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What is the difference between chlamydia and a UTI?


Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by the transmission of Chlamydia trachomatis during sexual contact in which body fluids are exchanged. Chlamydia can be in the throat, urethra (pee tube), vagina and rectum. It is common for chlamydia to cause no symptoms.
See our information page on chlamydia for some additional information.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the bladder and often the urethra. It is caused by the bacteria multiplying in urine. UTI are not seen as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) like chlamydia because typically the bacteria that cause this are not sexually transmitted, for example E coli is a common bacteria that causes UTI.

It’s not common for people with a penis to get a UTI as the longer urethra offers good protection from the bacterium that causes UTI.

A common symptom to a UTI is pain when urinating (peeing) this can also be a symptom of chlamydia and other common STI. Given this we find that if someone has this symptom and are concerned about a UTI, it would also be good to get a STI test if there was a possibility one could have been passed to you.

A clinic would be able to do an assessment to see if someone’s symptoms e.g. painful urination was caused by a UTI or a STI. Both chlamydia and UTI can be treated with antibiotics.

Let us know if you have any further concerns or questions.

Health Nurse

This answer was posted on March 20, 2019
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Community comments

roli_0121 says:

My wife and I both tested positive for chlamydia and were treated. On retest two weeks ago we both tested negative. We started to have sex without a condom last week. Two days ago I noticed that the tip of my penis had what appeared to be a bit of redness. Also, I noticed that when I pull down the foreskin there was a bit of redness on the inside part of the foreskin. Also, I noticed that a vein looked darker than normal. But I could just be overthinking it. Today, the redness seems to be gone. I did not experience any burning during urination. Could those symptoms mean that the chlamydia might be back or should I not worry?

Health Nurse says:

Hi, if you both have been treated for chlamydia and have retested negative, then the chlamydia has been treated and  it would not be causing those symptoms. 

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