic. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states, “Most women will have a vaginal infection, characterized by discharge, itching, or odor, during their lifetime.” Sometimes, vaginal discharge is normal resulting in clear discharge around the time of ovulation. Vaginal discharge is a cause for concern when there is a change in color, smell, consistency, and/or amount. It could indicate a bigger problem such as a sexually transmitted disease, pelvic infection, or other medical problem.

Per Up To Date, a reliable medical reference database, you should make an appointment with a health care provider “when you have vaginal discharge and it occurs with the following symptoms:

●Itching of the vagina or the area around the vagina
●Redness, pain, or swelling around the vagina
●Discharge that is foamy, greenish-yellow, or has blood in it
●Discharge that smells bad
●Pain when urinating or having sex
●Pain in the lower part of the belly
●Fever”

If you have any of the symptoms listed above you can make an appointment with Obria to see a Doctor or Provider. They will review history, perform an exam, complete lab testing, and provide treatment. It is extremely important to determine the cause of the abnormal discharge and get appropriate treatment.

 

 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/vaginal-discharge.htm

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/vaginal-discharge-in-women-the-basics?search=vaginal%20discharge%20adult&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2#H1664912504

Other articles to reference for patients:

https://www.google.com/search?q=info+graphic+for+vaginal+discharge&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS819US820&oq=info+graphic+for+vaginal+discharge&aqs=chrome..69i57.12002j1j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=NfHOyPNn_lP3DM

https://www.google.com/search?q=info+graphic+for+vaginal+discharge&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS819US820&oq=info+graphic+for+vaginal+discharge&aqs=chrome..69i57.12002j1j4&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=lleoc9lcSsussMhttps://www.uptodate.com/contents/vaginal-discharge-in-women-the-basics?search=vaginal%20discharge%20adult&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2

 

When your partner is pregnant

An unplanned pregnancy is often a confusing or scary time for both of you. At Obria Medical Clinics, we are here to help you as well as your partner or friend.
When you first hear that your partner may be pregnant, you will probably be flooded with a variety of thoughts and emotions. You may have mixed feelings at the idea of her continuing with the pregnancy or at the thought of ending the pregnancy. Being emotionally supportive is one of the best ways to help your partner as well as yourself. Open communication is very effective and letting her know that you are there for her will provide some comfort. You are both in this together.

Many men have been taught that it’s a woman’s “right to choose” but that does not mean that she doesn’t want to hear your feelings and opinions. In our experience, most women simply want to know their partner cares. She typically doesn’t want to be pressured one way or the other, but she does want to know your thoughts and emotions regarding the situation.

You may feel guilty, confused, scared, sad, or even angry. Attempting to understand the other person’s perspective may be helpful. Focusing on fault, placing blame or questioning why it happened is not beneficial when faced with making a decision. Instead, put your energy into the present and the future. Let her know and that you are there for her and will do what you can to help.
Deciding what the best option is may be difficult if your preferences are not the same. For example, if you would like her to keep the baby and she chooses to have an abortion, it may be especially difficult. It is important to talk to her about your moral, ethical, and spiritual beliefs.

If she definitely doesn’t want to be a parent, but you’re still thinking about it, consider that…

  • You could parent through adoption
  • You could offer to financially support her and the baby
  • You could ask a relative to help you raise your child
  • You both could choose parents through open adoption

However, there is still the possibility that she will make a choice you don’t agree with. If this is the case, and she chooses not to speak to you, it is recommended that you talk to someone. Talking to a friend, family member, or a person from your church may be helpful. Do not try to go through this alone.

If your partner/friend had an abortion against your desires, it is normal to go through a period of grief for your loss. Finding someone you feel comfortable speaking with is important. If needed, Obria offers support, should you need a confidential place to talk.
If she wants to keep the baby, but you don’t, there may be challenges. You may feel unprepared and overwhelmed. It is not unusual to think a baby will change your life in a negative way. Or you may not wish to continue the relationship with your partner and feel that having a baby with her will keep you connected to her. If you are uncomfortable dealing with her, it helps to arrange visitation through a friend or family member.

If your partner/friend is pregnant, there are many ways to show her you care:

  • Be willing to talk to her about the pregnancy, no matter how you feel. Be constructive in your comments and explore all options before making the final decision.
  • Check in with her often to see how she is feeling.
  • To help her feel special, bring her a flower or write her a note
  • Be understanding of her pregnancy symptoms. The nausea, fatigue, irritability and moodiness are normal, especially early in her pregnancy. The moods will pass.
  • If she has the abortion, she may have some anxiety, regrets, depression and sadness. Let her talk about her feelings without taking it personally. She may find this resource helpful
  • If she needs more support than you can give her, suggest she get counseling.

