UTI + discharge?
March 11, 2009 11:24 PM   Subscribe

Urinary tract infection? (potential TMI filter)

For the past 4 or 5 days, I've been displaying a the signs of a UTI (mostly, burning when peeing, wanting to pee a lot, and some burny discomfort located around my urethral opening). I've also noticed some white, leucorrhea-like discharge. I realize this is often this sign of an STD, but I'm 99% certain it's not an STD. I suppose it could be a yeast infection, but I don't have any itchiness to speak of. I've poked around the interwebs, and couldn't find any connection between UTIs and discharge. Today, I started drinking copious amounts of cranberry juice, which, within a few hours, reduced my discomfort, desire to pee, etc. So, that leads me to think it's a UTI, but the discharge is really freaking me out. Any thoughts on what this might be?
posted by faeuboulanger to Health & Fitness (18 answers total)
Well, by definition I'd say it's a UTI. It's an infection of your urinary tract, hence, UTI.

Whether it's sexual transmitted or not doesn't matter much. Go to one of those quick clinics hospitals run now. They'll give you something to take care of it. Shouldn't require followup visits unless the symptoms fail to resolve.
posted by sbutler at 11:29 PM on March 11, 2009

I also think you need to get to a doctor's right away. If you've had UTIs before, you can sometimes self-treat, but left untreated, the infection can spread to your kidneys. Are you having any lower back pain?

The cranberry juice can help mild infections, but drinking a lot of any liquid will help you feel better.

In any case, I wouldn't mess around with this. Get to a clinic.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:43 PM on March 11, 2009

Response by poster: I'm not having any lower back pain, and the improvement after drinking the cranberry juice is pretty remarkable (which is why I didn't try to get into an urgent care clinic today). But you are right. If it isn't better yet tomorrow, I plan on getting myself to the doctor.
posted by faeuboulanger at 11:46 PM on March 11, 2009

Go to a doctor without question, and ASAP. You do not want to risk having what might be a minor, easily treatable infection right now spreading to your kidneys.
posted by pianoboy at 11:53 PM on March 11, 2009

Not to get too technical, but the discharge part could be pyuria. Someone with a true medical background can feel free to correct my armchair diagnosis. But from the rest of your symptoms, I think you're on to something with the UTI. I'd suggest taking some AZO for comfort until you can get in to see your doctor.
posted by xiaolongbao at 12:50 AM on March 12, 2009

Drinking cranberry juice does not cure a UTI. All it does it make the symptoms much less severe. A UTI is an infection and that requires an antibiotic.

You can also get an OTC med called Azo. It does a great job with the symptoms and you don't have to suck down cranberrry juice all day long. It does turn your urine orange though.

nthing going to the doc. It is the only real way to get rid of it. You don't want it to get worse and turn into a kidney infection.
posted by Jules22871 at 2:52 AM on March 12, 2009

I once drank a whole bottle of 100% premium cranberry concentrate to try to get rid of one. Got a lovely kidney infection...

Cranberry is a preventative. I'm all for self-treating, but you need to see a doctor for this one.
posted by melissam at 3:47 AM on March 12, 2009

Best answer: Once you've got your antibiotics, supplement with cranberry *pills* and not cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is generally sweetened, and bacteria just LOVE LOVE LOVE sugar. Also, the pills will get you much more of the cranberry goodness than downing a gallon of juice.

Cranberry pills + lots of water = Happy bladder.

Your doctor might give you pyridium for the pain. This will turn your urine NEON ORANGE. This is kind of hilarious, but it will stain anything it comes in contact with as it's actually a dye that someone weirdly discovered relieves urinary pain. Just a warning. I've kind of spaced out on this and ruined a few pairs of underpants. Black underpants = your best friend.

As for the discharge: when you do get antibiotics, also stock up on acidophilus as antibiotics often lead to secondary yeast infections. Acidophilus will help restore the natural balance in your lady bits. Also, taking some now might help clear up whatever mess is going on down there. If it's white and not yellow or green and it's not itching, I wouldn't worry about it. It sounds yeasty to me, and it will probably clear up when you get your UTI taken care of, though of course you should do what your doctor recommends.

Hi, my name is grapefruitmoon and I've had three UTIs with secondary yeast infections this year (past 12 months, not the calendar year, Praise Dog) alone.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:24 AM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Once you've got your antibiotics, supplement with cranberry *pills* and not cranberry juice. Cranberry juice is generally sweetened, and bacteria just LOVE LOVE LOVE sugar.

However, there ARE brands of cranberry juice that are sweetened WITHOUT sugar -- there are some "all-organic" brands that you can find in health stores, and I think there are even some brands that are unsweetened even with other juice, so it's just the straight unsweetened cranberry juice if you want to tackle that. Ocean Spray also has a 100% Juice line that blends cranberry juice with other fruit juices as the sweetener.

And in the interest of full disclosure: Hi, my name is EmpressCallipygos -- and my family is a supplier for Ocean Spray....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:22 AM on March 12, 2009

As an aside, why is it so hard to find multipacks of black underpants? Unless grapefruitmoon has some awesome source she is not sharing...

Acidophilus is good. Other yogurt-y products that help restore balance of good bacteria = good, too. Can't remember which specific strain it is that helps but it wouldn't hurt to have a look at what's available near you.

