There are various remedies to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), but the most common and arguably the most reliable are over-the-counter medications. These are thoroughly tested medications that have shown to have minimal side-effects, and are strong enough to destroy the bacteria causing the UTI. Some of these remedies include:
These are often the most prescribed treatment option, and generally are very effective. There are many types of antibiotics with varying strength, and they can be prescribed depending upon the severity of the condition. The most common antibiotics for simple UTI cases are:
These are often in tablet form and should begin to relieve UTI symptoms in 24–48 hours. However, it is important to complete the entire dose even after symptoms have disappeared. For the simplest forms of UTIs, these antibiotics can be prescribed short term for about three days, but it is advisable to keep taking them for at least a week to ensure the elimination of the bacteria.
Sometimes this regimen of antibiotic treatment does not work, and the UTI keeps manifesting its symptoms after the dosage is complete. These cases are referred to as chronic UTIs, and may be caused by other factors such as:
- hormonal imbalance during menopause or pregnancy
- regular anal sex
- improper hygiene techniques
In these cases, the individual may have to take antibiotics for longer than a week, and the prescription can last up to six months, or longer. It is more important to find out contributing factors to symptoms, rather than continual use of an antibiotic for prolonged periods of time.
It is well known that a UTI is first recognized by pain and discomfort during urination. As the condition progresses, the pain keeps getting worse and may cause the individual to avoid going to the bathroom. This is a bad idea because urination is important for flushing away the bacteria in the bladder and relieving symptoms. Besides, holding it in makes your urine more acidic, and makes passing the urine much more painful. Pain relievers can be purchased over-the-counter to help provide relief when urinating. Paracetamol is effective, but stronger pain relievers may also be used if the pain is too severe.
Recurrent cases of UTIs may be caused by a hormonal imbalance, particularly that of estrogen. Estrogen actually plays an important role in immunity of both males and females. Estrogen is found in both men and women, and enhances humoral immune response. However, menopause and pregnancy cause a significant fluctuations of the hormone. This disrupts the immune system, placing women at risk of a UTI.
To prevent these cases, vaginal estrogen therapy is available for postmenopausal women that helps regulate estrogen levels. These estrogen supplements are also available over-the-counter, and may help women suffering from recurrent cases of urinary tract infections.