You may be able to cure an early urinary tract infection (UTI) if you act promptly when you have the first symptoms of a UTI, such as pain and burning with urination. Try these home treatment steps that may stop an infection from getting worse:
- Drink lots of water, especially during the first 24 hours after your symptoms appear. This will help make the urine less concentrated and wash out the infection-causing bacteria. This may alter some of your body's normal defense mechanisms. But most doctors recommend drinking a lot of fluids when you have a UTI. Some people also drink cranberry juice.
- Urinating frequently and completely, to empty your bladder each time.
To relieve pain, take a hot bath or lay a heating pad over your genital area. Never go to sleep with a heating pad in place.
Self-treatment of recurrent UTIs
If you are a woman who has frequent uncomplicated UTIs, your doctor may write a standing prescription for antibiotics to take if you notice symptoms of a UTI. If you and your doctor agree to follow this approach and you start to have symptoms that you are certain are caused by a UTI, follow your doctor's instructions for taking the medicine and for watching your symptoms. Be sure to tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if you start having UTIs more often than in the past.