Home Remedies For Utis: How To Get Rid Of Bladder Infections
By Katherine Lessman, MD, Nebraska Medicine OB-GYN Published May 9, 2022
Urinary tract infections in women are extremely common. Not only is the urethra short the close proximity to the vagina and anus makes it prone to infection. And because urinary tract infections occur so easily, questions about them do too. Here is some clarification about them to help dispel myths.
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.
Can Home Remedies Quickly Treat A Uti
As resistance to antibiotics is becoming more common, many people are looking for ways to avoid using them. While this can be a good thing in some cases, it can draw out your illness in other instances.
The most commonly asked about home remedy for UTIs is cranberry. Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry tablets has been long-touted as a natural alternative for treating UTIs. The thought is that cranberry makes your urine more acidic which, in turn, kills the bacteria causing your infection.
Unfortunately, cranberry does not treat UTIs very well. On the flip side, though, it can be useful for helping to prevent infections if youre prone to them. This seems to also be the case for other acidic fruits like lemon. Just be sure if youre going to try this for preventing future UTIs that you drink unsweetened juice, as sugar actually helps bacteria to grow.
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What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
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Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis
Bladder infections are sometimes difficult to diagnose in elders because of uncommon symptoms that might occur. If a bladder infection is suspected, the easiest way to get a diagnosis is to go to the doctors and have a urinalysis done.
With a simple urine culture a doctor is able to tell whether you have an infection or not, what kind of bacteria caused your UTI and what antibiotic should be used to treat it.
How Can You Cure A Uti
For all the anti-antibiotic people out there, I have bad news. You cant cure the infection with natural remedies. Sorry. Though there are natural solutions that might help prevent UTI , all the unsweetened cranberry juice in the world wont actually help you. In fact, in the study Cranberry juice fails to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection, cranberry juice cocktail had the exact same effect as a placebo in recurrent UTIs. Barbosa-Cesnik C, et al. . Cranberry juice fails to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection: Results from a randomized placebo-controlled trial. DOI: Though you probably guessed that from the study title.
The only way to totally get rid of a UTI is with antibiotics. If youre experiencing symptoms, its best to get to the doctor quickly. Theyll test your urine, and if its indeed a UTI, youll get a weeklong course of antibiotics. Usually, your symptoms go away in a few days and you can enjoy pain-free peeing again. But you must continue your antibiotics until youve completed the prescription.
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Avoid Bladder Irritating Foods When You Have A Uti
Certain foods are known bladder irritants – citrus or very acidic foods, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol – these can all irritate the bladder, leading to bladder leaks. And, if you currently have a UTI, they may affect you even more. Try to watch out for these common bladder irritants to prevent further irritation to your bladder and UTI.
How Is A Bladder Infection Diagnosed
Bladder infections are usually diagnosed with a urine test.
- Urinalysis, which checks for white blood cells in the urine that can be a sign of infection
- Urine culture, which uses a sample of urine to try and grow bacteria in a laboratory to identify the type of bacteria causing the UTI and determine which antibiotics would be effective against that bacteria
In people who have recurrent bladder infections, additional testing may be indicated to check for abnormalities in the kidneys, ureter, bladder, or urethra, or for kidney stones. Tests may include:
- Computed tomography scan
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What Do I Do If I Have One
If you notice any signs of a UTI or kidney infection, visit your doctor ASAP. He or she will probably take a urine sample, and possibly a blood test, and give you a prescription for antibiotics. Although over-the-counter pain-relievers like AZO can make you more comfortable while you wait for the drugs to kick in, they will not treat the infection.
Usually, antibiotics plus plenty of liquids will get you better in no time. And as with most things, the earlier its caught, the easier its treated and the faster youll recover.
While its true that some women do get UTIs more often than othersand some even get them chronicallyno one is immune. And unfortunately, infections dont care whether or not theres room for them on your calendar. As I learned, not everything gets better with time, tea, and wishful thinking. So keep a lookout for the symptoms, keep an open mind when self-diagnosing, and remember: if you dont take care of it now, youll pay for it later.
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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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How Long Does A Uti Last Without Antibiotics
As mentioned, in regards to how long a UTI lasts without antibiotics, the answer will depend on whether the infection is relatively minor or not. Uncomplicated UTIs can go away in about a week. Its possible to try some home remedies to get relief during the recovery, but make sure to seek medical assistance if the signs of your UTI is going away fail to show. After all, you dont want a lower tract UTI to turn into an upper tract one.
Some of the most popular home remedies involve drinking plenty of liquids and not just water. Cranberry juice and uva ursi tea have been reported to help with UTI symptoms relief. Upping the intake of vitamin C and probiotics may also be helpful to fight off the infection. Some people swear by certain essential oils when it comes to UTI home remedies, such as oregano oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, and eucalyptus oil. However, using these oils also carries certain health risks, which is why its crucial to follow the exact instructions when using them. Also, its recommended to discuss the use of essential oils with your doctor just to be on the safe side.
However, in many cases, you shouldnt count that a UTI will go away on its own. Leaving a serious infection untreated can end up causing a kidney infection. This is a very dangerous condition that could even lead to organ failure or kidney scarring, which is why it requires immediate medical intervention.
Get Rid Of Bladder Infection Instantly
Are you looking for ways to get rid of a bladder infection? Bladder infection is an infection commonly caused by a type of bacteria known as E. coli. It is actually the bacterial infection of the bladder itself. In medical term, it is known as cystitis. Bladder infection is a kind of Urinary Tract Infection that affects more female than male due to the shorter urethra in female anatomy. The bacteria in the bladder literally came from outside of the body through the passage of the urethra.
