Urinary tract infections commonly affect sexually active women and can be painful and uncomfortable. Natural herbal treatments for UTIs can help prevent and heal infections in the urinary tract.
About Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that develops anywhere in your urinary system. A urinary tract infection, also known as UTI, can develop in:1
- Uterus (in women)
Most urinary tract infections occur in the lower urinary tract—the urethra and bladder. Both men and women can get urinary tract infections, although women are at a greater risk of developing them. Women have shorter urethras than men do, which means there is a shorter distance for infectious bacteria to travel to cause an infection in the bladder.1,2
Urinary tract infections are typically caused by bacteria that enter through the urethra and multiply within the urinary tract. When they infect the bladder it’s known as cystitis and when they infect the urethra it’s known as urethritis.1
E. coli is a common bacteria responsible for cystitis and it can occur due to the proximity of the anus to the female urethra. Other forms of bacteria, such as those from sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia, can also invade the urethra and cause urethritis.1
While a urinary tract infection is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, sexual activity can increase the risk of developing a UTI. Having a new sexual partner is also a risk factor in women developing UTIs. Menopausal women are also at an increased risk of developing UTIs because a decline in estrogen can make them more susceptible to infection.1
Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:1,2
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Pelvic pain
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Cloudy urine
- Frequently passing small amounts of urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pink or red urine
When treated right away, UTIs are generally not much of a threat. However, untreated UTIs can cause severe complications. If left untreated, an infection that starts in the urethra or the bladder can spread into the kidneys, leading to life-threatening complications.1
Women who have kidney infections resulting from a UTI may suffer permanent kidney damage. In some cases, women may experience sepsis, which results when the body naturally releases chemicals to fight the infection but causes body-wide inflammation and shock.1
Top Herbal Treatments for Urinary Tract Infections
Natural herbal treatments for UTI can help to kill off the bacteria causing the infection and prevent recurrent infections.
Cranberry Juice - Cranberry juice is a traditional home remedy for preventing the E. coli bacteria from causing UTIs.
D-Mannose - D-mannose is a type of sugar supplement taken to help prevent recurrent UTIs in the bladder,
Apple Cider Vinegar and Water - Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar can help to prevent a bacterial UTI in women.
Baking Soda and Water - To alleviate UTI symptoms, drinking baking soda and water can help neutralize the acidic sensations from burning while urinating.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda and Water - The combination of apple cider vinegar, baking soda and water helps to alleviate painful UTI symptoms while also providing antibacterial properties to help kill off the bacteria causing the infection.