How To Prevent Utis
Additionally, there are a few general lifestyle behaviors you can practice to help prevent UTIs before they occur, including:
- When you feel like you have to urinate, go don’t hold it.
- After urinating and especially after a bowel movement, wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your urethra.
- Urinate before and after having sex.
- Avoid using scented soaps, bubble baths, or douches.
- Avoid tight pants.
Creating Stronger Strains Of Bacteria
Over time, some species of bacteria have become resistant to traditional antibiotics. According to some research , several species of E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, are showing increasing drug resistance.
The more a person uses an antibiotic, the greater the risk of the bacteria developing resistance. This is even more likely when a person does not take the full prescribed course of treatment.
It is essential to continue taking antibiotics until the end date that the doctor provides. Also, never share antibiotics with others.
Uti Treatment Without Antibiotics: What Actually Works
Want a quick fact to bust out at your next all-ladies get-together? A whopping 40 percent of women will get a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives!
Okay — maybe this isnt your go-to topic while sipping cocktails with the girls, but its definitely worth knowing the ins and outs of this super common ailment — especially since 20 percent of women who get a UTI will get another one, and many women experience them on a chronic basis.
Most of the time, urinary tract infections require the treatment of antibiotics to kick the infection to the curb. This is a powerful and effective treatment, usually working in as little as a few days.
But if you would rather not use antibiotics?Especially since there is some serious concern about creating antibiotic-resistant strains of the infection — what options do you have?
Read on to see if there are any UTI treatments without the use of any antibiotics that actually work.
Read Also: Strep Throat Cure No Antibiotics
Cure Urinary Tract Infections Without Antibiotics 3 Home Remedy Treatments
Few things are as annoying as a urinary tract infection .
These infections cause serious discomfort. Constantly feeling like you need to urinate, burning sensations, pain, blood in the urine no wonder UTIs send some nine million people to the doctor each year.
Common intestinal bacteria, known as E. coli , cause all this misery. As long as the E. coli stays in the intestines, where it belongs, you have nothing to worry about.
But sometimes these bacteria gain access to the urinary tract, after accidental contamination by feces or sexual activity.
Women are more susceptible to UTIs. Thats because the female urethra is shorter than the males, giving bacteria easy access to the bladder.
When it comes to treating UTIs, antibiotics are the standard treatment. And thats a big mistake.
How Common Are Utis
Around 50-60% of women will develop at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime, and people with diabetes and men with enlarged prostate glands are also at risk. Burning and stinging on urination, and feeling achy, sick and tired are common UTI symptoms,and can make life a misery for those who suffer frequent UTI infections.
Immunostimulants Studied In Humans
Strovac comprises ten strains of heat-killed uropathogens administered by intramuscular injection. This product was subsequently replaced by a vaginal preparation known as Urovac vaginal vaccine owing to considerable adverse reactions at the administration site. A meta-analysis of three randomized, placebo-controlled phase II studies consisting of 220 women demonstrated a modest effect that supports the need for further investigation of this immunostimulant . Benefits were highest in those patients receiving booster doses of the vaccine at monthly intervals,, but data are from small studies. Large, randomized phase III trials are required to establish the efficacy of this therapeutic option.
Option #: Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance
Have you taken all prescribed antibiotics but your symptoms are only getting worse? It could be that your bacteria are resistant to this type of drug.
You might have heard about superbug bacteria that withstand all available antibiotics. Well, increasingly, bacterial resistance is a real-life problem that physicians facing more often than before.
Here are the main signs that could signal that your bacteria are resistant to the prescribed medication:
- You are feeling worse, while youve been taking antibiotics diligently for over 48 hours.
- You are experiencing fever or nausea .
Realistically, you should feel much better by the third day of an antibiotic treatment, the bacterial load should be lowered, and therefore symptoms should subside, says Dr. Lisa Hawes even if not all symptoms resolved, you definitely should not have cloudiness, odor, or blood in your urine 48 hours after starting antibiotics.
Don’t Miss: Uti Not Better After Antibiotics
Urinary Tract Infection Resistance To Antibiotics
But apart from personal pain, there is another reason that you should consider using a nonantibiotic treatment for a UTI – antibacterial resistance.