A common misconception of bladder infection is that they come from the urine itself. This is absolutely incorrect as the urine production from the kidney is in fact sterile. Therefore, for this real fact is that the bacteria comes from the outside world and into your bladder through your urethra. And because of this, keeping a good personal hygiene of ones genital area is very important to get rid of bladder infection and minimize the chance of any bacteria buildup.
Causes Of Bladder Infection
As had been already mentioned why there are more female affected by UTI than their male counterpart, it is all because of their shorter urethra, which averages only about 4cm from the bladder opening to the outside. A short urethra makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder as compared to the longer urethra in male. As a comparison, males urethra is generally about 20cm long and therefore bacteria would need a longer time to reach there.
Symptoms of A Bladder Infection
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Treatment For More Severe Utis
Kids with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
This might happen if:
- the child has high fever or looks very ill, or a kidney infection is likely
- the child is younger than 6 months old
- bacteria from the infected urinary tract may have spread to the blood
- the child is dehydrated or is vomiting and cannot take any fluids or medicine by mouth
Kids with VUR will be watched closely by the doctor. VUR might be treated with medicines or, less commonly, surgery. Most kids outgrow mild forms of VUR, but some can develop kidney damage or kidney failure later in life.
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Blood in urine and new onset since starting antibiotic
- Taking antibiotic more than 24 hours, and pain with passing urine is severe.
- Taking antibiotic more than 48 hours and fever still there or comes back
- Taking antibiotic more than 3 days and pain not better
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
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How Is A Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosed
If you have a chronic UTI, you probably had a UTI in the past.
Performing lab tests on a sample of urine is the most common method doctors use to diagnose UTIs. A medical professional will examine the sample of urine under a microscope, looking for signs of bacteria.
In a urine culture test, a technician places a urine sample in a tube to encourage the growth of bacteria. After one to three days, theyll look at the bacteria to determine the best treatment.
If you have recurring UTIs, your doctor may want to perform a cystoscopy. In this procedure, theyll use a cystoscope. Its a long, thin tube with a lens at the end used to look inside your urethra and bladder. Your doctor will look for any abnormalities or issues that could cause the UTI to keep coming back.
Treatment From A Gp For Utis That Keep Coming Back
If your UTI comes back after treatment, you may have a urine test and be prescribed different antibiotics.
Your doctor or nurse will also offer advice on how to prevent UTIs.
If you keep getting UTIs and regularly need treatment, a GP may give you a repeat prescription for antibiotics.
If you have been through the menopause, you may be offered a vaginal cream containing oestrogen.
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When To Get Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.
Potential Complications Of A Bladder Infection
Without treatment, bacteria from the bladder can travel up to the kidneys and cause a . This can cause pain on the sides of the body . You may also experience fever and chills.
is another possible complication of infection. Although bladder infections can sometimes cause a , it is important to let your doctor know if you experience a high and shaking or chills.
When treating a bladder infection, take the full course of medication, even if you start feeling better. Completing the treatment reduces the risk of complications.
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Prognosis Of Staph Infection
The outlook for staph infections depends on the type of infection and how much its spread in your body. Any underlying medical conditions you have may also influence how quickly you heal and recover.
Most superficial skin infections can be easily treated. But if you develop a serious infection that turns into sepsis, your prognosis is much worse. Some studies, such as one published in 2016 in The American Journal of Medicine, show death rates from staph infection of the bloodstream range from 20 to 40 percent. 01000-1/pdf rel=nofollow> 6)
Remedies For Bladder Infections
If you think you have a bladder infection, you should contact your doctor and schedule an outpatient appointment. Youâll need medication to get rid of the bacterial infection. That said, there are home remedies you can also use to help ease symptoms and help with the healing process. Here are five remedies and treatments for bladder infections that you can use:
1. See your doctor for an antibiotic
If youâre diagnosed with a bladder infection, your doctor will likely prescribe an oral antibiotic. Antibiotics work by getting rid of the bacteria that is causing your bladder infection. Research has shown that antibiotics are effective and perform better than a placebo.
You need to complete the full course of the prescribed antibiotic, even when you start to feel better. If you stop the antibiotic before completing the prescription, you risk getting another infection. In an uncomplicated or simple bladder infection, youâll typically notice an improvement in your symptoms within a day or two of starting the antibiotic. Your doctor may select an antibiotic treatment course that will last three to five days. In complicated bladder infections, the course is longer, typically seven to fourteen days.
2. Drink more water
When caring for a bladder infection, itâs critical to drink lots of fluids to help flush the bacteria out of your bladder. The additional fluids also help dilute your urine, which can make urinating less painful while youâre healing from the infection.
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Diagnosis For Urinary Tract Infection
To determine if you have a urinary tract infection, your doctor will test a sample of your urine. The sample must be clean, so you will have to wipe your genital area with a special wipe. This is to remove outside bacteria that may affect the test result. The doctor will test your urine for bacteria. If youve had UTIs before, your doctor may order additional tests to rule out other issues. These tests are a cystogram and a cystoscopic exam.
In addition to testing for bacteria or signs of infection, your doctor may do a urine culture. This test will determine levels of bacteria and yeast in the urine, which could also cause your UTI. If you have blood in your urine, you should call your doctor immediately. It could be a sign of a UTI or a symptom of a more severe problem. If a long-lasting fever accompanies your UTI your doctor may do an ultrasound or computed tomography scan to check your urinary tract for other issues.