Some people who have had a UTI in the past may be able to avoid getting another infection by taking action at the first sign of any pain or burning with urination. Here are some tips:
- 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.
- Urinate frequently and completely, to empty your bladder each time.
But these steps won't cure a UTI, so don't delay getting medical treatment and starting on an antibiotic if you have an infection.
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.