More and more people are being given antibiotics each year for conditions that could be treated in alternative ways. The antibacterial resistance issue has arisen because many people do not finish their course of antibiotics – despite being told to by the doctor.
When people feel well, they stop the course of antibiotic treatment to be rid of the uncomfortable side effects. This leaves some of the strongest bacteria that have not been killed by the treatment still alive in their bodies. These bacteria then replicate and spread.
These are called Super Bugs, and they cannot be treated by antibiotics if they spread to other people. Bacterial resistance is the WHOs number one major cause for concern globally they recommend only using antibiotics where absolutely necessary. For this reason uti treatment without antibiotics is recommended as often as possible.
The Best Course Of Action For Managing A Uti
For most UTI sufferers, Ali advises the best course of action is to increase fluid intake, take appropriate pain relief and speak with a healthcare professional for further assessment of UTI symptoms.
If UTI symptoms persist for more than two days – or include a fever, loin pain and/or nausea and vomiting – it is important to see your GP for advice on whether antibiotics are required. It’s also important to go back if you’ve been started on antibiotics and symptoms do not improve within 48 hours.
“While some of the over-the-counter treatments may provide symptomatic relief, the 2018 NICE UTI guidelines state that there is no evidence found for cranberry products or urine alkalinising agents to treat UTI,” he adds. “However, there’s a clinical trial showing the effectiveness of D-mannose. And grapefruit seed extract and oil of oregano have also been found to be beneficial.”
Take Probiotics And Vitamin C Supplements
Probiotics and vitamin C may help flush bacteria from the urinary tract to clear away UTIs. Probiotics contain healthy live bacteria that can destroy bad bacteria, while vitamin C can strengthen your immune system to fight disease and infection. Ask your doctor for recommendations on the best probiotics and vitamin C supplements you can take to make your UTI go away on its own.
Keep in mind that while youre trying to clear a UTI on your own, you may still experience symptoms. Symptoms of a UTI include:
- A strong urge to urinate
- A persistent need to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Cloudy urine
- Pink, red, or dark urine
- Urine with a strong odor
- Passing small amounts of urine
Option #: After Antibiotics Uti Symptoms Still Linger Maybe Its Not A Uti
Unfortunately, this scenario happens way too often: you have had many well-diagnosed UTIs in the past, so when you complained of UTI-like symptoms, your doctor prescribed you antibiotics right away.
Sometimes, after you take antibiotics you could even feel better but then you notice that some symptoms still remained. This could be confusing, especially if antibiotics did bring you a slight relief.
Per Dr. Hawes, if you never had blood in your urine, cloudy urine, or funny smelling urine in the first place, if your only symptoms were bladder pain and slight burning with urination, then chances are high that it was not a UTI.
As Dr. Lisa Hawes explains After multiple UTIs, the bladder lining is damaged and inflamed. When the protective GAG bladder layer is damaged, the acidic urine can easily irritate the bladder and cause pain.
If you noticed that drinking lots of water help with your condition, it is because you are simply diluting the urine and making it less irritating to your bladder walls.
Medications and supplements that help to coat the lining of the bladder could greatly reduce these symptoms.
Recommended Reading: What Antibiotics Cure Lyme Disease
What Are Myths About At
Popular at-home methods for treating or preventing UTIs include: increasing how often you urinate, wearing certain types of underwear, avoiding hot tubs and bubble baths, urinating after intercourse and wiping away from the urethra. Douching is not a recommended treatment for UTIs as it can cause additional issues for the reproductive system. There is no evidence to support the efficacy of these behaviors however, there is little harm in using them.
Probiotics, cranberries, vitamin C and D-mannose are all supplements that have been studied for their potential to prevent urinary tract infections. There is a plausible mechanism for each of them however, studies have not consistently shown marked benefit. More evidence is needed to make a final recommendation for or against their use or efficacy. Cranberry extract pills are more likely to be helpful than cranberry juice, since cranberry pills do not have the sugar that juice contains. Cranberry can contribute to heartburn and gastrointestinal upset.
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.
