Q: I haven't had sex for a while and then when I did, well this morning I woke up with a UTI [Urinary Tract Infection]. I know some of the symptoms of UTIs, one of them being that you always have to pee! And this is how it is for me, I keep having to pee and then I do so, but it feels like there is still more to come out. I have this pressure in my bladder and I feel a bit hot. I know sometimes fever and a burning sensation can be there, but so far there is no burning. I don't want to use any remedies from the pharmacy, but want a natural solution. HELP!!
~Lady in the Loo
A: Whether you have sex regularly or just once in while, it is advisable that you pee both before and after sex. Emptying the bladder after sex is highly recommended for both men and women as it helps to flush any unwanted bacteria from the urethra. Remember that safe sex also means practicing good hygiene, and that includes washing hands and having clean genitalia.
Because the anus and vagina are close in proximity to one another, it is much more common for women to have a UTI. This is also one of the reasons why moms always say to wipe from front to back!
As for UTI help here are:
10 Natural Remedies + Tips to Treat UTIs
1. Cranberry Juice. Cranberry juice contains D-mannose, a substance that can help to inhibit the bacteria E. Coli, the most common bacteria that causes UTIs. Be sure to drink pure cranberry juice and dilute it with water. Note that if you have digestive issues and/or candida this might not be the best option for you.
2. D-Mannose. D-mannose in supplement form is considered a very safe alternative to both prevent and treat UTIs. D-mannose works like a natural antibiotic and is 10-50x stronger than taking cranberry juice alone. Dosage: 1 tsp every 2-3 hours for 2-5 days. You can buy D-mannose from health food stores and online. Read more about D-mannose HERE.
3. Water. Since the bacteria are trying to colonize your urinary tract, you want to drink as much water as possible to flush them out. Double or triple the standard 8 glasses of water a day; go for 2-4 liters of pure water to move the bacteria OUT.
4. Go Pee. Often. Yes, it's not a pleasant sensation to pee at this point, as there can be burning, cramping, bladder pressure and a sensation of having to pee again right after peeing. Nevertheless, the more you pee, the more you flush the bacteria out. If you have to pee, get up and have to pee again, do so. Just think that the more you pee, the more bacteria are getting flushed out.
5. Eat High Water Foods. Fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, and veggies such as cucumber, greens and celery help to flush out the bad bacteria because of their high water content and diuretic action.
6. Avoid Stimulants & Irritants. Coffee, tea, spicy foods (e.g., cayenne, hot peppers, Mexican, Thai and curry dishes) and alcohol make your UTI worse by irritating your bladder while sugary foods (pastries, sugar, sweeteners, cakes, cookies, muffins, etc.) feed the bad bacteria. Best to avoid for a few days while the UTI clears. If you are still having symptoms after 5 days (even mild ones), continue to avoid these substances for up to 1-2 weeks. Note that fruit juices, medium-high glycemic fruits (mangoes, bananas, dried fruits) and citrus fruits may cause your symptoms to persist, so cut them out for a while to let your urinary tract heal.
7. Flush with Diuretics. Juniper berries, Uva Ursi, Self-heal (prunella vulgaris), Gravel root, Corn Silk (zea mays) and Cleavers/Clivers are herbal diuretics that make you want to pee. Make a standard infusion using 1 ounce whole (not powdered) herb to 4 liters of boiling water in a 1-liter mason jar. Place on the lid and screw cap and let sit 4 hours, then drink throughout the day. Feel free to dilute the tea with water if you like. You can buy such herbs from health food stores and online, such as Mountain Rose Herbs. Note that while these herbs may be available in supplement (pill) form, get the loose herb so that you can make a tea and flush out the bacteria. You can read more about helpful herbs & remedies by Susun Weed Here and safe herbs during pregnancy Here.
8. Heat Helps. While heat often helps bacteria to multiply, if you have a bladder infection where you are experiencing pressure in your bladder, a hot water bottle placed over the bladder can help to relax the area. Make sure you place a towel between your skin and the hot water bottle to avoid burning yourself.
9. Nope to Soap. While scented soaps smell nice, your vagina has its own natural scent and way of cleaning itself out, thank-you very much. Wash with water at this point and avoid ALL soap (even unscented, it can further irritate the area). Cotton underwear and "going commando" (especially while wearing a skirt or dress) allow the area to breathe and remain dry. Also avoid douching and having intercourse at this time (you probably won't be interested anyway). Try using unscented soap (like Dr. Bronner's) for your future needs.
10. Yes to Probiotics and Natural Killers. Probiotics are happy critters that live in the intestines and in vaginas. Since vaginal yeast can help to contribute to developing a UTI, make sure to get in a healthy dose of probiotics every day as both prevention and treatment of UTIs. Good sources of probiotics include kefir (dairy or non-dairy), sauerkraut, fermented veggies, kimchi and kombucha (see Here for recipes and how-tos). Natural killers refers to the cells (NK cells) that are responsible in the body for doing away with infections. You can boost their numbers by taking Echinacea ( purpurea or augustifolia) for 5 days. Standard dosage.
Remember: think flush, flush---> the more you pee, the better you'll feel (in a few days)!
To happy peeing days ahead,
is a Health Practitioner with a Background in Chinese Medicine. Get in Some of her Savvy Adivce When She Answers Your Health Question.
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