20 Natural Remedies for UTIs That Relieve Burning and Frequent Urination
Do you have a UTI right now? The pain, the burn, the frequent urination, the frustration… Or do you have chronic UTIs? And you would do just about anything to keep them from popping up time and time again….
I have some solutions for you! Here is a roundup of the most popular and most effective natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Some of them treat the UTI you are dealing with right now. Others can prevent a UTI from coming around again. And a few miracle options do both!
So, if you are suffering from UTI Pain then let’s take a look at these powerful natural remedies to get you back to feeling like you again.
1. Drink Extra Water
Let’s start with one of the #1 tips for both preventing and treating a urinary tract infection: drink that water. Dehydration is considered one of the most common causes of a UTI. The more you urinate, the more you flush out your bladder and urethra. Drinking a few extra glasses of water not only keeps you using the bathroom, it also boosts your health overall – which is important for fighting infection.
2. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and soda
Drinking water = Great for the prevention and treatment of UTIs
Drinking caffeine, alcohol, and soda = Not so much!
When you avoid inflammatory drinks, you avoid irritating the lining of the bladder. Will a cup of coffee be the main culprit of an UTI? No! But if you are serious about feeling better when you have a current UTI or getting rid of recurrent UTIs, these drinks should be significantly reduced or eliminated.
3. Start Probiotics
There is evidence that probiotics can both prevent and treat a urinary tract infection since probiotics boost healthy bacteria in the bladder and the vagina. At the very least, probiotics will help you maintain a solid amount of good bacteria if you are put on antibiotics to treat your UTI.
You can eat yogurt with live cultures (but avoid the sugary kind), take a supplement, or even use a vaginal suppository.
4. Swap Out Your Undies
The ultimate goal in preventing UTIs is to eliminate bacteria (bad bacteria, not the good kind like we talked about above). Tight and synthetic underwear can cause the body to sweat without much airflow. This moist environment is the ideal spot for bacteria to flourish. Simply switch out to cotton underwear for a more “breathable” experience.
5. Stay Dry
The same way going for the cotton underwear helps keeps the area around your urethra free from bacteria, so does keeping the area dry in general. Don’t sit around in a wet bathing suit or sweaty gym clothes. Make sure the area fully air dries after a shower/before slipping on your clothes.
Also, make sure to change your feminine hygiene products frequently when you are on your period.
6. Take D-Mannose
Antibiotics may still be doctors’ go-to treatment of UTIs, but the all-natural powerhouse alternative is D-Mannose. Taking this supplement can help you knock out a UTI, and long-term use can help prevent them.
It may actually be the better option than antibiotics. One study of 300 women showed only 15% had a recurrent UTI after taking D-mannose. 20% had a recurrent UTI after antibiotics.
7. Try Hibiscus Extract
Studies have shown Hibiscus Extract can be used as a treatment for urinary tract infections. Though a hibiscus tea can be a nice addition, you should focus on taking an actual supplement with hibiscus extract. This is the more potent option to knock out your UTI by attacking E. coli or staphylococcus.
8. Cut Out Smoking
Many people correlate smoking with lung problems, but smoking can even affect your urinary tract. While cigarettes may not give you a urinary tract infection directly, smoking has been known to actually irritate the bladder. This means if you are a chronic/recurrent UTI sufferer, ditch the cigarettes.
9. Use Cranberry Extract
When you get a UTI, what is the #1 piece of advice you probably receive? Drink cranberry juice! But is it an old wives tale? Yes and no. Without a doubt, an ingredient in cranberries (proanthocyanidins) is an effective UTI-buster. But cranberry juice itself doesn’t really cut it.
If you want the power of cranberry against your current infection, go straight for the extract capsules. (Plus, loading up on sugarless water is the much better hydration option!)
10. Boost your Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps urinary tract issues in two ways:
- It makes urine more acidic; acidic urine is “hostile to bacteria”
- It makes your immune system strong; a strong immune system can fight of infection
Eat foods high in the vitamin (like oranges, red peppers, and broccoli), and try a Vitamin C supplement. If you are currently dealing with a UTI, you may want to go for the options other than citrus while you heal up.
11. Go For The Bromelain
If you are taking a round of antibiotics to kill off your urinary tract infection, consider adding Bromelain to the mix. This substance, found in pineapple, has been shown to “enhance” the effectiveness of antibiotics against a UTI.
In one study, every single patient who combined Bromelain with their antibiotics ended up with full resolution of their infection. Only 46% of those without Bromelain were able to do the same.
12. Avoid Condoms With Spermicide
Spermicides may be great for decreasing your chances of getting pregnant, but they are not so great for your bladder health. Condoms coated in spermicide have been shown to pose a “statistically significant risk of urinary tract infection caused by S. saprophyticus.”
Simply switch your condom type to continue safe sex and discontinue reoccurring UTIs.
13. Go To The Bathroom Post-Sex
One of the simplest ways to prevent a UTI is simply to head to the bathroom right after having sex. The science behind the idea is simple: urine helps flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex. Here’s a short video on the common phenomenon of UTIs after sex.
14. Go To The Bathroom Frequently
Speaking of going to the bathroom – you should be doing that all the time. When you repeatedly hold in your urine, you up your chances of developing a urinary tract infection by having any bacteria sit in the bladder for long periods.
Make sure you go whenever you feel the urge. And when you go – be sure everything empties.
15. Wipe From Front To Back
At this point, we’ve already talked all about urinating, so let’s just stay there for a second before moving on to other topics. If you wipe from back to front, you risk any fecal bacteria entering the urinary tract. Simply wipe from front to back each and every time to avoid this problem.
16. Take a pain reliever
Is the pain of a UTI getting you down? The next two remedies should be your go-to for UTI pain management. When a urinary tract infection is upon you, the discomfort can be truly extreme. Taking a pain reliever until your round of antibiotics (or natural treatment alternative) eliminates the infection can help you cope for a few days.
17. Put On A Heating Pad
Another way to help ease the pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection is to use a heating pad or hot water bottle whenever you are resting. It may not cure the affliction, but it can make the recovery process much easier.
18. Increase Your Garlic Intake
Garlic has long been touted in alternative health/natural health communities for its wide variety of medicinal properties. Science backs up this claim – especially when it comes to UTIs. One study in particular found that garlic just might be “an effective weapon against multi-drug resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria associated with urinary tract infections.”
19. Limit Sugar
Sugar can make bacteria happy, which leaves you unhappy as you deal with a UTI. Just like you would not load up on cookies and cake when you are fighting a cold or stomach bug, let your body heal when you have a UTI. Limit your sugar intake and boost protein, fiber, and veggies.
20. Choose Fragrance-Free Bathroom Products
If you deal with recurrent UTIs, go fragrance-free with absolutely everything because soap, lotion, laundry detergent, toilet paper, panty liners/pads, etc. can irritate urethra. And if you are in the midst of a UTI – avoid them at all cost. Irritation of any kind is the last thing you need.
But Are Home Remedies Enough?
Now that you are familiar with the top 20 home remedies for UTIs, you may be wondering if this is all you need to do. Do these treatments erase the need for a doctor?
In almost every case, a round antibiotics is the medical world’s treatment of choice for urinary tract infections. Whether or not you skip the antibiotics is up to you.
If you rarely or never get a UTI, a round of antibiotics can clear it up. These home remedies act as solutions for speeding up the process and helping you feel better along the way.
If you are constantly getting UTIs and take one round after another of antibiotics, you just may want to see if these home remedies provide you equal or better relief. Added bonus? None of these solutions lead to problematic antibiotic resistance.
Read Next: Can Hibiscus Extract Help UTIs?