I wrote a post about how I treat urinary tract infection with natural remedies, but what about UTI prevention?
Here are the 7 simple things I’ve done to prevent UTI for 4 years! (That’s not a typo!) If you are struggling with frequent urinary tract infections, please read on and consider doing these 7 tips to keep yourself UTI Free.
Urinary tract infection (UTI, or cystitis), sometimes also called bladder infections had become the bane of my existence! I was screaming every couple of weeks and promptly running to the doctor for antibiotics to treat my horrible UTIs!
An infection of your urinary tract or system or bladder can even spread as far up as your kidneys, which can be dangerous.
Symptoms of an infected urinary tract include pain in your lower abdomen, burning while urinating and feeling an urgency or need to pee often – Even if you only have a few drops of pee!
This caused A LOT of issues for me! For one, my UTIs were becoming antibiotic resistant (meaning that I had to take multiple rounds of antibiotics to treat the infection completely). And by doing this, I was killing all my beneficial gut bacteria (or probiotics) as a result.
I found myself not only super susceptible to UTIs, but colds and flus as well with no gut bacteria to support my immune system.
I missed A LOT of days of work and was too embarrassed to tell bosses the real reason for taking so much time off.
I was miserable while frantically calling the doctor, hoping they could squeeze me in and then tried not to scream in pain in the waiting room for up to 2 hours while (not so patiently) waiting to see the doctor.
Then, I’d often sit on whatever public toilet was available at the pharmacy (while not so patiently waiting again) for them to fill my bacterial infection antibiotics! And I had started having to do this every month!
I hoped there was a better way to treat UTIs at home with natural remedies (click for how I beat UTIs without antibiotics!), but was afraid to try because the pain was so bad. I didn’t want the urinary tract infection to spread and cause a kidney infection.
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(If you are in the frequent recurring UTI/antibiotic boat, I feel your pain! I spent many a night waking up to down water and pee, while sleeping with this small cordless heating pad between my legs to ease the pain.)
But, by the 5th UTI screening test and 11th bottle of different bladder infection antibiotics over just one summer, I decided to get brave!
(I went to the Dr. for UTIs so often, they referred me to a urologist. This helped me decide I was done using prescriptions to treat my painful UTI’s).
I ended up treating that UTI successfully with just natural remedies and haven’t been back to the doctor for my urinary tract since. (4 years ago).
I had gone natural remedy for what ailed me years before but assumed UTI was one of those things you always needed a prescription to treat. Boy, am I glad I was wrong!
Well, now I’ve found out I can prevent UTIs from even starting with some simple tips! If you’re in a hurry, bookmark this page for later!
I’ve numbered my 7 simple steps that have kept me UTI (i.e. Pain, burning, screaming and frequent urination-free for 4 years!)
(Disclaimer: If you feel you may have a kidney infection or are more concerned about your bladder infection for any reason, please consult a medical practitioner immediately.)
How to Prevent UTI Naturally
I got my last UTI when I was pregnant with my son. I especially didn’t want to take antibiotics while pregnant!
This was when I found the study about using honey to treat UTI infections in pregnant women.
Besides using honey to treat UTI during pregnancy, there are a few simple things I do to keep bladder infections at bay…
Foods for UTI Prevention
There are a few specific foods I take after sex to prevent the recurrence of UTIs.
I take them for a few days after any type of sex (vaginal, oral, or anal), to keep bacteria from entering my urinary tract.
✅ 1- Cranberry for UTI Prevention
Rich in antioxidants, cranberries contain a flavonoid called proanthocyanidin-A, that has an antibacterial effect.
Cranberries also help keep E. Coli (one of the most common UTI causing bacterias) from sticking to the lining of your urinary tract. [2017, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies]
Cranberries also help balance your urine pH level and ease inflammation! [2017, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies]
In a clinical study, cranberry extract supplementation was shown to reduce the frequency of UTI episodes by 73.3%! [2015, PubMed.gov]
Another study said cranberry appears to prevent UTI by inhibiting the adhesion of pathogens to the urinary tract lining, impairing the spread of the infection. [2009, PubMed.gov]
If you prefer, you may drink cranberry juice (choose 100% cranberry juice with no added sugar to get the most benefit).
But cranberry fruit powder was studied and preferred by researchers for preventing UTl recurrence over cranberry juice (since the components in the juice are limited and don’t include the whole food compounds).[2015, PubMed.gov]
I also find it easier to simply take a cranberry pill a day, or at least right after any sexual activity to prevent UTIs. Be careful when you are choosing a supplement, as they are not all created equal.
A good quality, carefully sourced organic cranberry supplement is your best bet in preventing UTI recurrence and keeping harmful chemicals out of your body.
I recently found this brand of organic cranberry and am delighted to share, since they are very economical per pill and organic cranberry supplements can be a bit pricey.
I’ve also found them to be much cheaper on Amazon than in my local health food store. As a bonus, Amazon also shows the price/pill, so you can compare supplements easily!
Or, if you are sick of taking a bajillion pills per day, you can try this organic liquid cranberry extract. I love this company and have used just about everything they put out!
✅ 2- Preventing UTIs with Garlic
The next food I personally take to prevent urinary tract infections, is garlic. Garlic contains antibacterial properties, suppresses inflammation and strengthens the immune system. [2017, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies]
Garlic has also been reported to decrease the urgency and painful urination associated with UTI, and my favorite organic garlic extract can be used to treat UTI recurrence! [2017, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies]
I use A LOT of liquid extracts from Herb Pharm because I get sick of taking sooo many pills! They are also easy to absorb by the body (bioavailable).
