Symptoms like pain during sex or urination are common signs of an STD, but they can also indicate a bacterial infection in your urinary tract. 

Your urinary tract consists of your kidneys, bladder, the tubes between your kidneys and bladder, and your urethra, the tube that urine uses to exit your body. When any part of this tract becomes inflamed or infected because of an invader, you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Millions of women and some men get UTIs each year, and it usually isn’t serious unless it reaches your kidneys. UTIs occur when bacteria get into your urinary tract, usually via your urethra. This can occur as a result of bacteria from your colon reaching the area or from an STD. Women are more prone to UTIs simply because of the arrangement of their anatomy.

Some urinary tract infections come without any noticeable symptoms while others cause discomfort or even excruciating pain. Nonetheless, there are signs you should watch out for to determine whether your urinary tract is infected. The earlier you seek treatment, the better chance you have of keeping the infection from reaching your kidneys. Signs and symptoms of UTIs include:

  • Pain or stinging while urinating
  • A persistent need to urinate
  • Small amounts of urine coming out frequently
  • Cloudy urine
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Red, pink, or brown colors in your urine

In addition to these symptoms, some who get UTIs also notice a dull pain in their pelvis as the infection spreads. A UTI in the kidneys causes worse symptoms that affect your whole body, like fever, chills, and vomiting.