How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
Utis And Hospital Stays
A hospital stay can put you at risk for a UTI, particularly if you need to use a catheter. This is a thin tube thats inserted through the urethra to carry urine out of the body. Bacteria can enter through the catheter and reach the bladder. This is more often a problem for older adults who require prolonged hospital stays or who live in long-term care facilities.
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Can You Get Rid Of A Uti Naturally At Home Or Do You Need Antibiotics
Sometimes, you can get rid of a UTI naturally by resting, drinking lots of water, taking dietary supplements, and giving the infection some time to heal. Research from 2017 suggests that somewhere between 25% and 42% of UTIs resolve naturally without the use of antibiotics.
However, there are certain situations where wait and see just isnt an acceptable approach. Untreated UTIs can cause potentially life threatening complications, including .
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How Do You Know If Youre Dealing With A Standard Uti Or Severe Kidney Infection
Both are technically forms of UTIs. A standard UTI, though, typically just means you’re dealing with cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder. That inflammation causes those typical UTI symptoms like painful or burning urination and urgent or frequent urination, explains Dr. Mueller.
But a kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is caused by the same bacteria and oftentimes results from an untreated bladder infection. These symptoms are typically much more severe.
Foods Not Recommended When You Have Uti
A number of common foods and drinks can irritate your bladder, and may worsen UTI symptoms so you should steer clear of them if you suffer from this condition. These include citrus fruits, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, vinegar, tomatoes, berries, and sweetened carbonated drinks, among others. These contribute to yeast overgrowth and can aggravate the condition.
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Can You Still Drink Coffee If Youre Suffering From Uti
If you want to get rid of UTI fast, the best thing to do is to steer clear of caffeine until you get it treated completely. You may as well avoid coffee, as well as other caffeine products like tea, chocolates, even ice cream.
Hydrate yourself by drinking clear liquids like water and cranberry juice. Livestrong says:
Cranberries are an antioxidant that can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. Liquids are important in helping to cleanse and flush your kidneys naturally. Clear liquids can help to dilute your urine, making urination more comfortable.
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First Line Of Defense
If youre just feeling the first hint of a UTI, you can get ahead of the infection with AZO Urinary Tract DefenseÂ®. It includes a pain reliever to help soothe and a powerful antibacterial agent to help control your infection. If youre beyond that stage, relieve painful UTI symptoms FAST with an over-the-counter urinary pain reliever like AZO Urinary Pain ReliefÂ® or for a higher dose of the active ingredient, AZO Urinary Pain ReliefÂ® Maximum Strength.
Remember: Theres no over-the-counter cure for a UTI. Only your doctor can prescribe a UTI antibiotic to rid the bacteria causing the infection.
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Does Caffeine Impact The Bladder
In addition to the above, caffeine can also impact the bladder. Coffee consumption can increase the frequency or urgency of urination because it relaxes your pelvic and urethral muscles.5 It can also irritate your bladder due to its acidity.6 Read more here about why acidity is bad for your bladder and what other dietary changes you can make to improve your bladder health.
Because of all these health impacts, its recommended that you drink a maximum of four to five cups of coffee a day or a maximum of 400mg of caffeine7. However, if you have an overactive bladder or other bladder problems, then it is recommended that you reduce or completely avoid caffeine8.
Does A Uti Get Worse Before It Gets Better
Sometimes, it will feel like it is getting worse. It can take several days for the antibiotics to take effect and help relieve symptoms.
While you shouldnt treat a UTI yourself, you can help prevent it or reduce the symptoms. As you take the medications your doctor recommends, drink a lot of water and use the bathroom frequently. Connect with your doctor with worsening symptoms and any questions.
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How To Prevent Uti Re
Following some tips can help you avoid getting another UTI:
- Empty your bladder often as soon as you feel the need to pee don’t rush, and be sure you’ve emptied your bladder completely.
- Wipe from front to back after you use the toilet.
- Drink lots of water.
- Choose showers over baths.
- Stay away from feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products they’ll only increase irritation.
