STDs Expert Forum
STD or UTI?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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STD or UTI?

Hi, in may of this year my husband and I had a separation for about two weeks. During this time I had a unprotected sexual encounter with a man. On Aug 15 i began to feel a slight burning at the end of peeing and an urge or pressure that would be worse somedays and better others. about a week later I took a home uti test and it tested positive for leukocytes but no nitrites. I decided to wait to see if it went away. So another week later I went to the health dept who took a dipstick test again and said yes you have a uti and if its not bothering me to try to flush it out with cranberry pills and lots of water. I then began to take pills and water and the burning went away. I felt much better except for this weird feeling in  urethra like a tickling spasm thing or urge idk cant really describe it but not painful. I finally went to dr about 3 weeks after intial symptoms. They didnt take a urine sample because i dont have insurance but put me on cipro. I finished it yesterday and the feeling is still there. I havent had any other symptoms and its more annoying than painful. Sometimes I feel fine til i urinate and the feeling comes back. It also seems to disappear when I am laying down relaxing.Somedays I will go all day with no weird feeling at all.  I dont think that it really is an std because I havent had any other symptoms and neither has my husband and its been four months since encounter. But since these symptoms of uti have came my anxiety is high and I am worried to death everyday all day that is all I think about is if I contracted something and have given it to my husband. I have also taken an at home chlamydia test which was negative a couple weeks ago. Do you think this is a uti that wont go away or possibly an std?
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Welcome to the forum.  I also reviewed your discussion on the community forum.

First, I support the advice/opinion of gracefromHPP.  It was extraordinarily inappropriate for the health department provider to suggest treatment for a possible UTI with cranberry juice.  Further, both that provider and your later one should have asked you about sexual exposures; had they had the complete history, most likely they would have recommended testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia.  You should have volunteered that information yourself, but I fault the docs more than patients in this sort of thing.  Your profile doesn't mention your age, but for any and all women under age 30 with possible UTI, a sexual history should be routine.

Having said all that, I believe it more likely you have (or have had) a UTI, and not gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other STD.  Your symptoms certainly are typical for UTI -- and although STDs can mimic those symptoms, in general the STDs don't cause urinary urgency; if they cause urinary symptoms at all, mostly it's dysuria (painful urination) without the bladder-type symptoms.  In addition, you are correct about the timing:  it is unlikely you would acquire gonorrhea or chlamydia in May and have no symptoms until August.  Typically symptoms start within a few days (gonorrhea) or 1-2 weeks (chlamydia).

However, perhaps another possibility is that your husband also had other sexual exposures during your brief separation -- in which case he could have brought an STD into the relationship.

Another feature here is your continuing mild symptoms on ciprofloxacin.  OVer 90% of UTIs would respond, but cipro is not effective against chlamydia, and about 10-15% of gonorrhea is resistant as well.

I'm not aware of an approved home chlamydia test.  Can you say more about it?  Did you send a specimen to a laboratory, or was this some sort of self-test at home?  (Having said that, it may well be a reliable test -- in which case you can be reasonably certain you don't have chlamydia.)

At this point, my advice is that you stop all attempts at self-diagnosis, online advice, etc.  Return to your doctor in person and request testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia, as well as a pelvic examination to be tested for other vaginal infections.  Further, you might speak with your husband about potential sexual exposure during your time apart -- although I understand that might be difficult if you are uncomfortable revealing your own.  But the highest priority is proper medical evaluation.  (Of course if you DO have an STD, you'll have to address the details with your husband at that time.)

Bottom line:  My guess is that evaluation will show neither a continuing UTI nor any STD.  But do get properly evaluated, and return with a comment to let me know what is found.

Regards--  HHH, MD
4 Comments
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Thank you doctor. The home kit was a vaginal swab kit. I took a swab of vagina and placed in a tube where I added drops of stuff that was sent with it. Then you place drops on a stick thing kind of like a pregnancy test stick. It was from home bio test.com It was called a rapid chlamydia test. I am absolutley positive that my husband didnt have any encounters during our separation. I am currently on my period and plan on seeing my obgyn afterwards for testing. If it isnt a continueing std or uti then what could cause my symptoms? I sometimes have what seems to be urine leaking because when I have to pee it comes on quick and sometimes will leak. Also I am kinda concerned that symptoms may be coming from a fibroid growth or ovarian cyst. I was told in march that i have a fibroid or polyp growth and a very thick uteran lining along with a cyst. I know the cyst it still there because I still get the same painful symptoms during ovulation. I am 30 years old me and my husband have been together for 9 yrs. we have an 11 yr old 6 yr old and 4 yr old and both of us have been completely faithful since then until me in May. We live in a town of 2500 where everyone knows everything that goes on in dr office and thats the reason I have been avoiding further testing I would prefer to go out of town to do such.
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I never head of biotest.com, and from their website I cannot judge what chlamydia test they offer.  It may be illegal for them to be marketing it in the US for home self testing -- sort of like Canadian pharmacies illegally selling drugs in the US.  That doesn't mean it isn't a reliable test.  However, the only rapid chlamydia test approved in this country (intended for use in doctor's offices, not by patients) is very inaccurate; it misses up to 40% of chlamydial infections.  So chlamydia may remain a possibilty for your symptoms.

The details of your symptoms are really not helpful at all.  Urinary and vaginal symptoms in women are highly nonspecific -- meaning that the same symptoms can be due to a large number of disorders.

Your age works in your favor with respect to the likelihood of gonorrhea, chlamydia or other STDs.  Of course everyone is at risk if exposed, regardless of age, in all industrialized these STDs are really very uncommon in people over 25-30.

All things considered, this doesn't change my main opinion or advice:  I doubt you have gonorrhea, chlamydia, or any other STD, but I cannot rule it out; there is at least a slim chance you do.  You must be professionally evaluated and tested; you really have no choice.  My guess is that your doctor is more used to dealing with such situations than you might assume; and the large majority of docs would keep you examination, test results, and other information very confidential.  But if necessary, all you need to do is travel to another county and go to the health department; or visit a Planned Parenthood clinic in another town.

My last advice is that you speak with your sex partner from May.  If he is free of symptoms, and especially if he has had recent negative STD testing, it would be reassuring.  However, I would not rely only on that.  You still need professional eavluation.
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Hi, I was recently tested for chlamydia and gonnoreah. Both tests came back negative. The weird feeling in my urethra and after I pee recently went away for about five days. It is now back again and it very annoying and irritating. I dont know what else to do except to go back to the Dr. Sometimes my urine will be light with color especially if I just drank alot of water and other times it will be dark. The test I took was a vaginal swab that I sent in to a website called getstdtested.com. The send you a packet and you send the swab back.
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