Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease pain:
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day, especially during hot weather
Itâs important to follow the instructions on the packet so you know how much paracetamol you or your child can take, and how often.
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Taking cystitis sachets or cranberry products has not been shown to help ease symptoms of UTIs.
Heres A Little Refresher On Urinary Tract Infections
Unsurprisingly, a urinary tract infection is what it says it is an infection of the urinary tract when bacteria makes its way into your urinary tract system, which is normally sterile.
Sometimes, UTIs can be caused by a lack of good hygiene, but most of the time, it occurs after high risk activities like sexual intercourse, using a diaphragm, or just #livingthegoodlife . On that note, some experts literally list female anatomy as a common risk factor for the illness.
The infection itself is often caused when E. coli bacteria get pushed up your urethra. Sometimes, it can hang out in this urinary hallway without infecting anywhere else.
However, more often, the bacteria ends up in your bladder, causing frequent painful peeing, pink-tinged urine, abnormal discharge, and pelvic discomfort.
What Is A Uti And Why Do Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics For Them
UTI stands for urinary tract infection. This basically means you have an infection in any part of your urinary system-kidneys, uteres, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract, namely the bladder and the urethra. Women are at a greater risk for developing a UTI. Symptoms of a UTI include persistent urge to urinate, burning when you do, cloudy urine and pelvic pain. Not fun. UTIs are caused when bacteria enter through the urethra and multiply in your bladder. The most common reasons people get UTIs is not peeing after sex, but they can be caused by other sneaky things like sitting in sweaty workout clothes and not having good hygiene in general. Here is a well written article explaining a UTI.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
What Are The Signs That An Antibiotic Is Not Working For A Urinary Tract Infection
Usually people start to feel better within 1-2 days of starting an antibiotic to treat a bladder infection. If your symptoms dont improve or you start to feel worse then your antibiotic may not be working.
The symptoms of an uncomplicated bladder infection typically include:
- Pain or a burning sensation when you urinate or pee
- Needing to pee frequently
- Feeling like you need to pee within minutes of going
- Blood stained pee
- Feeling pressure or cramping in your lower abdomen
If your antibiotic is not working then these symptoms will likely continue and you may even develop symptoms of a more serious kidney infection including:
- Pain in your lower back or side
- Nausea and vomiting
Left untreated, kidney infections can permanently damage the kidneys and can sometimes become life-threatening.
Kidney infections are usually treated with a longer 7-14 day course of antibiotics and in more severe or complicated cases may require treatment with intravenous antibiotics and admission to hospital. If you have a kidney infection it may take you a few more days to feel better after you start antibiotics.
Is It Safe To Treat Utis Without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are effective treatments for UTIs. Sometimes, the body can resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own, without antibiotics.
Complicated UTIs require medical treatment. These are some factors that can make the infection complicated:
What Is A Uti
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria ends up in your urinary tract. Were not talking about the good kind of bacteriathe kind that keeps you alive and healthybut the bad kind like E. coli. This does not belong anywhere near your urethra or bladder, because when it does take up residence there, it can cause an infection.
UTIs generally fall into two categories:
- Lower tract UTIs: These are concentrated in the urethra and bladder, a.k.a. the lower urinary tract. If located in the bladder, the UTI is called a bladder infection or cystitis. Lower UTIs make up the vast majority of UTIs and are easily treated with antibiotics.
- Upper tract UTIs: These UTIs are more rare and serious. Upper tract UTIs usually occur when an untreated lower tract UTI spreads to the kidneys. A kidney infection requires medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.
Common lower tract UTI symptoms include:
- Pain or burning sensation during urination
- Having the urge to urinate frequently
- Blood in the urine
- Cramping or general discomfort in the lower abdomen
Upper tract UTIs share some of the same symptoms of lower tract UTIs, though more common symptoms are:
- Body chills
- Lower back pain
Understanding what causes a UTI may help you prevent one before it happens. Here are the risk factors:
- Age: Some evidence suggests that post-menopausal women are at higher risk for recurrent UTIs due to urinary incontinence and estrogen deficiency that naturally occurs after the menopause transition.
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When Do You Need Antibiotics
In its SIGN 88 guidelines for UK healthcare, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network recommends antibiotic treatment for otherwise healthy women, under 65, who have three or more symptoms of UTI.
Potential symptoms of UTI are listed as follows: pain passing urine , frequency of urination, bladder pain, urgency, passing lots of urine , and passing blood in the urine .
The guidelines recommend using dipstick tests to guide treatment decisions in otherwise healthy women under 65 years of age presenting with mild or more than two symptoms of UTI, comments Ali. Put simply, if symptoms are severe, urine testing is not required before initiating treatment.
What If The Infection Does Not Clear Up With Treatment
Most infections clear up with treatment. However, if an infection does not clear up, or if you have repeated infections, you may be given some special tests such as:
a type of x-ray called an intravenous pyleogram , which involves injecting a dye into a vein and taking pictures of your kidney and bladder
an ultrasound exam, which gives a picture of your kidneys and bladder using sound waves
a cytoscopic exam, which uses a hollow tube with special lenses to look inside the bladder.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Although urinating can be painful when you have a UTI, its important to drink as many fluids as possible particularly water. Most adults should aim to drink between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
The more you drink, the more youll urinate, which can help flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract.
Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
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Treatment Concerns For Antibiotics
While most UTIs can be effectively managed and treated with a course of antibiotics, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to different types of antibiotics due to mutations in their genetic code. Every time you take an antibiotic, the bacteria that are in your system are more likely to adapt and mutate and become resistant to the administered antibiotic. And since recurrence rates in the case of UTIs are high, its a strong possibility that an antibiotic may not be effective every time. Many antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, and sulfonamides are no longer effective against stronger mutated bacteria and hence are not a good choice for combatting these infections.
