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 (UTI) at some point in their lives!
Okay — maybe this isn’t your “go-to” topic while sipping cocktails with the girls, but it’s 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.
Here’s 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 (i.e. being a woman). 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.
So, Can You Treat a UTI Without Antibiotics?
The short answer is, unfortunately, no. That’s because it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to cure a urinary tract infection with natural remedies.
Why? Because by the time you have a full-blown UTI, the bacteria has taken a stronghold in your urinary tract. This bacteria is very stubborn and does not leave easily. Natural remedies are generally milder than antibiotics and can’t reliably treat an infection once it’s set in.
Since it is dangerous to leave your UTI untreated as it can develop into a serious kidney infection, it is very, very important you see a doc and get on antibiotics to knock out the infection.
However, if you’re just starting to feel the twinges of a potential UTI, you can try some natural remedies to try to flush out the bacteria and reduce inflammation before the infection really takes hold. Even better, there are some simple things you can do to prevent a UTI from happening in the first place.
Drinking enough water is one of the easiest ways to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections.
Why? Because water helps the urinary tract organs remove waste from your body efficiently while retaining vital nutrients and electrolytes. Keeping yourself properly hydrated also dilutes the urine and speeds its journey through the system, making it much more of a challenge for bacteria to reach your cells that line urinary organs, which would ultimately cause an infection.
Now, there’s really no set recommendation for how much people should drink daily, as everyone’s water needs are different. On average, though, adults should aim to drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of H20 daily.
There is a lot of evidence surrounding the use of cranberries to treat UTIs. That’s because they contain powerful proanthocyanidins (PACs) which may stop bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract lining. According to a recent study, it’s most effective to consume 36mg of cranberry PAC daily to help prevent urinary tract infections.
Many people reach for cranberry juice when it comes to preventing UTIs, however, juices generally contain a lot of sugar which can actually add fuel to the fire. That’s because bacteria love sugar — so drinking cranberry juice, especially a sugary blend, can actually provide bacteria with the perfect environment to thrive.
This is why we recommend skipping the juice altogether and reaching for UTI Don’t Think So from Love Wellness — a targeted daily supplement that keeps your urinary tract feeling like a million bucks! Made of 36mg of PACs, this powerful supplement is made for women who want to feel confident, comfortable, and protected on a daily basis.
Get Vitamin C
Did you know that vitamin C may increase the acidity of your urine, which can help kill the bacteria causing your UTI?
While most studies show mixed results on vitamin C’s impact on urinary tract health, the fact is, it’s a super important nutrient and essential for overall health so it’s a smart idea to be supplementing anyway. It definitely won’t hurt!
Probiotics are tiny microorganisms that help balance the “bad” bacteria that can cause infections in your body — such as E. Coli — with the “good” bacteria that assist in digesting food properly.
Additionally, the probiotic strain lactobacillus may help prevent urinary tract infections by stopping the bad bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract. That’s because lactobacillus produces antibacterial hydrogen peroxide, which makes it really challenging for certain bacteria to survive.
We love Good Girl Probiotics from Love Wellness because it’s made with eight powerful strains of good bacteria for vaginal health, whereas most probiotics on the market only contain one. This unique probiotic supports three key areas — reproductive health organs, the gut, and the immune system, to help maintain a balanced vaginal pH and healthy levels of vaginal yeast and bacteria.
Always Pee When You Need To Pee
One easy way to prevent painful urinary tract infections is simply by peeing when you need to pee. Urinating frequently puts pressure on bacteria in the urinary tract — which can help to clear them out quickly. It also reduces the amount of time that bacteria in your pee are exposed to cells in your urinary tract, reducing the risk of them attaching and forming an infection.
Always pee as soon as possible when the urge strikes to help prevent and treat UTIs.
Wipe Front To Back
Believe it or not, many urinary tract infections develop when bacteria from your rectum gain access to the urethra — the small channel that allows pee to flow out of the body.
Once bacteria have made it into your urethra, they can travel up into other urinary tract organs, where they ultimately can lead to infections.
After relieving yourself, always be sure to wipe in a way that helps prevent bacteria from coming into close contact with your vagina — which means wipe from your front to the back and never the other way around.
Nothing can ensure that a urinary tract infection won’t strike, since just having a vagina puts us at “risk”. However, there are some great natural treatments and good habits that can help keep infections at bay.
Remember, once they do hit and turn into a full-fledged infection, it’s best to go with antibiotics, so you can feel better right away and reduce your chance of serious complications. However, they say prevention is the best medicine and, when it comes to UTI’s, this is a golden rule!
Taking a daily supplement like UTI Don’t Think So from Love Wellness is a vital part of a UTI prevention plan, as well as drinking lots of water and getting on a great probiotic to boost good bacteria.
All of our products are made with love — in fact, Love Wellness sets the new standard for women’s health! Our supplements are made with clean ingredients backed by science and designed with YOU in mind to support all your wellness needs.
Urinary Tract Infections | Kidney.org
Urinary tract infection (UTI) – Symptoms and causes
Urinary Tract Infections | Conditions
Dosage effect on uropathogenic Escherichia coli anti-adhesion activity in urine following
consumption of cranberry powder standardized for proanthocyanidin content: a multicentric randomized double blind study
Daily intake of 100 mg ascorbic acid as urinary tract infection prophylactic agent during pregnancy
Evaluation of adherence and anti-infective properties of probiotic Lactobacillus fermentum strain 4-17 against Escherichia coli causing urinary tract infection in humans