Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
How A Urinary Tract Infection Is Treated
Urinary tract infections are often mild and can sometimes resolve if you drink enough fluids. Sometimes taking a mild over-the-counter pain reliever can help relieve discomfort while the infection is resolving. Sometimes UTIs lasting for more than two days need to be treated with a course of antibiotics. You can develop serious complications if the infection has moved from your bladder to your kidneys. In instances like these, home remedies and analgesics are unlikely to provide relief and may increase your risk of complications.
Practice These Healthy Habits
Preventing urinary tract infections starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection .
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also reduce the risk of UTIs by preventing the spread of bacteria .
Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs .
Finally, when you use the toilet, make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can cause bacteria to spread to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs .
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Spermicide use and wiping from back to front may increase the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied:
- D-Mannose. D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence (
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Can You Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs. However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics.
Complicated UTIs will require medical treatment. These UTIs involve one or more of the following factors:
More severe risks of using antibiotics include:
When To Contact A Doctor
If a person suspects that they might have a UTI, they should speak with a doctor for advice on the best way to treat the possible infection.
Antibiotics may not always be necessary to treat UTIs, but it is still important to seek medical attention for any suspected infection. This will reduce the risk of a more severe infection developing that is harder to treat.
The signs and symptoms of UTIs include:
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about treating UTIs.
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Wipe From Front To Back
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum or feces gain access to the urethra. This small channel allows urine to flow out of the body.
Once bacteria are in the urethra, they can travel up into other urinary tract organs, where they can lead to infections.
After urinating, wipe in a way that prevents bacteria from coming into contact with the genitals. Use separate pieces of toilet paper to wipe the genitals and anus.
Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a UTI may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
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Water Is Your Best Friend
When you first notice burning when you use the restroom, its tempting to reduce your water intake. After all, that will prevent the pain, right?
It seems counter-intuitive, but you need to flush out your system. You should drink plenty of water to help your body remove the E. Coli. Dont overdo it, but drink as much water as possible in those crucial first 24 hours.
Get Your Prescription Filled Right Away
Once you are done with your appointment and have received a prescription for an antibiotic, its important you get it filled at a pharmacy as soon as possible. The faster you start taking your medication, the faster your UTI will be gone.
If you usually use next-day prescription delivery or a mail order pharmacy, this is one time when you should avoid doing this. These options can cause a delay by anywhere from 1 day to 1 week . Youre better off using a local pharmacy in this case.
If going into the pharmacy is a concern due to COVID-19, many pharmacies have added options to help minimize the amount of time you are inside the building. Some options to ask about at your pharmacy include:
Same-day delivery through services like Instacart
Using the pharmacys drive-thru pick-up window
Paying ahead of time through the pharmacys smartphone app to make your time spent at the checkout counter faster
Every pharmacy is different, so make sure to ask your personal pharmacy if these options are available at your location.
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Home Remedies For Utis
Until there are more advancements in UTI treatment, antibiotics remain the most effective standard treatment. However, prescription medication doesnt have to be the only line of defense.
Along with standard therapy, you can incorporate home remedies to feel better sooner and reduce the likelihood of recurrent infections.
Bladder infections are more common than you think. In fact, roughly 1 out of every 2 women will get a bladder infection in their lifetime.
Also known as urinary tract infections , bladder infections are commonly caused by E. coli bacterium. Symptoms include frequent and painful urination. In the worst cases, patients see blood in their urine and have pain in the abdominal area.
Read on to learn how to treat bladder infections without traditional medicine. Explore 7 of the best natural remedies for bladder infections.
Dont Take Leftover Medicine
Dr. Propst maintains that she typically does not recommend home remedies for the treatment of UTIs. But she also cautions you should also avoid digging around in your medicine cabinet and taking any old leftover antibiotics that you might have stashed there. Those antibiotics may not work at all for UTIs, she says. They may not even get to the bladder.
Plus, you run the risk of contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. The bacteria youre trying to kill off might survive the mismatched or old antibiotic and survive, but then it may be harder to find another antibiotic that can get rid of it.
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Soothe Uti Pain With Heat
Inflammation and irritation from UTIs cause burning, pressure, and pain around your pubic area, says Kandis Rivers, MD, a urologist in the Henry Ford Health System in Wast Bloomfield, Michigan. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Keep the heat setting low, dont apply it directly to the skin, and limit your use to 15 minutes at a time to avoid burns.
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
It’s 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.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
- A urinary tract infection is any infection that affects the urinary tract, which includes the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidney.
- Urethritis is an infection of the urethra .
- Cystitis is an infection of your bladder.
