How would you like to never have a UTI again? Would you be excited if you heard there was an easy UTI home remedy?
Yep, I feel ya.
Not too long ago, I had a UTI that was so bad it gave me a 99-degree temperature and put me on antibiotics (something I try to avoid) for a week while I worried and worried about getting a kidney infection.
I’m one of those #blessed women who are just super prone to getting UTIs- sometimes bi-monthly or more.
I got desperate. And started researching.
Since then, I’ve (thank goodness!) found some things that have really worked for me with avoiding and treating urinary tract infections, and I sincerely hope they work for you too!
Read on to find out some secrets to help you avoid a UTI naturally, and, just in case you do get one, how to knock out your UTI quickly!
(Note that I’m not a medical professional, and this info isn’t intended to diagnose or cure anything. That’s what doctors are for.)
How do you get a UTI anyway?
Just in case you didn’t know, science: UTIs are caused by bacteria -E. Coli specifically- traveling up your urethra into your bladder.
Women get urinary tract infections more than men because our urethras are shorter, and, wellll, they’re closer to your back door too. Yep.
You can’t control the placement of your parts, but you can control other things that commonly cause UTIs! Read on to find out how you can stop some of the most common causes of UTIs.
Let’s jump into this!
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How to prevent a UTI naturally
Here are a few simple steps you can take to avoid getting a UTI! Do as many of these tips as possible to increase your chances of avoiding a urinary tract infection.
These home remedies are better than any over-the-counter UTI treatment. They’re easy, effective, and inexpensive or even free! And best of all, these are home UTI remedies that can help you avoid antibiotics.
Taking antibiotics for a UTI can help in the short term, but they can destroy the beneficial bacteria in your gut. And did you know that the majority of your immune system is located in your gut? If you want to pursue long-term healthy living, there are much better options!
These UTI home remedies are safe during pregnancy too.
Hey, no better time to start brewing your own kombucha for a cheap, constant dose of probiotics for a UTI! You can also get your probiotics from yogurt, kefir, or fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi.
If you don’t have regular access to these foods, probiotic supplements are also a good choice. When shopping for a good probiotic, look for multiple strains of probiotic bacteria on the label- L. acidophilus and B. bifidum are good ones to be on the lookout for. (source)
Different strains also have different benefits- you can find out more here.
Take note of the packaging of the probiotic- a durable, opaque bottle will help ensure that your bacteria is actually alive when it gets to you. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your money!
Finally, look for an expiration date on the package. This will tell you how long the bacteria will remain alive and effective. Expiration dates aren’t required, but the lack of one is a red flag- they might not be a trustworthy company, and you’ll have no idea whether the bacteria is still alive or not.
Avoid scented toilet paper
For the love of your ladybits, please don’t use scented toilet paper!! Or scented pads/tampons/etc. They’re usually filled with chemicals, sometimes bleached, and really just don’t do you any good.
When I woke up with a UTI once, in the middle of the night, I went to use the bathroom, using the only toilet paper we had (scented, because my husband hadn’t noticed what it was till he got home). I went back to bed but just laid there, wide awake, burning.
The discomfort only got worse each time I got up to use the bathroom until it was so awful I wanted to cry.
So instead of sleeping, I researched UTIs, and to my horror found that scented toilet paper was a culprit. Going to the bathroom, the one thing I was doing that was supposed to bring some momentary comfort, was actually making things so much worse!
I stopped immediately, (peeing in the shower instead -TMI I know- until we got normal toilet paper), and my condition improved quickly from there.
It’s best to use toilet paper that’s natural, not bleached, and not too rough. You probably don’t need to break the bank for some super-soft/quadruple-ply/fancy cloth though- store brand TP normally does just fine for me. (As long as I’m following the next guideline:)
You know how it sometimes feels ‘cleaner’ to use the toilet paper to rub? You don’t need that. Just gently pat. Your skin down there is sensitive, and wiping for #1, especially with rough toilet paper, can cause micro-abrasions in your skin which could let bacteria in easier.
Be kind to yourself! Your body will thank you by giving you fewer UTIs to deal with.
And for instant UTI relief, try peeing in the shower instead of using toilet paper, and rinse off with cold water.
Let her breathe
By which I mean, try to use less of those synthetic, non-breathable fabrics we tend to wear as underwear. Use cotton or something that breathes a little more.
Reusable pads are another way you can increase airflow down there. They’re so much better for you than bleached, plastic pads! You can find reusable options in my post on how (and why) I made my period zero waste.
And if you get UTIs often, you might also want to try switching over to menstrual cups. You can find out more about them in my post on how to use a menstrual cup to revolutionize your period.
I’ve also heard that wearing thongs can make you UTI prone because… well… it gives bacteria a direct path across your privates. Yikes. Yeah, I don’t wear them every day now.
Also, try not to stay in wet or sweaty clothes from the gym for too long.