Recommended Reading: What Antibiotics Can I Take For A Uti
Carefully Targeted Antibiotic Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
So what do we do now? As a society and as individuals, we should reduce and carefully target antibiotic use. Both physicians and patients should be aware of the grave potential to lose effective antibiotics for all infections even simple UTIs. Its an opportunity that empowers individuals to have informed conversations with their doctors. Every time your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask: Do I need this? Why? Is there an antibiotic-free alternative? Talking about it might be enough to meaningfully reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.
If youre having UTI symptoms like burning with urination, more frequent urination, bloody or cloudy urine, low abdominal pain, or fever, you should see a medical provider to get tested. Youll have to urinate into a container and the medical office will test for products of bacterial metabolism. Make sure to tell your provider if youve had UTIs before, and what antibiotic you took. If you have a history of antibiotic-resistant infections, share that, too. There are alternatives to Cipro and Bactrim, but antibiotic choices are limited.
If antibiotic resistance continues to grow, more people will need intravenous treatment for UTIs we used to cure with simple oral antibiotic courses. Were also likely to see more complications, like kidney infections and sepsis, arising from ineffective treatment.
Took Antibiotics Some Uti Symptoms Resolved Other Symptoms Still Linger
So why if it wasnt a UTI, the prescribed antibiotics worked and you did feel a relief? Well, there could be at least three reasons:
Dr. Hawes hypothesizes that it could be due to some sort of a side-effect from Cipro: perhaps, the medicine does something else to the body besides killing bacteria that could indeed reduce UTI-like symptoms.
How Long Do Utis Last
With antibiotic treatment, symptoms of a UTI typically improve within 2 to 4 days.
But this can vary depending on many factors, including how quickly you receive treatment, the severity of your infection, and whether or not any complications arise.
Keep in mind that the course of antibiotics should be completed for UTI symptoms to completely resolve and prevent recurrent infections.
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.
Don’t Miss: Easiest Way To Get Antibiotics
It Could Take A Weeklonger If You Have A Severe Case Or Certain Underlying Conditions
Joni Sweet is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in travel, health, and wellness. Her work has been published by Health, SELF, Healthline, National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, Thrillist, and dozens of other publications. When shes not traveling the world, she can be found practicing yoga, riding her bike, and looking for the best vegetarian food in the Hudson Valley.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection can feel like they go on forever. After all, time doesn’t exactly move at a fast clip when you’re constantly running to the bathroom and it feels like you’re peeing red-hot razor blades. But how long does a typical UTI last?
The answer: It depends. If you’ve got a UTI in your bladder , you’re looking at anywhere from one to seven days, says Jennifer A. Linehan, MD, a urologist and associate professor of urologic oncology at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
“But if you have a kidney infection, it will take 14 days to treat,” she adds.
Let’s take a closer look at how long it takes for a UTI to clear up, along with some tips on finding relief ASAP.
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:
You May Like: Antibiotic Eye Drops For Dogs Conjunctivitis
When To Contact A Doctor
If a person suspects that they have a UTI, they should ask a healthcare professional for advice about the best way to treat it.
Antibiotics may not always be necessary, but it is still important to seek medical attention. This reduces the risk of developing a more severe infection that is harder to treat.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about treating UTIs.
The Need For Nonantibiotic Management
The armamentarium of effective antibiotics is rapidly diminishing, and the size of this problem cannot be overstated. Resistance to amoxicillin is now 100% among urinary isolates of E. coli in some countries in Africa, and high levels of resistance to many commonly prescribed antibiotics have been identified worldwide. Resistant strains of E. coli, such as ST131 , are associated with outbreaks of UTI, and the widespread emergence and spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae is a global public health threat,. Transmissible resistance in Enterobacteriaceae is now emerging against colistin with the potential to rapidly spread. This development means that our drug of last resort for treating infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria is failing, and infection with these multidrug-resistant strains might, therefore, be untreatable with currently available antibiotics.
Fig. 2: Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance by mobile genetic elements.
We are facing a future in which combination therapy for UTI treatment will be routine, as resistance rates to single agents rise to unacceptable levels worldwide and untreatable UTIs present a real concern. This problem is exacerbated by the overuse of antibiotics, both in humans and in veterinary medicine. To control this crisis in antimicrobial resistance, nonantibiotic approaches are crucial in providing a means of reducing symptoms without resorting to antibiotic use.
You May Like: Antibiotics To Avoid With Crohn’s Disease