Method 1 Seeking Medical Treatment for a UTI
1Recognize the symptoms. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is very common but can be unpleasant and very uncomfortable. UTIs are an infection of your upper urinary tract (kidney and ureters), lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra), or both.
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- If you develop a UTI you will likely feel a burning sensation when you urinate as well as a need to urinate often.
- You may also feel pain in your lower abdomen.
2Know the different symptoms for an upper or lower urinary tract infection. There are different symptoms for the various infections. It can be useful to think about your symptoms so you can explain them clearly if you need to go to the doctor. Symptoms of lower UTIs include: needing to urinate more often, cloudy or bloody urine, back pain, very unpleasant smelling urine, and generally feeling unwell.
- If you have an upper UTI you may experience a high temperature (over 38 degrees C, or 100 Fahrenheit).
- You may also be nauseous, and shiver uncontrollably.
- Other symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.
3Know when to seek medical treatment. 25-40%of mild UTIs will spontaneously resolve, but that still leaves more than half which could be putting themselves at risk for a complication by not seeking medical care. Make an appointment with your doctor straight away if you are experiencing a UTI, and you develop a high temperature, or your symptoms suddenly get worse.
- If you are pregnant or diabetic you should contact your doctor immediately.
- Going to see a doctor will enable you to get a precise diagnosis. What you think is a UTI could be a yeast infection or something else.
- Your doctor will likely have you take a urine test to determine if you have a UTI and what bacteria might be causing it. These cultures usually take 48 hours to complete.
4Take a course of antibiotics. UTIs are bacterial infections, and as such, doctor prescribed antibiotics are the most thorough, most recommended treatment to consider. Antibiotics are particularly recommended for women who suffer frequent UTIs. Longer-term courses of antibiotics can help prevent the infection recurring.
- Antibiotics typically prescribed to treat a UTI are nitrofurantoin (branded as Furadantin, Macrobid, or Macrodantin), and sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim (branded as Bactrim, or Septra).However, ciprofloxacin (known as Cipro), fosfomycin (known as Monurol) and levofloxacin (known as Levaquin) are also prescribed.
- In addition to antibiotics, AZO is an over the counter bladder analgesic that can help.
5Complete the course of antibiotics. Take a one- to seven-day course of antibiotics, with your doctor's prescription and advice. Most women are put on a 3-5 day antibiotic. Men might be put on an antibiotic for 7 to 14 days. While symptoms usually clear up around three days after antibiotic treatment, it can take up to five days for all the bacteria in your urinary tract to die off. It may take even longer for men.
- It is vital that you finish all of the antibiotics that your doctor prescribes unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- If you stop taking your antibiotics before the course is over, you’re not allowing the antibiotics to completely kill the bacteria.
- If your symptoms continue after you have taken all your antibiotics, or you don’t feel any better after a few days, contact your doctor again.
6Be aware of potential complications. There are potentially serious complications from a severe UTI, which could lead to kidney failure or blood poisoning. These are not common, and they usually only affect people with a pre-existing health problem, such as diabetes. If you have a weakened immune system, you are more susceptible to complications and infections.
- Pregnant women with UTIs are at risk for life-threatening complications and should always be examined by a physician.
- Men who have recurrent UTIs are at risk of developing inflammation of the prostate, known as prostatitis.
- You may require hospital treatment for a severe upper UTI, or if there are complications.
- This will still involve antibiotics, but you will be closely monitored and perhaps put on a drip to keep you hydrated.
Method 2 Alleviating a UTI at Home
1Drink plenty of water. Antibiotics are the only way to really treat a UTI, but given that they often pass in a few days, there are things you can do to help ease the symptoms and make it less likely for the infection to recur. The most straightforward of these is just to drink plenty of water throughout the day, approximately a glass every hour.
- When you urinate your bladder is cleansed, and this can help flush out bacteria.
- Do not hold in your urine. Holding in your urine can cause the UTI to get worse, by encouraging the bacteria to breed.
2Try some cranberry juice. Drinking cranberry juice is often cited as a home remedy for a UTI. While there is little evidence that cranberry juice can actually fight an infection, it may help prevent one. If you have recurring UTIs try taking higher-strength cranberry capsules. As with water, drinking plenty of fluids helps you to flush out and cleanse your system.
- Do not take cranberry juice if you or your family has a history of kidney infection.
- You should not take cranberry juice capsules if you are taking blood-thinning medication.
- There is no medically specified dose of cranberry juice to take, as its effectiveness is not proven.
- One study found positive results for women who took either one tablet of concentrated cranberry juice a day, or drank 8oz of unsweetened cranberry juice three times a day for a year.
3Take vitamin C supplements. Taking vitamin C supplements when you first start to feel the symptoms of a UTI can help to limit a developing infection. The vitamin C helps to acidify the urine, which discourages the bacteria from colonizing your bladder while strengthening your body’s immune defences.
- Try a 500mg dose every hour, but stop if your bowel movements become loose.
- You can combine vitamin C supplements with mild anti-inflammatory teas, such as goldenseal, echinacea, and nettle.
- If the symptoms persist after a few days, go to the doctor regardless.
4Avoid consuming irritants. There are certain things you consume which can be irritants, the effects of which are heightened when you have a UTI. The two biggest culprits to avoid are coffee and alcohol. Not only are they irritants, but they also dehydrate you which can make it more difficult to flush the bacteria from your urinary tract.
- You should also avoid soft drinks that contain citrus juices until after your UTI has cleared.