- Lower urinary tract infection involves the bladder and urethra.
- Pyelonephritis is when kidneys become infected.
- Pyelonephritis symptoms include abdominal or back pain, feeling sick or vomiting, a high fever or chills, or cloudy or bloody urine which need urgent medical attention.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
When You Need Themand When You Dont
Antibiotics are medicines that can kill bacteria. Doctors often use antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections . The main symptoms of UTIs are:
- A burning feeling when you urinate.
- A strong urge to urinate often.
However, many older people get UTI treatment even though they do not have these symptoms. This can do more harm than good. Heres why:
Antibiotics usually dont help when there are no UTI symptoms.
Older people often have some bacteria in their urine. This does not mean they have a UTI. But doctors may find the bacteria in a routine test and give antibiotics anyway.
The antibiotic does not help these patients.
- It does not prevent UTIs.
- It does not help bladder control.
- It does not help memory problems or balance.
Most older people should not be tested or treated for a UTI unless they have UTI symptoms. And if you do have a UTI and get treated, you usually dont need another test to find out if you are cured. You should only get tested or treated if UTI symptoms come back.
Antibiotics have side effects.
Antibiotics can have side effects, such as fever, rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, tendon ruptures, and nerve damage.
Antibiotics can cause future problems.
Antibiotics can kill friendly germs in the body. This can lead to vaginal yeast infections. It can also lead to other infections, and severe diarrhea, hospitalization, and even death.
Antibiotics can be a waste of money.
When should older people take antibiotics for a UTI?
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Antibiotics For A Uti
The form of antibiotic used to treat a bacterial UTI usually depends on which part of the tract is involved.
Lower tract UTIs can usually be treated with oral antibiotics. Upper tract UTIs require intravenous antibiotics. These antibiotics are put directly into your veins.
Sometimes, bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. To reduce your risk of antibiotic resistance, your doctor will likely put you on the shortest treatment course possible. Treatment typically lasts no more than 1 week.
Results from your urine culture can help your doctor select an antibiotic treatment that will work best against the type of bacteria thats causing your infection.
Treatments other than antibiotics for bacterial UTIs are being examined. At some point, UTI treatment without antibiotics may be an option for bacterial UTIs by using cell chemistry to change the interaction between the body and the bacteria.
There are no home remedies that can cure a UTI, but there are some things that you can do that can help your medication work better.
These home remedies for UTIs, like drinking more water, may help your body clear the infection faster.
Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
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.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
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Why Do I Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs can be extremely frustrating when they keep coming back. Most of the time, the recurrent infection is caused by the same pathogen as the initial infection. And about 80% of UTIs are reoccurring.
This could be due to the antibiotic resistance of the bacteria. Since we take so many antibiotics, they are becoming less and less effective against many strains of E. coli. It can also be simply physiology certain women are just more prone to urinary tract infections.
One of the keys is to make sure that you start treating a UTI as soon as you feel even very mild symptoms pop up. The longer the bacteria have a chance to multiply, the harder the infection is to get rid of.
Practicing the natural and preventive measures Ive laid out here is a great idea take a daily probiotic, vitamin C, and drink plenty of watereven if you dont have symptoms right now. These good habits can go a long way towards keeping a UTI from cropping back up.
Treatment For Uti Symptoms
When UTI symptoms are particularly uncomfortable, a physician may also recommend phenazopyridine to alleviate the burning and discomfort to be taken in conjunction with antibiotics. This medication should not be taken for more than two days and has side effects that include headache, nausea, and changes in urine color .
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Do I Need To See A Doctor
Yes. Painful urination can be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long youve had them. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, because these could affect your bodys response to infection. Tell your doctor about any known abnormality in your urinary tract, and if you are or might be pregnant. Tell your doctor if youve had any procedures or surgeries on your urinary tract. He or she also need to know if you were recently hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home.
If your doctor thinks your pain may be from vaginal inflammation, he or she may wipe the lining of your vagina with a swab to collect mucus. The mucus will be looked at under a microscope to see if it has yeast or other organisms. If your pain is from an infection in your urethra , your doctor may swab it to test for bacteria. If an infection cant be found, your doctor may suggest other tests.
Ease The Burn With Baking Soda
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water.
- Stir the soda until it dissolves completely.
- Drink the entire solution, preferably on an empty stomach.
When the burning sensation while peeing gets too much to bear, drink some baking soda. The burning sensation may be because of the high acidity of your urine. Baking soda is alkaline, so it will lessen the acidity of your urine or neutralize it.13 But dont go overboard with it. Stick to 1 glass a day and dont drink it for more than a week.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
- Quinolones .
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.