Other health risks and adverse effects associated with antibiotics for the treatment of urinary tract infections include extreme allergic reactions and numerous side effects. These can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Another potential risk of taking antibiotics is that they might destroy some of the good bacteria residing in your system that help with your systematic bodily functions without harming you. The death of these bacteria opens up the passageway to a whole new range of possible infections.
/8why You Should Resort To Home Remedies
Antibiotics are the best treatment option for those who have a severe urinary tract infection. However, if your symptoms are mild, consult with your doctor and ask whether you can get it treated at home, without any antibiotics.
Although antibiotics help treat the bacterial infection, they can cause side effects, as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Side effects can include rash, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections, notes the health agency.
Furthermore, there is always the risk of antibiotic resistant UTI, a type of infection that does not respond to most or any of the most common treatments.
That said, resort to these at-home treatments for UTI.
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Why Antibiotics Might Not Work
Sometimes antibiotic treatment doesnt do the trick. This may occur when the bacteria causing the UTI become antibiotic resistant, meaning they outsmart and outlive the antibiotic.
See, bacteria have this amazing ability to mutate to evade being killed. And after being attacked multiple times by the same antibiotics we use on lots of people, the bacteria can learn to resist them. Some research estimates that as many as one in three uncomplicated UTIs are resistant to at least one common antibiotic. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million people in the U.S. get an antibiotic-resistant infection every year.
This sounds bad, and thats fair: Its not great news. But this doesnt spell doomsday either.
If your UTI isnt responding to treatment with one antibiotic, your doctor may prescribe another type of antibiotic. Most bacteria arent resistant to all the antibiotics out there, so chances are your urologist or primary care doctor has encountered this situation before and knows how to help.
Why Wouldnt I Just Take The Antibiotics Instead Of Worrying About All This
This is a fair question, and I understand that it may seem tempting to simply get a prescription and not have to worry about your symptoms. Unfortunately, any kind of antibiotic prescription has devastasting long-lasting impacts to your health, specifically your microbiome. Up to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed are not actually needed .
Instead of rushing to get antibiotics straight away, I recommend trying some of the above methods to see if it gets better on its own. If not, and you start to notice your symptoms get increasingly worse, then it is time to see a doctor and take the drugs. For myself, luckily, the pain was never too excruciating that I could not go to work or function. It was irritating, but I stuck with the above methods and now I am pretty much back to 100 percent. Your body was built to be able to heal on its own, as long as your immune system is strong and healthy. Keep in mind that antibiotic resistance is a huge problem and taking several courses of antibiotics without considering the long term impacts is not smart. Antibiotics work because they wipe out the bad bacteria, but these drugs do not pick and choose between bad and good bacteria. They kill everything. After a single course, your gut flora is pretty much wiped, which leads you vulnerable for getting more infections. If you do taking antibiotics, please, please take a high quality and strong probiotic . This is the best way to mitigate the damage!
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Other Ways To Prevent Some Utis Coming Back
If you keep getting a bladder infection , there is some evidence it may be helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 22 March 2022 Next review due: 22 March 2025
Signs And Symptoms Of Cystitis
The main symptoms of cystitis include:
- pain, burning or stinging when you pee
- needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
- urine thats dark, cloudy or strong smelling
- pain low down in your tummy
- feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired
Possible symptoms in young children include:
- pain in their tummy
- reduced appetite and vomiting
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How Long Does A Uti Last With Antibiotics
UTI is caused by a certain bacteria in the urethra and in the process the use of antibiotics can help to get rid of these bacteria causing the UTIs. Antibiotics are mostly used to treat UTIs effectively within 1 or 2 days.For the antibiotics to be effective, it is recommended to finish the dose prescribed by the doctor. Most people begin to feel better soon after they begin the medicine. Once the patient stops the medication on the way, the infection will reoccur again.These antibiotics are prescribed to the following form of people:
- Women who have recurrent UTIs
- Pregnant women who had recurrent UTIs before getting pregnant or during pregnancy.
- People who have spinal cord injuries or other nervous system conditions that affect urination.
- People who have had a kidney transplant.
- People who are going to have surgery involving the urinary tract.
However, the recent studies show that antibiotics reduce the number of recurrent UTIs but the type of treatment is said to be short acting.
How Long Does It Take For A Uti To Go Away Without Antibiotics Wrap Up
Obviously, there is no specific time given for a UTI to go away without antibiotics but the fact remains that you can speed up the process of curing it if you diligently follow the home remedies stated above. Hope this article has done justice to your question How Long Does It Take For A UTI To Go Away Without Antibiotics?
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How Vets Diagnose Utis In Cats
Vets diagnose urinary tract infections by collecting a urine sample and examining it for the presence of bacteria. These samples must be collected through a process called cystocentesis, where urine is drawn directly from the bladder with a fine needle. This is necessary to prevent contamination of the urine sample from cups, tables, or any other surface the urine may come into contact with.
After cystocentesis, your veterinarian will run a culture-and-sensitivity test. During this test, the bacteria are isolated and studied. This helps the vet determine the best antibiotics for your cats exact infection.
Occasionally, acute infectionsespecially first-time infections that show up suddenlyare treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic without trying to determine which bacteria are involved.
Chronic infections, however, almost always require more testing to isolate the type of bacteria causing the problem and identify the best antibiotic.
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