If you are suffering from Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), chances are you’re looking for the fastest way to get rid of a UTI and prevent it at home.
After all, when you have UTI symptoms, relief can't come on the spot. The frequent urge to go to the restroom, pain while peeing, and abdominal pain caused by UTI can make it hard to focus on our work, engage in physical activities, or even sleep peacefully at night.
Luckily, several home remedies can help ease discomfort while your body fights off the infection. But what is UTI, and what are the symptoms associated with it? Can it be treated at home? How to cure UTI fast?
UTI is a common and unpleasant condition, predominantly affecting women. Keep reading to learn everything there’s to know about UTIs and their symptoms, along with effective home remedies on how to get rid of a UTI in 24 hours.
What is UTI?
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are bacterial infections that occur in any part of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
The majority of UTIs are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally lives in the intestines but can somehow find its way into the urinary tract.
Apparently, UTIs are mostly found in one’s bladder. Cystitis is the medical term for a urinary tract infection in the bladder. Infections in the bladder have the potential to spread to the upper urinary tract or the kidneys. This is known as pyelonephritis.
When bacteria reach the urinary tract system, especially the bladder, it leads to a urinary tract infection (UTI).
As said before, bacteria, notably E.coli, are the most common cause of UTIs, although dehydration, holding urine, and hormonal changes may also contribute to UTIs or increase the risk of infection.
Symptoms of UTI
Women are highly prone to UTIs, but some men also develop them. Studies from 2022 indicate that 40% of women would experience one at some point in their lives, making them particularly common in the female population.
Common UTI symptoms include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Bloody, cloudy, or foul-smelling urine
- Pain and pressure in the lower abdominal
- Painful and burning sensation while peeing
- Fever (<101F)
If you notice severe symptoms such as high fever, nausea and vomiting, or pain in your sides, you may have a serious issue. It means that the infection is now spread to your kidneys, a condition known as pyelonephritis.
A kidney infection demands immediate medical intervention since it may permanently damage your organs or travel to the bloodstream, resulting in a life-threatening infection.
Now that you have a basic overview of UTIs let’s explore how to get rid of a UTI in 24 hours without antibiotics. Try them all, and see what works for you.
How to Get Rid of a UTI in 24 Hours? – Home Remedies
Keep in mind that UTI home remedies may help lower symptoms or prevent infections from getting worse. But it cannot completely treat it.
Here are some of the most common natural remedies for UTI:
1. Drink more water –
One of the first and most effective things to do when you have a UTI is to drink lots of water. By doing this, the infection-causing bacteria are potentially flushed away.
On top of that, it will relieve the discomfort by diluting urine, making it less irritating as it leaves your system. Staying hydrated is the key to prevent further infections.
So, make an effort to drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day. Honestly, this exactly is what cures a UTI fast.
2. Urinate frequently –
If you’ve got to pee, go ahead and do it! Never hold it. The longer you hold it, the more opportunity there is for bacteria to cling to the bladder wall and trigger an infection.
Peeing often can help flush out bacteria from your urinary tract. This is because suppressing the urge to pee might keep bacteria from urine trapped in the bladder, which will worsen your UTIs.
Urinating before and after sexual activity will also help minimize bacteria that enter the urethra. Urinating shortly after the urge strikes could actually help treat and prevent urinary tract infections.
3. Try switching birth control –
Certain spermicide-based birth control methods have been related to an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Moreover, alternative birth control methods, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), have been shown to be a source of recurring UTIs.
Consult your healthcare provider about birth control alternatives or if you think that the reason for your recurrent UTIs maybe your current contraceptives.
4. Drink cranberry juice –
Cranberry juice is one of the widely recognized natural remedies for UTIs. It is also used to clear various other infections and promote wound healing.
Experts believe that unsweetened cranberries may have properties that help prevent urinary tract infections by hindering bacteria from clinging to the urinary tract. They contain A-type proanthocyanidin, a substance that prevents bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract wall.
Choose products that contain at least 25% cranberry juice or 300-400 mg of dried cranberry extract. If you can't find cranberry juice or don't like drinking it, you can take it in supplemental form.
However, having cranberry juice to cure UTIs is highly controversial in the medical community. While drinking it might be beneficial to some, it may not work for others.
5. Add Vitamin C to your diet –
Vitamin C, formally known as ascorbic acid, is a widely used antioxidant that promotes immune system function.
The concept behind using vitamin C for people with UTI is its ability to kill bacteria. Vitamin C reacts with nitrates in urine to form nitrogen oxide (NO), which has the potential to destroy bacteria. It can reduce the pH of urine, making bacteria less likely to survive.
Despite many studies, more research is needed to prove vitamin C’s effectiveness in minimizing UTI risk. Plus, there are varying views regarding whether vitamin C may actually elevate the pH of your urine enough to destroy bacteria.
Even so, try to increase your vitamin C intake by eating foods rich in vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables, like oranges, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes, are particularly high in vitamin C and are a perfect way to supplement your diet. You can also try products such as vitamin C gummies or oral tablets.
Just be careful of eating too many acidic foods when you have a UTI, as they could irritate your bladder and further complicate your UTI symptoms.
In addition, research has found that vitamin C, when combined with two other common natural UTI remedies—cranberries and the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus—may be an effective remedy for recurrent UTIs.
6. Take OTC medication for pain –
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers is another great and fastest way to get rid of a UTI.
Phenazopyridine hydrochloride is a popular and generic OTC drug that can help alleviate irritation in the urinary tract. This drug temporarily relieves urinary urgency, pain, and pressure associated with UTIs. However, it does not treat the underlying infection.
Still, it must be taken with caution and after checking with your doctor, as some UTIs may develop into kidney infections.
