You take a bathroom break at work and notice a burning sensation when you pee. A little later, you’re feeling like you need to urinate constantly — but nothing will come out. You are suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI).
As a long-time UTI sufferer, I know exactly what to do to alleviate those annoying symptoms. Follow this guide to get yourself on the road to recovery.
Call the Doctor
Your first step upon recognizing UTI symptoms is to make a doctor’s appointment. The reason for this is simple: home remedies and over-the-counter medications can mask UTI symptoms, but the only cure is an antibiotic.
Don’t waste time before contacting your doctor’s office. The infection in your urethra and bladder could spread to your kidneys, making you very sick.
When you get off the phone with your doctor, get to the nearest drugstore and head for the “feminine care” aisle. There you will find urinary pain relief tablets. AZO is a popular brand, and I know from personal experience that it works very well. Store brands work just as well though, and buying the non-name brand will probably save you a few dollars.
If you’ve never taken urinary pain relief tablets before, you may be surprised to find that your urine is bright orange. Don’t worry; this is a normal side effect of the medication. You may want to wear a pantyliner though, as the orange urine can stain your clothes.
According to Planned Parenthood, cranberries contain an acid that helps prevent bacteria in your urine from growing. There are multiple ways to reap the benefits that cranberries have to offer. Cranberry juice is a good option, but be sure to get pure, unsweetened juice. Add some water to it and a bit of stevia to make the drink more palatable. Other options include dried cranberries, or cranberry tablets that you can find at your local drugstore.
A lesser-known home treatment for UTI pain is a mixture of baking soda and water. Mix about 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water, and drink up. The baking soda will help neutralize the acidity of your urine, making it less painful to pass (health.howstuffworks.com).
Fair warning: the baking soda/water mixture does not taste good. Also, don’t consume it too quickly as it may make you feel sick to your stomach.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the privacy of your own home, I highly recommend putting something cold against your inflamed urethra. Take a cold shower, or get into a bathtub with a couple of inches of cool water in it. Another option might be to dampen a washcloth with cold water and hold it against yourself. In my experience, cooling down an irritated urethra feels amazing.