Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection worldwide. They are usually caused by a bacteria that enters the urethra and infects the urinary tract. Females are more prone because their urethras are shorter compared to males and closer to the rectum, which is a probable source of the bacteria.

Natural Cures

UTI is often treated with antibiotics, but listed below are some natural remedies for UTI and its symptoms that have been proven to be effective. Most of these not only alleviate current symptoms, but also help prevent future infections.


Even without a UTI, it is important to stay hydrated and drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration increases the risk of UTI because you are then not urinating as much, which can promote bacterial growth. A 2019 study and a 2020 trial both conclude that increasing your daily fluid intake decreases the frequency of UTIs. Increasing your water intake will also help you urinate more often and flush out the bacteria from your system.

Don’t Hold In Your Pee

Urinating with a UTI may be painful, but it is important to do so in order to flush the harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. Urine is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, so the best way to counter this is frequent urination and in high volume. Make sure to empty your bladder every time. It is important to urinate when you feel the urge to shorten the time the bacteria is in your system and not allow it to attach to your cell walls. Also make sure to urinate before and after having sex, especially for women.

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Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that make for a healthier gut. A certain type of bacteria, Lactobacillus, dominates the vagina and helps keep it healthy by stopping bacteria from adhering to cell walls as well as stimulating defense mechanisms like producing lactic acid which kills bacteria and viruses. This strain of good bacteria can also be found in probiotics.

Because UTIs tend to be recurrent, frequent use of antibiotics can cause antibiotic resistance. Studies show that antibiotics are more effective when taken with probiotics. They can be taken in capsule form, probiotic drinks, or can naturally occur in some dairy or fermented products like yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, and some cheeses.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to boost your immune system and there are some studies suggesting it can treat and reduce UTIs by increasing the acidity in urine, making it unfavorable for bacterial growth. However, it may be more effective when taken with other UTI remedies like cranberries and probiotics. Fruits and vegetables like oranges, black currant, red peppers, kiwi, and grapefruit are good sources of vitamin C. It is also available in capsule form.

Heating Pad

One of the symptoms of UTIs is lower abdominal pain and lower back pain. Applying a heating pad to the areas can help ease discomfort. Dr. Brian King of University College London Department of Physiology found that when heat of more than 40°C (104°F) is applied to an affected area, the warmth not only relaxes your muscles, but turns on heat receptors and blocks the body’s ability to detect pain.

Preventive Measures

There is a high chance of getting UTI again especially for women with one in five women experiencing recurrency within three months of the original infection. The long-term management for recurring UTIs should then focus more on prevention rather than cure. Aside from the ones listed above, here are other natural ways to prevent recurring UTIs.


Cranberries or cranberry juice do not treat UTIs that have already started. Instead, it helps prevent future UTIs as UTIs are prone to recur. In high concentration, cranberries have a chemical called proanthocyanidin that prevents E. coli, the most common bacteria that causes UTIs, from attaching to the cells in the urinary tract. It also has polyphenols which are packed with antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and have antibacterial properties. You can simply munch on whole or dried cranberries, drink unsweetened cranberry juice (added sugars may only worsen UTIs), or take cranberry supplements.

Proper Hygiene

  • After women urinate, it is important to wipe from front to back as some urinary tract infections are actually caused from bacteria that came from the rectum or fecal matter that was exposed to the urethra.
  • Always urinate before and immediately after sex especially for women as it can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract.
  • Wash the genitals before and after sex.
  • Use a barrier contraception like a condom. Spermicide, a birth control that is put deep into the vagina before sex and uses chemicals that stop the sperm from reaching the egg, has been linked to UTIs.
  • Change condoms when switching from anal to vaginal sex.

When to See a Doctor

With proper and prompt antibiotic treatment, lower urinary tract infections rarely cause complications. Some research even shows that 25% to 42% of uncomplicated UTIs in women were able to be resolved without treatment. However, if left untreated, UTIs can cause more severe infections. Despite home remedies being effective in treating UTIs, it is still best to get in touch with your doctor when suspecting a UTI for proper diagnosis and guidance on how best to treat the infection.

UTIs that affect your kidneys and bladder are more severe and require medical treatments. Symptoms include:

  • Fever over 103°F (39.4°C)
  • Chills
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in urine

Bottom Line

Antibiotics treat UTI effectively by killing the bacteria that causes the infection, but they may also cause adverse effects and frequent use can cause antibiotic resistance.  Natural remedies can help treat and prevent UTIs as well as help antibiotics be more effective in fighting the infection. However, it is still important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and to avoid developing a more severe infection.

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