Are you experiencing painful urination, a constant need to pee, lower belly, lower back pain, and low-grade fever? Well, you've been there, done that. We get it. UTIs are painful, uncomfortable, and can seriously cramp your sex life. They are also very common and treatable. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary system (kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra) and cause an infection. To feel better fast and get some pain relief, it is essential to treat a UTI when your symptoms first appear. This also reduces the risk of it becoming something more serious. And that is no bueno. Here are some simple tips that will have you and your vag up to par in no time.
1. Call your doctor for meds ASAP.Yes, a UTI can go away on its own, but that can take about a week and could be risky. If you want super-fast results, your doctor will most likely prescribe an antibiotic course (Bactrim, Macrobid, or Cipro are the most common.) Make sure to take the entire amount prescribed, or the infection may come back. Of course, you can nix the meds and try at-home remedies to help a UTI, but those can take longer to feel better. Most people start to feel some relief within 24 hours of starting antibiotics, but the infection will take a few days to go away. Can't get an appointment? Some doctors will call in an Rx without even seeing you or offer tele-med virtual visits.
2. Don't forget the pain meds!Take over-the-counter medications for the pain, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), while waiting for your antibiotics to work, especially if you are experiencing back or pelvic pain. If you are experiencing burning while peeing, try Phenazopyridine (AZO or Uristat), both available at your local pharmacy. Warning: your urine will be orange/red.
3. Stay hydrated.Keep chugging water to flush the bacteria right out of your system. Doctors recommend at least 48 to 64 fl. oz per day. So, drink, drink, drink. And just when you think you can't drink anymore, go ahead and drink some more.
4. Take supplements.Vitamin C, Probiotics, and D-Mannose, to be exact. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system. Probiotics provide the good bacteria that antibiotics can sometimes kill. Probiotics also help lessen the chances of getting yeast infections while taking antibiotics. You can take a probiotic supplement or eat foods with natural active cultures like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut. D-Mannose helps keep the bacteria from sticking to your bladder walls and is a powerful supplement to combat UTIs, especially when combined with cranberry juice powder. Try Checkable's Urinary Tract Balance to help support the urinary tract while giving you the nutrients needed to promote a healthy bladder.
5. Refrain from caffeine, alcohol, and sex.I know it sounds hard, but you will thank me. Alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration and can irritate the bladder. Sex can bring more harmful bacteria into the urinary tract causing your UTI to worsen. As soon as your symptoms subside, you can get right back on your horse...so to speak.
6. Pee when you feel the urge.
It is best to always go to the bathroom as soon as you get the urge. Frequent urination flushes the bacteria in the urinary tract to clear them out. Holding your bladder will only cause more pain and pelvic pressure.
7. Get some rest.
UTIs can be debilitating. Take off a day and rest in bed while binge-watching a show. Rest will help your body get rid of the infection and provide some entertainment to take your mind off your vagina.
There you have it, folks. Get UTI treatment and relief in just 24 hours. It will take longer to actually cure the UTI, but we promise these seven tips will speed up the process and get you smiling again. If you don't feel any better after taking meds, contact your healthcare provider for some options. If you are one of the lucky ones that tend to get recurring UTIs, check out our guide to help prevent UTIs.