Urinary tract infections are some of the most frequent clinical bacterial infections in women, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all infections.
More than 50 percent of women will develop a UTI and UTI symptoms in their lifetimes, and because antibiotics are the most common conventional treatment for UTIs, bacteria have become antibiotic-resistant and recurring infections are a major concern.
For this reason, it’s important to use home remedies for UTIs that eliminate bacteria completely and reduce the risk of developing recurrent urinary tract infections.
Some of the best home remedies for UTI include drinking plenty of fluids, staying clean and dry, and consuming things like cranberries, probiotics, vitamin C and using essential oils. Read on for all 12 of my top home remedies for UTI.
12 Home Remedies for UTI
1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking water or fluids throughout the day helps flush bacteria from your system. A 2013 study conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas found that chronic low fluid intake may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections — just one of many reasons to stay hydrated.
Drink at least one glass of water for every meal and snack of the day in order to flush out bacteria that can lead to infection.
2. Urinate Often
Urinating often and when the urge arises ensures that bacteria isn’t growing in urine that stays in the bladder. It’s also important to urinate soon after sexual intercourse in order to flush out bacteria that may have entered the urethra. Studies have found that holding urine for a long time allows bacterial to multiply within the urinary tract, resulting in a urinary tract infection.
3. Stay Clean and Dry
Women should wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement. This ensures that bacteria doesn’t get into the urethra. It’s also important to wear loose-fitting clothes and underwear, which allows air to keep the urethra dry. Wearing tight jeans or material like nylon can be problematic because moisture can be trapped, allowing bacteria to grow.
4. Avoid Using Spermicides
Spermicides can increase irritation and allow bacteria to grow. Using unlubricated condoms can also cause irritation, so choose lubricated condoms that don’t contain spermicides. A 1996 prospective study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that among sexually active young women, the incidence of UTI is high and the risk is strongly and independently associated with recent sexual intercourse, along with recent use of a diaphragm with spermicide.
Because of the development of bacterial resistance, one of the most promising home remedies for UTI, especially recurring UTIs, is probiotics. Research published in the Indian Journal of Urology explains that benign bacterial flora is crucial for preventing the overgrowth of microorganisms that lead to illness. The use of antibiotics destroys beneficial bacterial flora, and pathogenic bacteria are selectively enabled to overgrow on internal and external surfaces.
Probiotics help support the human body’s normal flora that serve as a line of defense. Eating fermented foods also helps restore the body’s natural flora and recolonize the bladder with helpful bacteria. Some of the healthiest fermented foods include kefir, kimchi, probiotic yogurt, raw cheese, sauerkraut and kombucha.
Some studies suggest that cranberry juice may decrease the number of UTIs a person develops over a 12-month period, particularly for women with recurrent UTIs.
Although there’s limited or mixed evidence concerning cranberry’s ability to manage UTI symptoms, there is evidence that cranberries can be used as a preventive strategy. Animal studies show that cranberry products appear to work by inhibiting the growth and colonization of bacteria that cause infection, including E. coli, the most common bacteria seen in urinary tract infections.