- Cleanse your genital area before sex.
- Pee after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
- If you use a diaphragm, unlubricated condoms, or spermicidal jelly for birth control, you may want to switch to another method. Diaphragms can increase bacteria growth, while unlubricated condoms and spermicides can irritate your urinary tract. All can make UTI symptoms more likely.
- Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. DonÃ¢â¬â¢t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear they can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.
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.
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When Should You Seek Medical Attention For A Uti
Always, Dr. Mueller says. Self-treatment is not a great idea. And while popular over-the-counter relief products like Azo do exist, theyre not recommended as treatment on their own. can help with some of the symptoms, Dr. Mueller explains, “but they have has no antibacterial properties. Going to your doc for a prescribed antibiotic is your best bet, along with adding in those lifestyle best practices mentioned earlier.
And if theres any indication that youre experiencing a kidney infection, like blood in your urine or pain around your torso, head to the emergency room ASAP for urgent care. This will likely require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
do not use condoms or a diaphragm or cap with spermicidal lube on them try non-spermicidal lube or a different type of contraception
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Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Dehydration is linked to an increased risk of UTIs.
This is because regular urination can help flush bacteria from the urinary tract to prevent infection. When youre dehydrated, you arent urinating as often, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria.
A examined nursing home residents and administered a drinking schedule to participants to increase their fluid intake. Following the schedule decreased UTIs requiring antibiotics by 56%.
In a 2020 randomized control trial , 140 premenopausal participants prone to UTIs took part in a 12-month study to test if a higher fluid intake would decrease their risk of recurrent cystitis and, in turn, their risk of developing a UTI. Researchers found that an increase in fluid intake led to a decrease in UTI frequency.
To stay hydrated and meet your fluid needs, its best to drink water throughout the day and always when youre thirsty.
Benefits of drinking more fluids for UTI
Drinking plenty of liquids can decrease your risk of UTIs by making you pee more, which helps remove bacteria from your urinary tract.
evidence suggests that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against UTIs.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of urine, killing off the bacteria that cause infection.
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C every day.
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Favorite Sites To Find Docs
SWIU is all about supporting women urologists and the urologic issues that impact women. One of our favorite SWIU perks is their searchable database for prospective patients to find a local female urologist.
An excellent source for overall urinary health info, UCF also offers a tool to help would-be patients find a urologist near them. You can search by zip code, distance, and through eight urinary specialties, including pediatric urology.
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Uti Symptoms In Women
In most cases, youll never have to wonder if you have a UTI. Thats because the signs of a urinary tract infection are typically apparent and may include:
- Persistent urge to pee
- Sometimes passing only a couple of drops of urine despite a feeling of urgency to pee
In some cases, you may experience asymptomatic bacteriuria, which occurs when bacteria is present in your urine but no symptoms of a UTI appear. The only indication may be an increased urge to pee. A simple urine test will be able to diagnose this condition. Make sure to attend your annual doctor visits to prevent asymptomatic bacteriuria from going undetected and causing complications.
If You Have a UTI, Consult A DoctorCall to Schedule an Appointment
When To See Your Doctor
See your doctor right away if you have signs of a urinary tract infection. A bladder infection is generally not a medical emergency but some people have a higher risk for complications. This includes pregnant women, the elderly, and men, as well as people with diabetes, kidney problems, or a weakened immune system.
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See A Healthcare Provider
While UTIs arent usually a cause for major concern, if you dont get them treated, they can lead to more serious problems like a kidney infection. If you have a UTI, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The fastest way to feel better is by taking an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing your infection.
If going to see a provider in-person is not an option , there are plenty of telehealth services available that will allow you to set up a virtual appointment. Check out GoodRx Care for treatment of UTIs as well as many other medical conditions.
During your appointment, your provider will ask you questions about what symptoms you are experiencing and if you are prone to UTIs. You might be asked to provide a urine sample either in the office you are seen in or at a lab close to you. Lastly, your provider will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to get started on right away.