(Someone who wants to make a LOT of money needs to invent a non-supersweetened yet tasty cranberry yogurt for people with frequent UTIs -- EmpressCallipygos, get your family on this!) :)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:19 AM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think you know by now to just go to the doctor to get the antibiotics you need. You don't say where you are, but if there is a minute clinic around, I highly recommend going there over your GP for pure ease or getting in and out (instead of waiting at the Dr.'s office).
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 7:45 AM on March 12, 2009

melissam and grapefruit moon are spot on, and get thee to a doctor asap. UTIs with secondary yeast infections - this has been me many a time; eat yogurt and take probiotics while on antibiotics, but if you wind up with a yeast infection your doctor can prescribe something for that as well.

I've been avoiding UTI's recently, by hyper vigilance (love those cranberry pills, and water is your friend), but when I was getting them regularly I learned to get on the antibiotics as quickly as possible. Believe me, you do NOT want a kidney infection, and I've had a UTI with pain so bad I wound up in the emergency room at 2 AM (and I've been told by doctors my pain tolerance is pretty high so trust me, this was bad). You have not lived till you have been in a big city emergency room on a busy night making constant trips to the bathroom in one of those gowns.
posted by gudrun at 8:05 AM on March 12, 2009

Okay, back in high school I got a UTI, almost exactly as you described it. Not wanting my parents to know I was sexually active, I ignored it, and it got a lot better, then seemed to go away. Two days later I woke up in the middle of the night on a Saturday of course, in the worst pain I have ever been in before or since radiating out of my kindeys. I couldn't move out of the fetal position, and I'm no wuss when it comes to pain either. My parents thought my appendix had exploded or something until I came clean, and we went to the ER for pain killers and antibiotics.

Moral of the story: get thee to a doctor, pronto!

On preview, what gundrun said.

(On a side note, some people--well, women mainly--are very susceptible to chronic UTIs, myself among them, so if this turns out to be a UTI keep an eye out. I had them monthly until someone clued me in that women should pee after sex.)
posted by internet!Hannah at 8:34 AM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nthing get yourself to a doctor. Melissam is right that cranberry juice is a preventative. It helps keep the bacteria from attaching to the walls of your urinary tract, but it's not going to kill off a serious infection.

Seems like I'm on a similar UTI + secondary yeast infection schedule as grapefruitmoon, including one last week! I've gone an extra day without the antibiotics and it went from not so bad to excruciating pretty quickly. I have a high pain tolerance, but I was stuck in a fetal position and nauseous until I got some antibiotics in me.

Anyway, when I got get my antibiotics I just ask my doc to prescribe something for the impending yeast infection right then. Saves me a second trip to the pharmacy.
posted by thejanna at 12:22 PM on March 12, 2009

(internet!Hannah: This had better not be some kind of inviation for me to get ANOTHER UTI. If I do, I'm blaming you!)

And yes, PEE AFTER SEX. Pee *before* sex too, if you can. But always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS PEE AFTER SEX. Can not stress this enough.

For anyone else interested in UTI prevention: my doctor confirmed my suspicion that part of my problem with frequent UTIs was due to my partner's insistence on spermicidal condoms. He has since given up the kryptonite since it can't possibly be worth taking me to the ER at 2AM in tears (oh yes, I've been there. I would rate it as a 7 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of pain and a 10 in terms of being totally uncomfortable in every way - physically... mentally... etc.) AGAIN.

And by "after sex," that means DIRECTLY AFTER. Within three minutes, tops.

My routine for keeping the bits in working order is to get up, pee, drink a glass of water and gulp down cranberry pills & acidophilus after sex. Every. Time. Given my history, I don't think I'm at all paranoid. And as for the underpants: I never buy them by the pack. I buy my underpants individually, usually at H&M. You really wanted to know.

OH. And speaking of underpants: Thongs can cause UTIs. Not kidding. I never wear them, but my doctor did have to ask me about my underwear preferences in terms of "risk factors." That was one of the moments where I quietly thanked G-d that I have absolutely no shame.

Hence, why I am posting this super long comment as a follow up to an already lengthy comment I made about problems I've had with my pants-parts.

PS: Always wipe front to back.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:33 PM on March 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your candid advice!
posted by faeuboulanger at 3:22 PM on March 12, 2009

However, there ARE brands of cranberry juice that are sweetened WITHOUT sugar ...
Trader Joe's, for $5.00, sells a bottle of pure cranberry concentrate, which in fact is too stringent to drink by itself. Dilute it, and you have 2 1/2 weeks' worth of high-quality cranberry juice.
posted by Tufa at 3:25 PM on March 12, 2009

As someone who just finished up her third antibiotic for a kidney infection this week, I have to agree with everyone who's telling you to go to the doctor. UTIs can spread surprisingly quickly in some people, cranberry juice or no. (And trust me, I completely understand the impulse to avoid the doctor when you're starting to feel better.) The Minute Clinic can be a super option, but if the symptoms don't clear up on the antibiotics they give you, you'll have to go to a doctor/urgent care set up for labwork because they'll need to culture your urine.

If you possibly can, avoid the pain, exhaustion, tests, prescriptions, and shots that have colored the past four weeks of my life. If you do have a UTI, antibiotics will probably clear it up in a few days, and you won't have to think about it again.

Also, do not waste the money on the little testing strips they sell at the drugstore. They don't tell you much, and medical professionals are just going to use better strips anyway.

Feel better.
posted by corey flood at 5:20 PM on March 12, 2009

« Older Does anyone know of any online tools/software that...   |   What are ways to remember what I've heard? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.