Urinary tract infections range from annoying and uncomfortable to downright painful. Also called bladder infections, UTIs are the result of bacteria in your urinary tract. Although men can get UTIs, women are more susceptible because they have shorter urethras (yay).
If you’ve never had a UTI, you’re lucky, and you should check out preventive steps that follow to keep it that way. But if you suspect you have one, go to your doctor so that, after confirming you indeed have one, you can treat it with antibiotics. You don’t want to self-diagnose or treat yourself with home remedies because there is a chance the infection can spread to your kidneys, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, include frequent urination, an urgent need to urinate, stinging or pain when you urinate, cloudy urine and blood in the urine.
Don’t start drinking cranberry juice and think it’s going to clear up by itself. Don’t underestimate a bacterial infection if you feel your symptoms aren’t very severe, either. WebMD explains that while drinking that cranberry juice might help keep UTIs at bay, it may not be the right course of action for everyone — one of the main reasons being that cranberries don’t help treat urinary tract infections once you’ve got one.
What you do want to drink is a lot of water. Flush yourself out. And make sure that every time you piddle you empty out your bladder completely. Lean forward after you think you’ve finished urinating, just to make sure any sneaky extras come out.
And ladies, be sure to wipe front to back.
So if you’ve never had a UTI or you’ve been treated by your doctor with antibiotics for one, there are some things you can do to try to keep recurring infections at bay. Everyday Health recommends these as home remedies, but if you already have a UTI, take those antibiotics first and talk to your doctor about trying these as preventive measures once you have your all-clear. They recommend taking vitamin C and eating yogurt regularly.
Everyday Health also recommends that you avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners.