How to Prevent and Manage UTIs Naturally
Many women will experience at least one urinary tract infection in their lives (and some men will too!). For most people who have ever had the burn and pain from a UTI, they immediately want to know how to prevent one from ever coming again…
and how to manage the pain of one they are currently experiencing.
Here is a basic run through of all the top ways to both prevent and manage UTIs.
- The first two options actually work to do both, so they should be a priority
- Then read through the other top preventers to see if something you are doing is leading to more UTIs
- Finally, we will wrap up with some good management tips to help you get through the worst of it
Prevent & Manage: Drink Your H2O
The simple things can so often be the most powerful things. Upping your water intake will not only help prevent a UTI from popping up in the first place, but it can also help you with the one you already have.
The concept is actually pretty easy. Your urinary tract has a system in place to prevent UTIs: your urine. Every time you use the bathroom, you are flushing out bacteria. When you are dehydrated, you let that bacteria sit way too long before any flushing happens.
And when you have a current UTI, the flush process is really helpful in quickening the healing process of the infection.
On the flip side, limit any dehydrating liquids. These include: coffee, alcohol, and soda. If you miss drinks with flavor, try an herbal tea or pure coconut water with no sugar added.
Prevent & Manage: Take That D-Mannose Like Your Life Depends On It
D-mannose should be your go-to supplement choice for preventing and managing urinary tract infections. Here is how it works:
E-coli (the #1 bacteria for UTIs) will stick to the walls of your bladder (they can also eventually go up to your kidneys and stick there). Once they have adhered themselves to your bladder, your urine is not capable of flushing them out.
So D-Mannose comes in to save the day.
Essentially, D-mannose is stickier than the E. coli. This helpful supplement sticks to the bacteria, so your urine can flush out everything.
Before you jump into a round of antibiotics (especially if you are dealing with recurrent UTIs that keep you on antibiotics so frequently), you can try D-mannose first. Then keep taking the D-mannose to prevent that E. coli from ever sticking in the first place.
Prevent: Use The Bathroom After You Have Sex… In Fact, Go All The Time!
This is one of the most important ways to prevent UTIs altogether, and it is really simple. For women, the vagina is extremely close to the urethra. This means there is a high chance that any bacteria from the vagina – or from your partner – can easily enter the urethra during the motion of sex.
When you use the bathroom right when you are done having sex, your urine can quickly flush out any bacteria that has entered before it has time to travel to the bladder.
But after sex is not the only time you should be intentional about visiting the restroom. The more you urinate throughout the day, the less time bacteria has to sit in your bladder for long periods of time.
If you are on a mission to prevent those urinary tract infections, do not hold it in. Anytime you feel the urge to go – you should go!
Keep reading about UTIs & Sex: The First Thing You Need To Do After Having Intercourse
Prevent: Beware Of Spermicide Condoms
Let’s stay on the topic of sex for another minute.
Condoms are important and wonderful and helpful for many people. But some people want to be doubly safe and buy the condoms with spermicide jelly. This is a big no-no for preventing those terrible UTIs.
Spermicides alter the pH level of your vagina – which can lead to the growth of bacteria. Once again, we comeback to the proximity of the vagina to the urethra. Bacteria near the vagina = bacteria near your urinary tract.
Moral of the story: keep the condoms, but ditch the spermicide-coated options
Prevent: Watch How You Wipe
As we already discussed, E. coli is responsible for almost every urinary tract infection. Sometimes, E. coli (and other bacteria) can be found in our fecal matter. If women wipe from back to front, they risk pulling that bacteria into their urethra.
It may be the simplest behavior you change in preventing UTIs – just wipe the other way!
Manage: Keep The Pain At Bay
The thing about UTIs is there is no overnight magic curing pill. Sure, the infection may subside in a few days – but you will have to deal with some pain along the way.
Ways to minimize the ugly symptoms are:
- Using a heating pad for any abdominal/lower back pain
- Taking over the counter pain relievers
- Minimizing any acidic or inflammatory foods for a few days (like spicy foods or citrus)
Also pay close attention to your pain. If it gets severe or moves to your sides, you just might have a kidney infection. Always head straight to your doctor if this happens since kidney infections are considerably more serious than a bladder infection.
Manage: See Your Doctor
Almost all UTIs are treated with a round or two of antibiotics. For the occasional UTI sufferer, this can be an easy fix. But you should be aware that those with recurrent UTIs (who are constantly on rounds of antibiotics) might start having to deal with the repercussions of antibiotic resistance.
Your Urinary Tract & You
You may be wondering why drinking cranberry juice is not on the list (the good ol’ wives tale). That is because cranberry juice has been shown as an ineffective method of preventing UTIs and a completely ineffective way of managing a current one.
While a cranberry extract supplement may help, the research is a bit too shaky to say for sure. Stick with your D-mannose and maybe through in some Hibiscus extract for extra support.
A few lifestyle changes are typically all that is necessary to get rid those UTIs for good. Make sure you are keeping that bacteria away from your urinary tract, and you should be good to go.