How Do You Get Rid of a UTI Without Going to the Doctor?

Reviewed on 5/10/2021

UTIs (urinary tract infections) are infections of the bladder (cystitis) or the kidneys (pyelonephritis). Most urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. It is generally not advised to attempt to treat a UTI without going to the doctor because in some cases, serious complications may occur if a UTI is not treated promptly.
UTIs (urinary tract infections) are infections of the bladder (cystitis) or the kidneys (pyelonephritis). Most urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. It is generally not advised to attempt to treat a UTI without going to the doctor because in some cases, serious complications may occur if a UTI is not treated promptly.

UTIs (urinary tract infections) are infections of the bladder (cystitis) or the kidneys (pyelonephritis) in the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, the bladder, the ureters, and the urethra.

Both bladder and kidney infections are more common in women than men.

If it is the first time you’ve had symptoms of a UTI, you should see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible causes for your symptoms. Serious complications can occur in some cases if UTIs are left untreated. 

Most urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics, and you need to see your doctor to get a prescription. It is generally not advised to attempt to treat a UTI without going to the doctor because in some cases, serious complications may occur if a UTI is not treated promptly.

Antibiotics used to treat bladder infections include: 

Phenazopyridine (Pyridium which is available by prescription, or Uristat, which is available over-the-counter [OTC]) may also be used to numb the bladder and urethra and to reduce the burning pain of some UTIs.

Medications to treat kidney infections include: 

Cranberry juice, cranberry tablets, and a supplement called D-mannose (a type of sugar related to glucose) have been promoted as home treatments to help prevent frequent bladder infections but there are no studies that show these products to be effective. However, use of these products probably is not harmful. Tell your doctor before taking any supplements.

What Are Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Symptoms of bladder infections include:

  • Urinary urgency
  • Urinary frequency
  • Pain or a burning on urination 
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower abdominal discomfort

Symptoms of kidney infections can include the symptoms of bladder infections as well as: 

  • Pain in the flank (one or both sides of the lower back, where the kidneys are located)
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

See a doctor right away if you have symptoms of a kidney infection, because serious complications can occur if treatment is delayed.

What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and travel up into the urinary tract.

Risk factors for developing UTIs include:

  • Frequent sexual intercourse
  • Bladder or kidney infection that occurred in the past 12 months
  • A genetic predisposition to UTIs
  • Conditions such as kidney stones or ureteral reflux that block or change the flow of urine in the kidneys 
  • Diabetes
  • Use of spermicides for birth control 
  • Not being circumcised or having insertive anal sex (in men)

How Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Diagnosed?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are diagnosed with a urine test. 

For recurrent bladder infections, additional testing may be indicated to check for abnormalities in the kidneys, ureter, bladder, or urethra, or for kidney stones, and may include: 

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Reviewed on 5/10/2021
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults-the-basics?search=UTI&source=search_result&selectedTitle=2~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=2

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20130604/can-you-skip-antibiotics-for-urinary-tract-infection#1