If you have contracted a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) or cystitis, I know that you’re scrabbling around for a home remedy because a UTI really, really hurts!
A UTI is caused by the bacteria e-coli (in 90% of cases) growing in the urethra. That infection can then travel to your bladder and kidneys, so you have to start treating a UTI right away because infections in your kidneys can get really serious.
UTIs more commonly impact women because our urethra is much shorter than a man’s, and 50% of women are likely to report a UTI in their lifetime.
Common symptoms of a UTI are:
- Burning / stinging sensation when urinating
- Need to urinate more often
- Feeling that your bladder isn’t empty after you’ve finished peeing
- Dark urine with a strong smell
- Blood in your urine
- Pelvic pain
There are lots of ways you may have contracted a UTI, including having sex, pregnancy, not drinking enough fluids or having a weakened immune system. You can read more about how to avoid a UTI after intercourse here.
So, if you’re encountering some or many of the above symptoms, here are the best remedies for a UTI which you can do at home. Remember, if you start experiencing blood in your urine or kidney pain, contact your doctor right away.
Top Tips To Cure A UTI At Home
- Drink Lots Of Water
- Urinate Frequently
- Take Anti-Inflammatories & Painkillers
- Avoid Cranberry Juice
- Marshmallow Root
- Wear loose clothing
- Speak To Your Doctor
- Avoid Sugar
Drink Lots Of Water
I know this is the last thing you want to hear because drinking more water means more painful peeing! But you have to start flushing that bacteria out!
In fact, if you’re generally someone who drinks less (and feels permanently dehydrated), you’re far more likely to get a UTI. A study of 141 girls showed that it wasn’t anything physical that caused more UTIs, but it was actually how hydrated they were.
The first few glasses of water will be super uncomfortable to move through your body, but you will feel a marked change as you continue drinking (trust me!)
If you’re drinking more water, you’ll find yourself urinating more. It’s important that you urinate as often as possible to flush out that bacteria from your urethra and stop it travelling to your bladder or kidneys.
I know that it hurts to pee, but it’s super important that you don’t hold it in. That might mean spending the day close to a toilet and cancelling plans, but it’s better than feeling anxious about where the closest toilet is and potentially making the infection worse.
Take Anti-Inflammatories & Painkillers
An anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen will help reduce the irritation in the urethra and paracetamol will help with any pain you’re experiencing, making it easier for you to urinate frequently.
If you’re on antibiotics, they may take a couple of days to kick in, so start taking something to manage the pain inbetween.
Ensure you’re taking ibuprofen responsibly – that means taking it with full meals, particularly important if you have any stomach / IBS issues.
Avoid Cranberry Juice
Controversial, I know. But in my experience, cranberry juice is just full of sugar which actually makes peeing even more painful!
Remember, anything you put in your body, you’ll feel coming out. So, instead, you should take the active ingredients in cranberry juice separately and drink them with a lot of water. WATER IS YOUR FRIEND.
Ok, this is the first supplement I’m suggesting and I actually take it after sex too, with the aim of avoiding a UTI.
D-Mannose is one of the active ingredients in cranberry juice which is thought to block the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract. It works by attaching to the e-coli bacteria and stopping it latching onto you.
Studies suggest that D-Mannose is effective in preventing UTIs. A 2013 study showed that D-Mannose is as effective in preventing UTIs in a 6 month period as antibiotics. You can buy them from Amazon here (these are the ones I use!), and they’re great if you feel like you get recurring UTIs.
With regards to dosage, Healthline suggests taking 1.5 grams daily for an active UTI for 3 days, and then once daily for 10 days.
Another supplement that I can stand by! Marshmallow root can relieve irritation and inflammation within the urinary tract, according to a 2015 study. That means that it will be easier to urinate if this is running through your system too.
You can buy it from Amazon here and use it by making it into a tea. Fair warning – the tea doesn’t taste great, so I usually mix it with another herbal tea. You’ll also need a loose leaf tea strainer to take it.
Wear loose clothing
Bacteria LOVES heat. It will help it multiply and grow, which is the one thing you want to avoid. So ditch the active wear and opt for cotton underwear and loose trousers.
If you’ve got a UTI through the night, ditch the underwear!
Sugar will wreak havoc on a UTI, which is why diabetics are more prone to the infection. Sugars will help the infection to grow and multiply and will make urinating even more painful.
So whether it’s sugary drinks, or a pizza to make you feel better (I fell for that one), sugar in carbs or chocolate won’t make you feel any better.
Speak To Your Doctor
If you’re still in lots of pain and your UTI isn’t getting better after 48 hours, speak to your doctor. They are likely to put you on antibiotics to avoid any other symptoms developing like a kidney infection, which can be very serious.
Are you reading this because you’re in the middle of battling a UTI? Comment below and let me know if any of the above home remedies helped – I know they made all the difference for me!
Frequently Asked Questions About UTIs
UTIs are caused by the build up of bacteria in the urinary tract. Bacteria like ecoli can enter the urinary tract via sexual intercourse and will build up if you’re dehydrated, have diabetes or a lot of sugar in your system.
No, a man cannot give a woman a UTI. However, sexual intercourse can cause bacteria to be pushed into the urethra and that can multiply, causing a UTI.
A UTI is caused by bacteria in the urethra, not the vagina so your discharge will not change.
The three main symptoms of a UTI are a painful, burning sensation when you urinate, feeling like your bladder isn’t ever empty and a constant urge to urinate. However, you may experience other symptoms like lower pelvic pain and blood in your urine.
Yes, dehydration can cause a UTI. This is because you need to continuously flush any bacteria out of your urethra by urinating. If you stop doing that, then the bacteria has a chance to build and grow, thus causing an infection.
A UTI always requires treatment, whether that’s home remedies or speaking to a doctor for medication. The best home remedies are drinking lots of water, urinating often and taking some supplements.
You can flush out a UTI by drinking a lot of water and urinating frequently. This will help to remove some of the bacteria and stop it from multiplying as quickly.
Sleeping with a UTI isn’t easy! Expect to wake up with the urge to urinate if you’re drinking lots of water (you should be) and don’t wear underwear, to reduce the heat in the urethra and therefore the multiplying bacteria.
A UTI should clear up within a week. If your home remedies aren’t working after 48 hours, speak to your doctor.