An infection in your urinary system is known as a urinary tract infection (UTI), and they affect women more than men. If you’ve ever experienced a UTI, then you’re likely aware of just how painful it is. Even worse, UTIs can make their way to your kidneys, which can be life-threatening.
So, in order to prevent and battle UTIs, we’ve come up with a list of nine UTI treatments if you need them.
Popular treatment options include…
9. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water is a great way to help mild, uncomplicated UTIs and prevent them from occurring in the first place.
How can water fight a UTI?
Water flushes out bad bacteria from your system. Specifically, drinking water dilutes urine, which will in turn travel through your body faster and make it more difficult for bacteria to stay in your body and cause problems.
If you’re not a fan of water, you’re in luck because there’s another fluid you can drink to help fight off UTIs…
8. Drink Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is tasty, may help with UTIs, and may even prevent a bladder infection from happening. Win-win-win.
How does unsweetened cranberry juice fight a UTI?
There are a few hypotheses for why cranberry juice may help treat a UTI. Some health professionals believe it’s due to cranberries’ concentration of antioxidants, which have antibacterial characteristics. Other research suggests this juice prevents E. coli from attacking and attaching to the urinary tract.
Of course, the best way to handle a UTI is to not get one in the first place. So, what are some of the best ways to prevent a UTI?…
7. Take Some Vitamin C
A urinary tract infection means there are harmful bacteria in your system. One way to deal with these bacteria is to consume vitamin C.
How does vitamin C help with a UTI?
When you consume vitamin C, you can make your urine more acidic, which usually stunts bacteria growth.
The best sources of vitamins and minerals are from natural sources, including oranges, blueberries, grapefruits, leafy greens, lemons, and strawberries. A supplement of 500 – 1000 mg may also help.
The easiest way to prevent UTIs? It’s quick, natural, and free…
6. Urinate Frequently
Have use the restroom? Go. Don’t wait.
How does urinating help with a UTI?
The longer bacteria stays in the body, the more chances they have to cause infections. Don’t give bacteria those chances. Flush them out of the body—literally—with a bathroom break.
When you use the restroom, be sure to remember the following…
5. Use Toilet Paper Properly
If you wipe after using the restroom, wipe front to back, as this movement reduces the risk of fecal bacteria reaching the urethra (which can lead to infection).
This next treatment option is guaranteed to keep you moving…
4. Stay Active
Staying physically active can provide a host of health benefits, including reducing the risk of a urinary tract infection.
How does physical inactivity increase UTI risk?
Physical inactivity for extended periods of time can allow UTI-causing bacteria extra time to come into contact with the urinary system and potentially cause an infection. As such, physical activity can help reduce the chances that this situation occurs.
The following method can reduce the risk of UTIs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections)…
3. Use a Condom
Using condoms for any and all sexual activity is one of the best ways to prevent STIs. This action also helps reduce the risk of UTIs in certain cases.
Research indicates that those who engage in unprotected penetrative anal sex are at greater risk of a UTI because bacteria-laden fecal matter from the anus can easily enter the urethra during this kind of intercourse. The result of this germ transfer? You probably guessed it: a UTI.
Manage other medical conditions, too.
The body is incredibly interconnected, so it’s critical you keep up with all of your doctor appointments to make sure your health is in check, just as this next treatment option shows…
2. Manage Diabetes
Perhaps one of the lesser-known side effects of untreated diabetes is increased risk of urinary tract infections.
How does diabetes increase UTI risk?
Experts are not entirely sure how diabetes increases the risk of these infections, but it might be due to waiting longer to use the restroom or having poor circulation. Both of these factors are common among people with diabetes.
Of course, when all else fails, the following can help…
1. Prescription Treatment Options
Antibiotics are your best bet when it comes to treating a urinary tract infection. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications for this condition include:
- Cephalexin (Keflex)
- Ciprofloxacin (Cetraxal, Cipro XR, Otiprio)
- Fosfomycin (Monurol)
- Gentamicin (Gentak)
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
- Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
- Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra, etc.)
Take all of your antibiotics, even if you feel better. Not taking a full course of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance.