Can You Naturally Get Rid Of A UTI?

If you have symptoms like pain and burning when you pee; urine that is cloudy, smelly, or colored red, pink, or brown; or a frequent urge to urinate even though you only pee a small amount, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI), according to the Mayo Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic explains that UTIs are generally treated with medications called antibiotics. Antibiotics are drugs that kill the bacteria that are causing your infection. Usually, your doctor will choose the medication that is best at fighting the particular type of bacteria that you have.

Sometimes, however, people do not want to take antibiotics. A 2019 study published in BMC Public Health indicates that there are several reasons for this, including a belief that the infection will clear on its own, fears about bacterial resistance, and a lack of trust in doctors and antibiotic treatment. In these cases, people may opt to try to treat the UTI on their own with home remedies. However, relying on natural treatments can be risky.

Natural UTI treatments are not right for everybody

Antibiotics are the most effective treatment for a UTI, says Healthline. However, sometimes the body can clear uncomplicated UTIs on its own. According to a 2017 study published in Translational Andrology and Urology, it has been estimated that anywhere from 25% to 42% of UTIs will clear without medications. In these cases, using natural remedies may help speed up the process, according to MedicalNewsToday.

Natural remedies that may help to prevent or treat mild UTIs include drinking plenty of water to keep bacteria flushed out of the urinary tract so that it doesn't have an opportunity to multiply. Supplementing vitamin C to acidify the urine and make it an unfriendly environment for bacteria to grow can also help.

Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice may help prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, and taking probiotics can help crowd out "bad" bacteria in the gut. Wiping front to back when you pee is essential. Taking certain supplements like D-mannose, bearberry leaf, cranberry extract, and garlic extract can help as well.

For complicated UTIs, however, you should see a doctor for treatment. WebMD explains that in some cases an untreated UTI can become life-threatening. It might spread to the kidneys or trigger sepsis if your body becomes overwhelmed by the infection. DynaMed explains that a complicated UTI occurs when a person has a condition that increases their risk of treatment failure or a bad outcome.