Patients should avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) in such cases, as they may worsen the condition. You can also ease your symptoms using other over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such as Advil, Motrin, and Naprosyn.
7. Try D-mannose –
D-mannose is a form of sugar found in some fruits and can be used as a dietary supplement.
It is believed to be helpful in keeping bacteria from clinging to the urinary tract lining. Basically, it sticks to e-coli. Some studies show that taking D-mannose powder with water may help UTIs, particularly for those who get them frequently.
The results are so far promising, yet studies into how well D-mannose works to prevent recurrent UTIs are still underway.
Try incorporating D-mannose-rich foods such as blueberries, cranberries, apples, oranges, and green beans into your daily diet. You may also consider having D-mannose supplements.
8. Take probiotics –
Probiotics are supplements of good or beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut and immune system. They aid in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections and the growth of harmful bacteria.
For women in particular, the probiotic lactobacillus has shown to be extremely effective in preventing UTIs, according to studies.
Also, if you have taken an antibiotic to treat a UTI, taking a probiotic is a great way to build up the healthy bacteria that may have been killed during your course of treatment.
You may find probiotics in a plethora of natural products such as cheese, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and fermented foods like sauerkraut.
If you want to take probiotics for UTIs but aren't sure which one to buy, ask a healthcare professional.
9. Use a heating pad to relieve pain –
Having a UTI can cause discomfort or pain around the pubic area. Placing warm compresses, hot water, or heating pads on your abdomen or back might help relieve this pain and discomfort. Keep it for 15-20 minutes, and you’ll notice your pain go away.
Remember not to apply it directly on the skin to avoid burns and other complications. You can also take a warm bath to help relieve UTI pain and help your muscles relax.
10. Practice good sexual hygiene –
Since UTI is associated with the urinary tract system, practicing good hygiene is very important to reduce the risk. Some sexual intercourse can also introduce bacteria and other microorganisms into the urinary tract.
Hence, you should try:
- Urinating before and immediately after sexual intercourse
- Using a barrier contraception like a condom
- Washing the genitals before and after sex, and if switching between anal and vaginal sex
Apart from this, it is advisable to avoid using spermicide as it has been linked to an increase in UTI.
11. Wipe from front to back –
UTI can happen when bacteria from the rectum enter the urethra. This small channel allows urine to exit the body.
So, always wipe from front to back after urinating or defecating. This will help keep bacteria from entering the urethra and moving up the urinary tract. Also, use separate toilet paper to clean the genitals and the anus to ensure no bacteria touches the urethra.
12. Wear cotton and loose clothes–
Try to wear loose-fitting clothes and breathable cotton underwear if you have a UTI. This is because tight underwear may rub against your urethra and intensify the irritation.
Also, by doing so, you’re preventing moisture from accumulating in the pelvic region, which could make it worse. So, try to avoid wearing tight skinny jeans as much as you can.
All of the above home remedies may definitely relieve your UTI symptoms. However, none of these are likely to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI) completely.
While the immune system cannot fight off the bacteria that cause UTI on its own, antibiotics usually need to be taken to help in the treatment process.
For this, you may combine home remedies for UTI relief with medications, including antibiotics, to treat the infection completely. This is the standard treatment for getting rid of UTIs.
When To See a Doctor?
If you notice any blood in your urine or if you have a fever, lower back pain, or other UTI symptoms mentioned before, you need to contact your doctor or physician immediately. Given how fast UTIs can spread, seeing a qualified health specialist as early as possible is the best option.
Even though natural remedies can help reduce UTI symptoms and prevent recurrent UTIs, they are unlikely to be effective in treating the infection.
The doctor will examine your urine using several tests. If a UTI is confirmed, a doctor will probably prescribe you a series of antibiotics.
We hope this blog addressed your question on “How to get rid of a UTI in 24 hours.” Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a common yet frustrating issue, especially if they keep recurring. But they are easy to get rid of.
That said, certain home remedies and OTC medications may help prevent UTIs, but they can’t eliminate the bacteria causing your infection.
This disease can also induce severe complications such as pyelonephritis. Although it’s impossible to get rid of a UTI in 24 hours, you can prefer antibiotic treatment prescribed by a qualified health specialist to get rid of it quickly.
If you are already trying these home remedies but still have UTI symptoms, contact a healthcare specialist to avoid further complications.
1. Can UTIs go away on their own?
Ans: Yes. In 20% of cases, UTIs can go away on their own if you follow the right home remedies and prevention methods. Most women may need certain antibiotics to cure it. However, there are risks to leaving UTIs untreated, such as the infection spreading to other parts of the body. So, consult your doctor to avoid complications.
2. How long do UTIs last?
Ans: Usually, UTIs last about a week when treated properly. If you’re taking antibiotics as treatment, symptoms will start to improve within 3-7 days. Untreated UTIs, however, may last for weeks or even months.
3. How do you prevent UTI when you feel it coming?
Ans: When you feel the symptoms of UTI, start taking antibiotics and drink plenty of water. Also, avoid holding your pee and doing any sexual activity. However, it’s always best to contact a healthcare provider as soon as you notice UTI symptoms.
4. Can I treat UTI myself?
Ans: You can treat UTIs without antibiotics. You may do so by staying hydrated, drinking cranberry juice, taking vitamin C, or trying probiotics to reduce the recurrence of UTIs. Note that some home remedies are just preventive measures and may not eliminate the bacteria causing UTIs. So consult your doctor regarding the treatment.
5. Will OTC drugs like AZO get rid of my UTI?
Ans: OTC medications like AZO will not treat UTIs. The only way to get rid of a UTI is a course of antibiotics. Because AZO, which contains phenazopyridine, only provides relief to UTI symptoms, including urinary frequency and burning.