I don't know if this is a TMI kind of post, but if I can be open and free about my mental health then we should all be able to talk about the health of the rest of our body, right? I think that is how it works.
As an infection that affects SO MANY women I'm not sure why I don't see more people being open and honest about it- thats right I am talking about UTI's or urinary tract infections. If you didn't gather (or haven't experienced the devil that is a UTI) a UTI is an infection of any part of the urinary tract, so that could be the kidneys, ureters, the bladder or the urethra. Should these get infected, by God it hurts, take it from me. Men and women can get these infections but it is way more common in women, and usually you won't just get one in your life- you will get multiple, ah the joys.
Then there is the unlucky bitches who get them repeatedly, I'm talking all the time, I mean in the space of six months you will get at least one., and womenhood lasts a long time so if your calculating at around two a year thats a bloody lot of painful peeing. And guess who just so happens to be one of the lucky ones, the chosen one if you will- yours truly, hence why this post is live!
Now, if you are also like me, paying $70 every time you get a UTI just to go to the doctor and get some antibiotics is ridiculous and you don't want to do it, but you don't also want to be in pain, so after a lot of experience and trial a few methods, I have come together to write you a post on how to treat a UTI at home without antibiotics.
Just a little side note, if these aren't working for you definitely go to the doctor ASAP, because I let a UTI go for far too long about two years ago and that developed into a kidney infection, which you are hospitalized for, so don't mess around if you think the home treatments that worked for me aren't working for you. Also, if you have symptoms for longer than two days OR there is blood present you should seek medical advice ASAP.
First off lets talk about the one thing I do everyday, whether I have the infection or not, as more of a preventative measure. So, every morning as I am taking the other tablets with my breakfast I throw in a small cranberry supplement. The one I take is Blackmores Cranberry 15000. It doesn't last like anything so I don't have to make myself swallow it, but the label says it is to reduce the frequency of cystitis and promote urinary tract health. Anything that may reduce how often I get a UTI is a-okay in my books.
Another thing that I feel should be widely known by women all over the world, but I think some people forget which is bad. You need to pee after having sex. Seriously, I'm not joking, you need to pee in order to reduce your risk of getting a UTI. The whole cuddling after sex thing can wait until you've been to the bathroom, because damn you don't want a UTI because you chose to cuddle isn't of pee.
Even with my preventative measures I will still get UTI's, maybe less commonly but they still rear their ugly heads. At the first sign of a UTI- you know the stinging when you pee, and you think "aw fuck not another one" I will religiously drink Ural, the unflavoured one though because I cannot scull the cranberry flavour for the life of me, plus the unflavoured just tastes like flat lemonade, am I right? So I will have two of the little sachets in a glass of cold water, you know every few hours, so breakfast, lunch, in the afternoon and then if I'm still feeling it I'll have one before bed as well. I don't think that, that is what the packet tells you to do, so I do apologise for that and you should definitely read the label and follow their directions, but I don't, sorry. The Ural is a urinary alkaliser, goodbye stinging!
HINT: Ural shouldn't replace water, which you should be drinking SO much of if you have a UTI. Seriously you need to drink lots of water when you have one, so that you can flush all that bad bacteria out of your system. I usually drink a normal amount of water a day- whatever that is, but if I have a UTI, man I will drink it constantly, just trying to get rid of that bacteria. So don't not drink water with a UTI because you don't want to pee because of the stinging, drink it because you need to flush the bacteria out. On that note, do not hold you pee to avoid the stinging (I was guilty of this when I was uneducated about the infections), if you hold it, the bacteria has a chance to grow, and what does that mean? The infection is going to get worse.
Now, if you are one of those hard arse bitches that can shot a shot glass of apple cider vinegar, I envy you, let me put that out there. I cannot stomach ACV, not shot it, not mixed with a glass of water, not at all. So, for me, being the little bit of a pussy that I am, I take ACV tablets. I actually take these every day any way but they're good for you UTI as well, so I still take them when I have one. I don't think there is any scientific support in this, but for years ACV has been used on a cure-all kind of basis, and I kind of think it more a prevatative than a treatment.
As for off the shelf medication there is one that I will stand by forever and always, even though it tastes absolutely terrible and you want to die if it accidentally touches your tongue on the way down the throat. This one won't cure your active infection, but I've found that taking it as soon as I think I can feel one coming, it will help to control the infection, and the infection won't last as long as it usually would. Its called Hiprex and its antibacterial that essentially eliminates the bacteria that causes the UTI in the first place. It's around the $20 mark and you can get it from pretty much every pharmacy.
Another tablet I have found only recently and tried only once (but hey if it might work for you it is worth mentioning it!) and seemed to relieve some of the stinging was Forelife Ureze, found right next to the Ural in your local Coles or Woolworths and its only around $12. So according the pack you take one or two tablets twice daily and let me tell you, this one is a lot easier to swallow than the Hiprex, no horrible acid-y taste to deal with. The packing claims to promote healing and strengthening of the urinary tract- which I mean, doesn't that sound fabulous? It also does seem to relive some of the stinging when peeing- always a bonus.
So, I've only just had my last infection, hence why I am writing this because it is fresh in my mind and I'm still a little bit shitty that I have to deal with this shit so often. But the one thing I did this time that I hadn't tried before was upping my Vitamin C intake. I took a vitamin C chewable tablet at lunch time on the days when the infection was present. The increase in C will increase acidity of the urine which can help to get rid of the bacteria faster. I think it did help a little bit, which is why I am telling you about it, but I think I need to try it again when I get another infection (please God give me like a year break please).
Here is my home remedy tips for a UTI, but I cannot stress to you enough that these might not work for you, if you think that the infection is unbearable go to the doctor- seriously, listen to your body and if something isn't right seek professional medical help. My biggest thing that I can say to you in regards to a UTI is drink so much water, a ridiculous amount of water. Also wear loose fitting clothes, and cotton underwear, so get rid of those cute, lace underwear for a while because shit will irritate the hell out of you. Also, take some time off working out, chill out for a while and don't push yourself too much. These infections hurt like a bitch and you gotta look after yourself.