Battling a UTI?
Ugh. We feel you.
UTIs, or urinary tract infections, are no fun.
They’re uncomfortable, persistent, and frustrating to deal with.
But did you know that one of the less common symptoms is UTI discharge?
So if there’s something funky going on down there, and you’re not sure why, a UTI could be the culprit.
And sometimes, a UTI and discharge together can be a sign of something else at play.
But what does UTI discharge actually look like, and what can you do about it?
In this article: 📝
- Do you get weird discharge with a UTI?
- What does discharge look like with a UTI?
- What are 3 symptoms of a UTI?
- Can a UTI cause smelly discharge?
- How do I get rid of discharge with a UTI?
Do you get weird discharge with a UTI?
Yes, you can get weird discharge with a UTI, but, with UTIs, discharge isn’t actually all that common.
But because there are different types of UTI, there are also different symptoms — and every body is different, too, so we might not all react in the same way!
Let’s go through the main types of UTI:
- Cystitis: Usually, an absence of discharge is a symptom of cystitis, along with a burning sensation when peeing, and vaginal irritation.
- Urethritis: Typical symptoms include burning when urinating and an increase in frequency and urgency of urinating. But women with urethritis often also have cervicitis…
- Pyelonephritis: An upper urinary tract infection, with symptoms like fever, chills, lower back pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Other types of infections that might cause a UTI and discharge include:
- Vaginitis: A pretty common UTI in women, caused by thrush, STIs, BV (bacterial vaginosis), and even just vaginal irritations. Symptoms of vaginitis include a change in vaginal discharge (consistency, odor, color), vaginal irritation, burning, itching, and/or pain during sex.
- Cervicitis: These might be the only symptoms you get if you have urethritis, too — spotting or bleeding between periods, spotting after sex, and changes in vaginal discharge.
So if you have UTI discharge, it’s more likely to be either cervicitis (possibly with urethritis) or vaginitis.
But we can’t say for certain — only your doctor can ascertain for sure, so if there’s anything weird going on down there, check in with your doc.
Do you have discharge with a UTI or STI?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs) can cause changes in vaginal discharge, although STIs are more likely to cause abnormal discharge.
UTIs only affect the urinary tract so should not cause discharge by themselves.
But if the UTI is caused by vaginal bacteria reaching the ureter, you might experience vaginal discharge as a symptom.
So it’s important to note that UTIs and STDs are two different conditions with different causes.
UTIs are typically caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, while STDs are transmitted through sexual contact.
If you are experiencing discharge, or any other symptoms, you should chat with your healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and the right treatment.
How can you tell the difference between chlamydia and a UTI?
Well, here’s where it can get a little confusing.
Differentiating between chlamydia and a UTI can be confusing since both overlap in similar symptoms.
That’s why, if you think you may have either chlamydia or a UTI, it’s crucial to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.
What does discharge look like with a UTI?
So what color is discharge when you have a UTI?
Well, typically, discharge when you’re experiencing a UTI is the same color as normal, healthy discharge — cloudy or milky white to yellow — or you might find that you don’t have as much discharge as usual.
We all have different baselines of “normal” discharge, so your discharge will be unique to you.
But if your discharge is an unusual color, has a smell, or different consistency, it’s more like to be an STD.
And, to make things even more complicated, you can get a UTI at the same time as an STD.
That’s why it’s worth keeping track of any other potential symptoms, like discomfort, burning sensation (especially when urinating), or spotting.
The best bet is to talk to your doc, they’ll be able to diagnose and treat you properly.
But let’s break down all the different variations of potential discharge, so you know roughly what to expect when you see your doctor.
Yellow UTI discharge
A slight tinge of yellow to your discharge is pretty normal — often a sign of ovulation.
If you have yellow UTI discharge, best get to the doc’s.
Brown UTI discharge
But if it’s not around your period, if the discharge is very brown, if you notice discomfort, or if there’s a bad smell, it could be something more serious, like a vaginal infection, or you might have left a tampon in for too long.
If you have left a tampon (or anything in your vagina) in for too long (maybe you’ve forgotten about it — it happens), and you notice other symptoms, there’s a chance it could lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can be very serious (sometimes even fatal).
White UTI discharge
Well, white discharge is pretty normal!
But if you’ve noticed more discharge than usual, there’s a chance it could be a symptom of a UTI — although it’s more typical for UTIs to show an absence of discharge.
It could also mean that you’re ovulating or aroused, since extra vaginal fluids can happen then, too.
But, as always, if your white UTI discharge is accompanied by pain, discomfort, spotting, or a weird smell, it could be something else, so get to a doctor.
Bloody UTI discharge
Bloody or pink discharge could be the remnants of your last period — or the start of the next.
But it might also be that your urine is mixing with your discharge, since UTIs can cause bloody urine.
Green UTI discharge
UTIs on their own don’t cause green discharge, but if you have a UTI and vaginal infection, you might see a greenish tinge, or even a brighter green shade to your discharge.
If you notice a green hue in your underwear, it’s time to see a doctor, they can get it sorted for you.
Can you get mucus in your urine with a UTI?
Sometimes, yes, you can get mucus (or discharge) in your urine if you have a UTI.
You might notice your urine is cloudier than usual, which could be the presence of discharge.
It could also be that you’re experiencing more discharge than usual because ovulation is near, or you could even be in the mood, if you know what we mean — it’s totally normal to see some of this extra discharge in your urine, too.
But mucus in your urine could also be an STD, like chlamydia, HPV, or gonorrhea.
If you’re worried, or if you have other symptoms, your doc can help.
What does pregnancy discharge with a UTI look like?
What does pregnancy discharge with a UTI look like?
Well, discharge during pregnancy with a UTI can look pretty similar to the “normal” discharge you see with a UTI
— generally white or with a yellow-ish tinge.
Or you might find that you notice a lack of discharge if you have a UTI while pregnant.
But if you notice any changes in discharge during pregnancy, especially color, odor, or discomfort, talk to your healthcare provider.
What are 3 symptoms of a UTI?
So how do you know if it’s a UTI?
Well, there are three main symptoms to keep a lookout for:
- Pain or a burning sensation during urination
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Lower abdominal discomfort or pain
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, along with possible changes in discharge (even no discharge at all), it’s worth consulting with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Can a UTI cause smelly discharge?
Not often, no — but a UTI can cause smelly urine, which can overcome the smell of your discharge.
In general, if you smell something funky from your vagina, something’s off, so it’s worth going to see your doctor so they can help diagnose and get rid of it.
How do I get rid of discharge with a UTI?
Well, the best first step is to talk to your doctor — they can help determine whether what you’re experiencing is discharge with UTI or something else, and they can suggest the best form of treatment.
If they’ve confirmed it’s discharge with a UTI, they might prescribe antibiotics to help treat it depending on the severity of symptoms and duration of UTI.
From there, staying hydrated is key, as it can help your body “flush out” the UTI and prevent similar infections in the future.
You might think that drinking cranberry juice can help get rid of UTI discharge and your other symptoms, but that’s not actually the case — it’s more preventative than a treatment.
The more you know! 🌈
So, UTIs do not cause changes to your vaginal discharge in and of themselves — it’s more common to find that changes in vaginal flora (resulting in discharge) can irritate the ureters and cause a UTI.
It’s more common to find that abnormal vaginal discharge can cause a UTI, and less common to find that UTIs cause abnormal discharge.
But it’s important to pay attention to any unusual discharge along with other symptoms and check in with your doctor if you’re concerned.
Your health is important, and early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing UTIs (or any condition) more effectively.
Take care of yourself, and stay hydrated! 💧