UTIs are treated with antibiotics. Discomfort is usually relieved within several days, but it is extremely important to finish the medication as prescribed. This will prevent your UTI from getting worse or the infection spreading to your kidneys.
You may be given medicine to help the pain while the antibiotic starts working. This medicine will turn your urine and vaginal discharge bright orange for a couple of days.
- Drink lots of fluids (6 to 8 glasses daily of water and non-caffeinated fluids) to help flush bacteria from the body.
- Urinate before and after sexual activity. This avoids extra pressure on the bladder and eliminates bacteria which can enter the bladder/urethra during sexual activity involving the genital area.
- When you feel the urge to urinate, do so—don’t hold it. Delaying urination strains the bladder and allows bacteria that may be in the bladder to remain longer.
- After going to the bathroom, women should wipe front to back (vagina to anus). Wiping back to front tends to transfer bacteria from the anal area directly to the vaginal area.
- Keep the genitalia clean, but stay away from scented soap, bubble baths, feminine hygiene sprays, wipes, and douches. These disturb the normal cleansing action of the genitalia, increasing susceptibility to both vaginal infection and urinary tract infection.
- Sometimes a method of contraception such as spermicide, sponge, or a diaphragm may be a cause of recurrence; talk to your health care provider if you’d like to try another method.
- Take showers or short baths instead of soaking in the tub. (Exception: Soaking may help relieve the initial pain of a UTI.)
- Wear loosely fitted clothing and cotton undergarments. Avoid tight pants, leggings, spandex, and synthetic clothing materials in the genital area.
If you have questions about UTIs or other health care concerns, call the Health Center at 812-855-4011 for more information.