Some common antibiotics used for treating UTIs include nitrofurantoin , sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim , and ciprofloxacin . Typically, you only need to take them for 3 to 5 days, and most people start to feel relief within the first 2 to 3 days. Antibiotics can cause nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea for many people. But, taking your dose with food can help lessen nausea and stomach upset, and taking a probiotic supplement like L. acidophilus can help with the diarrhea.
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Home Remedies To Relieve Utis
If you do find yourself with a Urinary Tract Infection, there are several home remedies you can try before resorting to an over the counter or prescription drug.
Increase Your Water Intake. An increase in fluids can help flush out the urinary tract and put you on the road to recovery. Just make sure youâre drinking water and avoid any sugary or caffeinated drinks.
Empty Your Bladder Frequently. Emptying your bladder helps you get rid of the bacteria thatâs causing the infection. Be sure to go whenever you feel the urge â dont hold it in!
Take Some Vitamin C. Eat plenty of foods rich in Vitamin C, or take a supplement to make your urine more acidic. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria in your urine.
Watch What You Eat. Avoiding bladder irritants can help make it easier for your body to fight off infections within the urinary tract. Steer clear of spicy foods, acidic foods, carbonated drinks, or sugary sweets.
Use Heat To Relieve Pain. Urinary Tract Infections can be painful. Use a heating pad on the stomach or pubic area to relieve discomfort, or take a warm bath.
Baking Soda. This household staple can help neutralize the acidity in your urine, helping you to heal from the infection. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and drink up.
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How Is A Uti Diagnosed
To find out whether you have a UTI, your doctor or nurse will test a clean sample of your urine. This means you will first wipe your genital area with a special wipe. Then you will collect your urine in midstream in a cup. Your doctor or nurse may then test your urine for bacteria to see whether you have a UTI, which can take a few days.
If you have had a UTI before, your doctor may order more tests to rule out other problems. These tests may include:
- A cystogram. This is a special type of x-ray of your urinary tract. These x-rays can show any problems, including swelling or kidney stones.
- A cystoscopic exam. The cystoscope is a small tube the doctor puts into the urethra to see inside of the urethra and bladder for any problems.
What Not To Do If You Have A Uti
DO NOT have sexual intercourse. You dont want to have sex after your UTI for at least two weeks until your symptoms have cleared up. Intercourse can worsen your symptoms and possibly make your infection worse. Sex during a UTI could also be uncomfortable or painful.
DO NOT drink alcohol. While you should get plenty of fluids, you need to stay away from alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can irritate the bladder and worsen the infection.
DO NOT eat artificial sweetener. Even when you dont have a UTI, you should avoid artificial sweeteners. They can intensify your bladder symptoms.
DO NOT drink caffeine. You may think that you cant get by without your cup of coffee in the morning. However, it may be beneficial to skip it while youre suffering from a UTI. Those who regularly drink caffeine have more severe UTI symptoms. This is because caffeine has been shown to irritate the bladder.
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Preventing Future Urinary Tract Infections
BATHING AND HYGIENE
To prevent future urinary tract infections, you should:
- Choose sanitary pads instead of tampons, which some doctors believe make infections more likely. Change your pad each time you use the bathroom.
- Take showers instead of baths. Avoid bath oils.
- Urinate before and after sexual activity. Drinking 2 glasses of water after sexual activity may help promote urination.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom.
- Avoid tight-fitting pants. Wear cotton-cloth underwear and pantyhose, and change both at least once a day.
The following improvements to your diet may prevent future urinary tract infections:
- Drink plenty of fluids, 2 to 4 quarts each day.
- Do not drink fluids that irritate the bladder, such as alcohol and caffeine.
Some women have repeated bladder infections. Your provider may suggest that you:
- Use vaginal estrogen cream if you have dryness caused by menopause.
- Take a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual contact.
- Take a cranberry supplement pill after sexual contact.
- Have a 3-day course of antibiotics at home to use if you develop an infection.
- Take a single, daily dose of an antibiotic to prevent infections.