- Restricting caffeine and alcohol in your diet can also be used as a preventative measure against future UTIs if you are susceptible to these infections.
Method 3 Staying Hygienic and Healthy
1Maintain excellent urinary hygiene. While proper hygiene is generally considered a preventative measure against urinary tract infections, it is also an essential part of getting rid of the infection sooner. The more you can incorporate healthy and hygienic practices, the better off you will be
- Wipe from the front to the back after using the bathroom. This is especially important for women, who should always wipe from front to back.
2Clean before and after sex. Sexual intercourse is one of how dose bacteria can be introduced into a woman’s urethra, eventually ending up in the bladder. To help prevent this, the genital and anal areas should be cleaned before and after sexual activity. Women should also urinate before and after sexual activity. Avoid body lotions and Massage oils as a lubricant unless it says it's safe. These have chemicals that can lead to an infection.
- Urinating after intercourse empties the bladder and flushes out bacteria.
- UTIs are not infectious, and you cannot catch one from somebody else.
3Wear the right clothing. Certain clothes can make it more difficult to get rid of your UTI. Tight-fitting underwear which is made of non-breathable materials can enable a moist and bacteria-friendly environment to develop adjacent to the bladder. For these reasons, go for cotton underwear, rather than non-absorbent fabrics like nylon.
- Avoid tight-fitting pants or shorts. Tight garments can cause sweat and moisture to build up, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
- Wearing the right underwear can help prevent infections developing or worsening, but it won’t cure them.
Is Parkinson's disease a contributing factor in loss of urine control?
Daniel Wozniczka, M.D.Dr. Wozniczka is an Internal Medicine Resident Physician in Chicago. He received his license to practice medicine in the United States in 2016.
Internal Medicine Resident Physician
Daniel Wozniczka, M.D.
Parkinsons can indeed frequently present with urinary incontinence, meaning the loss of urine all at once.Thanks!
Not Helpful 6 Helpful 6
Can I decrease the pain and get rid of the infection by drinking a lot of water?
Drinking lots of water will not get rid of the infection. Lots of water helps to flush the system, thereby helping to remove bacteria from the bladder. However, it's only one part of the whole strategy to healing.Thanks!
Not Helpful 58 Helpful 187
What should I do if I have been treating my UTI for two weeks but the symptoms are still there?
Go and see a doctor immediately! A UTI shouldn't last two weeks. If you leave it untreated any longer, it can turn into a kidney infection, which is far more serious!Thanks!
Not Helpful 68 Helpful 165
Will drinking cranberry juice heal or prevent a UTI?
Cranberry juice can do both! It is very good for you in general. There is no evidence to prove that cranberry juice actually prevents UTIs but it seems to work for most people.Thanks!
Not Helpful 58 Helpful 132
How long will it take for my UTI to clear after starting antibiotics?
After two days, your UTI will start to clear up. However, still finish the course of your antibiotics.Thanks!
Not Helpful 3 Helpful 14
Do I have a UTI if I'm not experiencing any back pains?
Back pain is just one symptom. If you are experiencing other symptoms of a UTI, you should get it checked out.Thanks!
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Is it usual to urinate with blood?
That is common with a UTI, yes.Thanks!
Not Helpful 39 Helpful 75
My daughter has been suffering from urine infection for four months but it hasn't ceased. What should I do?
See a doctor immediately, a UTI shouldn't go longer than a few days, let alone a few months! Look up doctors in your local area if you don't have one, or visit a hospital or similar medical establishment in your area.Thanks!
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I been feeling this for 3 weeks could I be in danger?
It depends on the severity of what you're feeling and whether or not you have the upper infection symptoms like fevers or chills. If you have the upper infection symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately.Thanks!
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What if I have a vaginal discharge?
If you have vaginal discharge, it may be a yeast infection. Drink plenty of water, then seek medical attention or use appropriate-at home remedies.Thanks!
Not Helpful 35 Helpful 63
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- Get lots of rest as well and drink plenty of water.
- Don't have sexual intercourse while treating a UTI. You might introduce new bacteria and reduce the likelihood of complete recovery.
- Drink lots of water, take medicine prescribed by your doctor.
- Take some Ibuprofen to help with pain, while you are taking all the remedies.
- Do not use lotions or massage oils as a lubricant unless it specifically says it can be used. Chemicals in some of these products can cause a UTI.
- Use a heating pad to minimize discomfort. While this will not get rid of the UTI, it may help ease your symptoms. The heating pad should be warm, but not hot, and you should apply it to your lower abdomen to relieve pressure, pain, and other discomfort associated with urinary tract infections.
- Do not consume cranberry or take antibiotics - it will temporarily help, but will make you worse! Drink 8oz of water with a tablespoon of baking soda, then 8 oz of lemon water every hour. This will immediately soothe bladder pain.
- If home treatment does seem to work, you should still consider having a professional urine test taken to double-check for remaining bacteria.
- Even uncomplicated UTIs can develop into fatal kidney infections if allowed to fester for too long.
- If you do not notice a dramatic improvement in your symptoms after 24 to 36 hours of home treatment, you need to seek out professional medical help.
- Because cranberry juice is very acidic, it can actually worsen an existing UTI. Acidic foods and drinks can irritate the already inflamed bladder.
- Taking cranberry daily as a preventative measure is very effective, but exercise caution when consuming cranberry juice with an active infection.
Things You'll Need
Goldenseal, echinacea, and nettle supplements
Loose-fitting pants or bottoms
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