We get it. Dealing with UTIs can be a giant pain in the tush. Aside from the uncomfortable pain and frequent trips to the bathroom, you also have to take time out of your busy day to see a doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics. Although antibiotics typically work well, many people wonder if there are ways to treat a UTI at home. What if we told you that UTIs could actually go away on their own? Yip, it's true. With a few simple tips, the body can often resolve uncomplicated UTIs without antibiotics. The question is, should you skip the meds? The short answer is, it depends.
A UTI (urinary tract infection) is a bacterial infection that enters the urinary tract through the urethra and can travel to the bladder and the kidneys. UTIs are extremely common in women, and it is estimated that roughly 50% of women will have at least one in their lifetime, some more than others. Even though about 1/3 of UTIs may go away without prescriptions, antibiotics are still the go-to treatment. If the infection is left untreated, a UTI can worsen, and bacteria can travel up the urinary tract, causing bladder or kidney infections. Not fun, why risk it?
Here are some pros and cons of using antibiotics or going au-natural to treat a UTI:
Pro: Antibiotics kill the bacteria (usually E. coli), causing the infection.
Cons: If you are lucky enough to get recurrent UTIs, antibiotics could actually stop working if used too often. If that happens, lifestyle changes may help prevent them and supplements like Urinary Tract Balance, can help keep them at bay.
Pro: Your symptoms should disappear in just 48 hours after starting antibiotics.
Cons: They require a prescription from a doctor.
Pro: Antibiotics are typically inexpensive, and sometimes your doctor may just call it into your pharmacy (this depends on your dr.).
Cons: Antibiotics can work so well at killing bacteria, they can also get rid of the good bacteria in your body and bring on a yeast infection. Probiotics will be your bestie here.
With all that said, if you have mild symptoms, you could consider holding off on antibiotics for a couple of days. Some evidence-based home remedies can help treat uncomplicated UTIs. If you don't start to feel better after a couple of days, call your doctor for antibiotics. You don’t want the infection to worsen. Just eat some yogurt or kefir while on them and you’ll be good as gold.