You can also take garlic cloves you have on hand to save money (finely chop & swallow with water), or you can take a good organic garlic supplement.
Although, the supplement may be cheaper in this case. I use this brand because they are low-cost, organically grown and very effective.
✅ 3- Probiotics for Preventing Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with probiotics. I never know if the probiotic pill I’m taking survived the journey to the store and then through my stomach acid into my intestinal tract!
Probiotics are living good bacteria that help us fight off infections in the body. A healthy microbiome will help you treat leaky gut, fatigue, colds, flus and a host of other problems.
But I have trouble trusting them!
I now eat yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, lacto-fermented veggies and drink kombucha to populate my good gut bacteria. And I make sure to eat or drink one of these probiotic-rich foods within a day after having sex.
These foods keep the probiotics healthy and thriving until it enters your digestive tract. You know they survive the journey to the store and into your gut.
Plus, you have to eat anyway, so you’re not spending a ton of money on extra supplements!
I’ve found yogurt to be especially good at UTI prevention, as well as yeast infection prevention. Plus, it’s delicious!
I buy plain, organic Greek yogurt and add my own raw, organic honey, nuts and berries to keep the processed sugar out of my body.
If you’d like to try a probiotic supplement anyway, I recommend Dr. Axes’s Ancient Nutrition Probiotics.
They use soil-based organisms, also known as SBOs. These probiotics don’t require refrigeration and are more likely to survive through your stomach and intestines.
✅ 4- Prevent UTI with Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar with “The Mother” (enzyme) is a staple in our home. We cannot live without it! You can also find Bragg’s at most grocery and health food stores now.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is full of enzymes, potassium and minerals. These enzymes can help stop UTI infection from growing and spreading, but it can also prevent the UTI in the first place.
Apple cider vinegar also helps detox the body and is on the top of my list of bulletproof immune-boosting foods.
I now drink a glass of water with apple cider vinegar & baking soda every day to strengthen my immune system, detox my body and prevent bladder infections.
Supplements for UTI Prevention
D-Mannose Helps Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Besides garlic, cranberry and probiotic supplements, you can also take D-Mannose.
In a 2014 clinical study, [2014, PubMed.gov] showed participants who took D-Mannose had less recurrent UTIs over a 6-month period than those who took Nitrofurantoin (Brand-name Macrobid, a popular antibiotic commonly used to treat UTI’s).
D-Mannose prevents UTI by keeping bacteria from binding to the urinary tract lining. It has also been shown to bind and help eliminate bacteria. [2013, BJUI]
Be careful with this supplement, as the same study showed some participants experienced diarrhea while taking it.
I have used D-Mannose in the past while treating a bladder infection but haven’t needed to use it as part of my 7 Step System for Preventing Urinary Tract Infection, simply because the other UTI remedies work so well.
If you’d like to try it, there are many supplement blends that combine cranberry and d-mannose in one supplement.
Other Natural UTI Prevention Remedies
Wipe front to back when using the bathroom and after sex, always. This prevents the spread of bacteria from your butt (where e-coli is common) to your urinary tract.
✅ 5- UTI Prevention Wipes
They have these special UTI prevention wipes, but I’ve found regular flushable wipes work just fine.
I use them after pooping by wiping front to back and making sure to wipe thoroughly until my butt is completely clean.
This keeps the bacteria in your feces from spreading into your vagina or urinary tract and causing infections.
✅ 6- My Best UTI Prevention Tip
Wash yourself with warm soapy water after sex. Any type of sex. This includes vaginal, oral and anal. This can be done in a sink, tub or shower and literally only takes a couple minutes.
I know it’s annoying to have to do this in the middle of the night, but it has saved me from UTI for 4 years.
You don’t have to take a full shower, just hop in and wash your kibbles and bits, vagina and end with washing your butt, with soap. Then rinse thoroughly with warm water.
If you are too tired to do this, or are camping, you can use a flushable wipe in a pinch.
✅ 7- Drink a Glass of Water After Sex to Help Flush UTI Causing Bacteria
If you’ve been drinking alcohol, caffeine or are dehydrated for any other reason, UTI’s are more likely to occur because there is less urine to flush the bacteria from the urinary tract.
Drinking a glass of water right after sex and staying hydrated all day helps to alleviate this problem. I simply just pound a tall glass of water after sex and make sure to stay well hydrated for a day or two.
Have you tried these natural remedies for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Prevention, aka, bladder infections? How have they worked for you? What other natural remedy for UTI has worked for you? Please comment and share below! And if you liked this post, please show your gratitude by sharing on social media! Thanks!
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It’s interesting to know that drinking a glass of water right after sex and keeping your body hydrated will help you to prevent urinary tract infections. My brother had a UTI recently, and we are looking for advice to help him prevent that from happening in the future. I will let him know about your advice about staying hydrated to prevent UTI’s.
Thanks for the comment Ellie!
Yes, the bacteria like to pool in the bladder. If they don’t get flushed out regularly, they spread in the urinary tract infection easily. Have him try taking cranberry and garlic while staying hydrated. Works wonders! Also, D-Mannose does a great job of keeping bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract.