As women, we have enough to worry about when it comes to our bodies, but we all dread a UTI or vaginal infection. We often miss the early warning signs that something is brewing until it’s too late. If you are asking is this a UTI or vaginal infection, you’re probably experiencing uncomfortable symptoms and may have an infection. So let’s talk about the early warning signs so that you can get treatment as soon as possible. 

Urinary Tract Infection

Because a woman’s urethra (pee hole) is short, it is easier for unwanted bacteria to reach the urinary tract and cause a UTI.  You may experience lower abdominal or back pain, frequent urination, passing small amounts of urine, occasional pain with urination, and cloudy or foul-smelling urine.  These are some early signs of a UTI. If you ask yourself if you have a UTI, then you should probably see a doctor.  It requires a simple urine test because it can lead to a more serious kidney infection if it goes untreated. 

Bacterial Vaginosis

Most women with BV don’t have any symptoms; however, there are some common signs and symptoms that you should look out for. Burning with urination is often seen with a UTI, but BV can cause vaginal irritation and burn when pee comes in contact with the vagina.  Thin white, grey or green copious discharge, fishy odor, especially after sex, and itching are also early signs that you may have BV. 

Yeast Infection

We often are told that a yeast infection causes a thick white cottage cheese discharge; however, most women initially present with itching, irritation, redness, and swelling around the vagina. Taking antibiotics can decrease the lactobacilli in the vagina.  Lactobacilli is needed because it keeps yeast and bacteria in check and prevents infections like yeast and bacterial vaginosis.  Other risk factors are pregnancy, weak immune system, stress, and hormonal changes.

The key is to stay in tune and listen to your body.  Keep your feminine hygiene routine simple, take probiotics if you are at risk for infections, eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water.  If you think something is off, it’s always good to consult your doctor to diagnose and treat you properly.


Dr. Horton