And while you’re at it, sleep naked! It’ll do ya good. It might take a couple days to get used to if you don’t usually snooze in the nude, but having air flow down there is good for you! I feel like with this (very scientific) technique, I’ve gotten fewer UTIs, and healed more quickly from the ones I have gotten.
Plus your husband won’t complain! Enjoy the reduced amount of restrictions you have for some spontaneous bedtime activities. =)
And speaking of sex:
It can sometimes push bacteria up your urethra, especially when it’s rough sex.
Thankfully, there are ways to help prevent a UTI when you’re sexually active.
The best way is to make sure you always pee after sex. This helps to flush out any bacteria that may have been lurking there. And be gentle with your parts!
Try to avoid having sex if you currently have a UTI, since it can make it worse and it’s just plain uncomfortable. And follow the tips below to get rid of your UTI quickly so you can get back to the fun stuff!
Watch where you park your patootie
I’d try to avoid those super unkempt port-a-potties and other areas where hygiene just won’t be accessible.
I know it isn’t always possible, but just watch what you’re touching and wash your hands before touching anything private. (Or use homemade hand sanitizer!) Oh, and when I’m out in nature might be one place where I’d pass on the whole sleeping-naked thing.
Just pursue overall cleanliness! So if you have a menstrual cup (cuz why wouldn’t you?) make sure your hands are clean and rinse it out each time you take it out. Use a water bottle to rinse it if there’s no sink available.
Be aware of your birth control
When I first got my IUD, I came down with a UTI for a couple days afterward. This was probably just because of all the activity going on… eh… down there. It wasn’t bad and I followed all my tips below for helping my body fight the infection.
There are other birth control methods that could continually put you at risk for a UTI. The worst offenders are diaphragms and some spermicidal or unlubricated condoms. (source)
These can increase the bacteria around that area, so you might want to think about changing up your birth control methods if you use these!
So to recap…
You can help your body avoid getting a UTI in these seven ways:
- Take probiotics
- Avoid scented toilet paper
- Don’t rub
- Let her breathe
- Be careful with sex
- Stay clean
- Change birth control
Natural UTI remedies
There are three things that I always try to do right away when I feel myself coming down with a UTI. The good news: you don’t need any UTI OTC treatments to help you feel better!
Follow these natural urinary tract infection treatments yourself if you don’t want to suffer any longer than necessary.
Load up on cranberry
I use Cranactin, which is a cranberry supplement with vitamin C. Cranberry naturally prevents E. Coli from multiplying and growing, and can be a lifesaver when you have a UTI! Vitamin C is good for a UTI too, as it can help limit the growth of bacteria.
I throw the serving suggestions out the window and usually take around four pills (400 mg of cranberry each) when I first get a UTI, then take 2-3 pills every three hours or so until the side effects of the UTI start going away.
I’ve even found that taking Cranactin when I feel a UTI coming on will sometimes stop my UTI before it even gets a chance to start! Cranactin is one of the best things I’ve found to get rid of UTI pain fast. Cranberry can be especially helpful with relieving UTI pain at night.
Uva ursi, or bearberry, is another good supplement for getting rid of UTIs.
Cut out all sugar
Hopefully, you’re already trying to avoid sugar at least a little! But if not, you definitely need to avoid it now. Please?
Avoid alcohol too.
Can you drink alcohol with a UTI? Yes, technically… It can make you feel better for a bit, but it’s still sugar. In the long run, it could lengthen your infection, and who wants that?
I even try to stay away from fruit juices because of the sugar content- hence taking a cranberry supplement instead of just downing cranberry juice, which is normally filled with sugar.
If you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake but still want a yummy treat, you should try my homemade butter pecan ice cream recipe. Seriously. Try it.
Drink tons of water
As soon as you feel a UTI trying to start, guzzle water. It’ll help flush out the bacteria. Keep drinking lots of water while you have a UTI too, because hey, you already feel like going to the bathroom a ton, why not make your trips to the loo more productive?
I always carry around my stainless steel water bottle, which reminds me to be drinking water constantly- especially when I have a UTI.
Beyond these three things, there are a couple other tips you should be aware of when you come down with a UTI: Let yourself rest if you can, and if things continue to worsen, please go to the doctor!
And keep going with the tips mentioned above too- take probiotics (see the tips above on picking a good probiotic), avoid sex, and don’t wipe roughly when you go to the bathroom.
Of course, despite our best efforts, there can be times when UTIs get beyond our control. UTIs can sometimes worsen and give you a fever, cause extra pain, or move to your kidneys. (You can tell you have a kidney infection if it hurts -like a ton- when you tap on your lower back, just above your hips and to either side of your spine.)
In these cases, please do go to the doctor!
Using antibiotics for a UTI should be a last resort but they are available if things get bad. It’s better than getting a kidney infection! If you do end up taking antibiotics, make sure to follow it up with loads of good probiotics to renew the good bacteria in your body.
Hope this helps!