Call us for a variety of resources and support. The Obria staff is available to talk with you and your partner/friend about all of your options and equip you so that you can make an informed decision.

Are You Pregnant and Depressed? Here’s an Action Plan.

Are you pregnant and feeling all the feels?

Do you ask yourself, “Are these feelings normal?”

Pregnancy produces a lot of different hormones which cause mood swings during pregnancy.  These mood swings can be normal for pregnancy, but sometimes they are a sign of a mental health problem.  Depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy and after pregnancy.  You should talk to your health care provider if these feelings continue past a couple of weeks.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says:

“Depression symptoms include

  • Having a lasting sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
  • Feelings of irritability or restlessness.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Problems concentrating, recalling details, and making decisions.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.
  • Overeating or loss of appetite.
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
  • Aches or pains that do not get better with treatment.”

 

Depression and anxiety is treatable during pregnancy.

It is important to talk to your health care provider about your concerns and how you are feeling. Help is out there.

 

 

  • Exercise with walking
  • Get outside and get fresh air
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies
  • Talk to a friend
  • Talk to your health care provider
  • Make an appointment with a counselor

 

 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/features/maternal-depression/index.html#:~:text=for%20your%20baby.-,Depression%20during%20and%20after%20pregnancy%20is%20common%20and%20treatable,times%20from%202000%20to%202015.

“So, I have this discharge…”

If you find yourself saying this lately, you are not alone! At Obria Medical Clinics, we see many women with a complaint of vaginal discharge and for many of them it is uncomfortable to address. The discharge complaint is common in women’s health and may warrant a trip to the clinic. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states, “Most women will have a vaginal infection, characterized by discharge, itching, or odor, during their lifetime.” Sometimes, vaginal discharge is normal resulting in clear discharge around the time of ovulation. Vaginal discharge is a cause for concern when there is a change in color, smell, consistency, and/or amount. It could indicate a bigger problem such as a sexually transmitted disease, pelvic infection, or another medical problem.

Symptoms

Per Up To Date, a reliable medical reference database, you should make an appointment with a health care provider when you have vaginal discharge and it occurs with the following symptoms:

●Itching of the vagina or the area around the vagina

●Redness, pain, or swelling around the vagina

●Discharge that is foamy, greenish-yellow, or has blood in it

●Discharge that smells bad

●Pain when urinating or having sex

●Pain in the lower part of the belly

●Fever

Treatment

If you have any of the symptoms listed above and are concerned, you can make an appointment with Obria to see a doctor or provider. They will be able to answer your questions, review a history, perform an exam, complete lab testing, and provide treatment. It is extremely important to determine the cause of abnormal discharge and get appropriate treatment. To talk to a nurse or ask questions and schedule an appointment to take care of your health, you can call Obria or schedule your appointment online at Obria.org.

Because your health is important!

 

References:

Diseases Characterized by Vaginal Discharge

 

Are You Pregnant and Feeling All the ‘Feels’?

Are you pregnant and feeling all the feels?

Do you ask yourself, “Are these feelings normal?”

Pregnancy produces a lot of different hormones which can cause mood swings during pregnancy. These mood swings can be normal for pregnancy, but sometimes they are a sign of a mental health problem. Depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy and after pregnancy. You are not alone! One in eight women will experience postpartum depression. You should talk to your health care provider if these feelings continue past a couple of weeks.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says:

“Depression symptoms include:

· Having a lasting sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.

· Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.

· Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.

· Feelings of irritability or restlessness.

· Loss of energy.

· Problems concentrating, recalling details, and making decisions.

· Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.

· Overeating or loss of appetite.

· Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.

· Aches or pains that do not get better with treatment.”

Depression and anxiety is treatable during pregnancy. It is important to talk to your health care provider about your concerns and how you are feeling. Help is out there and easily accessible!

Things to do to help process and work through your feelings:

· Exercise with walking.

· Get outside and get fresh air.

· Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies.

· Talk to a friend.

· Discuss with your health care provider.

· Make an appointment with a counselor.

 

Each of these things can make a drastic difference in your mood, and overall outlook, during pregnancy and even post pregnancy. If one doesn’t work, trying a new one just might! You are on the right path to a healthier you.

OBRIA is one place you can get started right now! If you live in the Houston Area, check out our website to get information and make an appointment today!

Obria Medical Clinics Houston – More Information 

 

References: CDC Reproductive Health – Depression During and After Pregnancy