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When STDs are mistaken for UTIs

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2016 | Failure to Diagnose, Firm News, Surgical Errors

Those in Providence County who may have a sexually transmitted disease may certainly want to know that. Unfortunately, as some of our clients here at DeLuca and Associates have had the misfortunate to find out, the potential of misdiagnosing an STD may be high. Many of the symptoms indicating the presence of an STD may be similar to other ailments. In men, these are often easier to differentiate. Yet if you are a woman, the question of whether or not you may have an STD may be harder to answer.

STDs often mimic the same manifestations of another disease common in women: urinary tract infections. The telltale symptoms of a UTI are typically frequent and painful urination. However, these are also common with the following STDs:

  • Trichomoniasis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  •  Genital herpes

Recent studies seem to indicate that your chances of having an STD mistaken for a UTI depend upon the diagnostic treatment you receive and the location where you are seen. Data shared by the Journal of Clinical Microbiology showed that of over 260 women seen in a hospital emergency room with the aforementioned systems, 64 percent who were later confirmed to have an STD were initially diagnosed with a UTI. The common diagnostic test to confirm the presence of an STD is a urine culture. Yet the ASM study results show that 57 percent of those diagnosed with an UTI did not receive this test.

ER doctors may feel as though they do not have the same amount of time to dedicate to you compared to your primary care physician. This may explain why they might assign a UTI diagnosis without confirmatory tests. Still, your status should be their primary, despite any perceived time constraints.

You can learn more about why misdiagnoses happen by exploring our site.