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How to Get Rid of a UTI Fast
April 26, 2023|Read Time - 6 minutes
Written by
Medically Reviewed by
Last updated on February 29th, 2024

6 simple steps for fast UTI relief

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and uncomfortable bacterial infections. Nearly one-half of all women will deal with a UTI at some point in their lives. So will 12% of men.

UTIs are responsible for about 8 million doctor visits every year. While these infections are easily treatable, they can cause painful and uncomfortable symptoms. When left untreated, they can lead to serious medical complications.

If you’re experiencing symptoms or early warning signs of a UTI, read on. We’ve compiled some quick facts about UTIs and six tips to help get rid of one fast.

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What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common bacterial infection. A UTI can occur in any part of the urinary system. The urinary system consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. A UTI occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract and begin to spread to the bladder and urethra.

The Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria is the most common cause of bladder infections. Your body has natural defenses against E. coli, but sometimes these defenses fail. This allows the bacteria to overpopulate and spread. Infections of the urethra can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Women are at greater risk for UTIs than men due to their anatomy. The urethra is closer to the anus in women than it is in men. This makes it more likely that harmful bacteria will spread from the anus to the urinary system.

How do you know if you have a UTI?

Urinary tract infections cause symptoms like other infections, such as a bladder infection. If you notice any of the symptoms listed here, talk to a healthcare professional immediately. Early treatment of UTIs can help reduce symptoms and prevent further complications.

Symptoms of a UTI

Common UTI symptoms include:

  • A strong and persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Peeing in small amounts, but often
  • Cloudy or hazy urine
  • Scarlet, bright pink, or cola-colored urine
  • Strong smelling urine
  • Pressure or cramping in the groin or lower abdomen
  • Lower back pain

When properly treated, UTIs are easily cured and do not cause complications. If left untreated, these infections can lead to many medical problems. For example, they can cause recurrent UTIs. They can also cause kidney infections (pyelonephritis), kidney disease, and sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening emergency. Because of this, you need to get treatment for a urinary tract infection as soon as you begin to feel symptoms.

What are 6 ways I can get rid of a UTI fast?

1) Get medical advice from a healthcare provider

Bacterial infections cause most urinary tract infections. While UTIs are not medical emergencies, they can lead to complications if left untreated. Additionally, the fastest way to cure a UTI is through antibiotic medication. Antibiotics will kill harmful bacteria. This will reduce symptoms quickly and prevent the infection from worsening.

Telehealth platforms like Sesame can connect you to a provider within the day. They save you from urgent care waiting rooms and busy primary care provider schedules. Schedule an online doctor appointment from a reputable telehealth site to get diagnosed quickly. Providers can diagnose UTIs from a description of your symptoms. If you need a prescription, online doctors can write one. They can order it for pickup at your local pharmacy. This can happen within a few minutes of your appointment.

Sometimes, UTIs must be diagnosed via a urinalysis test at a medical facility (such as a urology clinic). If lab testing is required, your provider will discuss the next steps with you.

Once your provider diagnoses a urinary tract infection, they can prescribe antibiotics for treatment.

Common antibiotic medications used for UTI treatment include:

These antibiotics ease UTI symptoms while working to heal the infection. With antibiotic treatment, most uncomplicated UTIs will go away in days. You should start feeling better within a day or two of taking the medication.

These drugs have been shown to cause some mild side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and skin rash. If these symptoms get bad or your UTI doesn’t improve after a few days of antibiotics, talk to a healthcare provider immediately.

2) Drink lots of water

Drink plenty of water to help flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. The longer urine hangs out in the bladder, the more bacteria can populate and make an existing infection worse. This simple home remedy can also help dilute the urine in your bladder, reducing symptoms of burning and stinging. Drink 2-3 liters (about 8-12 cups) of water daily to flush bacteria from the urinary system.

Good hydration can also help prevent UTIs from occurring in the first place. Going pee often helps clear the bladder and urinary tract of harmful organisms, making infection less likely to occur. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure you get enough water.

3) Drink cranberry juice

You can also use cranberry supplements and unsweetened cranberry juice to prevent infection. Cranberry products may make you need to urinate more. More frequent urination means the bladder is flushed more often. Cranberry juice and cranberry products are not adequate treatment for an existing UTI. Use these supplements as a preventative measure, not a cure for infection.

You should avoid beverages that irritate the urinary tract, such as carbonated drinks, alcohol, and caffeine. These drinks will not worsen the infection but can make your symptoms more pronounced.

4) Use over-the-counter medicine for pain

You can use over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, with antibiotics. They relieve painful UTI symptoms. These drugs can also help reduce lower back pain and pelvic pain that may occur as a result of a urinary tract infection.

These drugs have some side effects, like nausea and heartburn. But, the reactions are usually short and mild. Talk to your doctor if you have ongoing side effects from OTC medication. Get medical attention right away if a reaction becomes severe.

It’s important to note that while OTC pain medications can help reduce UTI symptoms, they do not treat the infection. You should not use OTC pain relievers as a treatment for UTIs. Instead, use them to supplement a course of antibiotic medicine.

5) Practice good hygiene

Practice good hygiene to prevent UTIs. Hygiene will not treat existing UTIs. However, keeping the genital area clean while maintaining a healthy lifestyle can keep the infection from worsening. Avoid using diaphragms, vaginal sponges, and sex toys if you are at high risk of UTIs. Additionally, do not use douches or harsh scented cleansers on the genital area, as these can irritate the vagina and increase the likelihood of developing a UTI.

Women should always wipe front to back to avoid bacteria from the anus coming into contact with the vaginal area. Empty the bladder after sexual intercourse, as sex (especially with spermicide lubricant) is a risk factor for the development of UTIs.

6) Practice self-care

Antibiotic medication is the only surefire and FDA-approved method of treating a urinary tract infection. However, self-care is like good hygiene. It can reduce symptoms and prevent more infections.

If you are managing a current infection, it is recommended that you take a sick day to let your body rest and recover as it fights off harmful bacteria. UTIs don’t spread; they can't be transmitted through toilet seats. But resting can help your immune system keep the energy it needs to fight the infection.

You can also take vitamin C to help boost the function of your immune system. Vitamin C also makes urine less acidic, which soothes painful urination and other symptoms. No evidence suggests that vitamin C cures infection or speeds healing. But it can help your immune system fight illness.

Next Steps

The only way to get rid of a UTI completely fast is through antibiotic treatment prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider. While natural remedies such as vitamin C and cranberry products may help reduce symptoms, medication is needed to neutralize harmful bacteria and prevent further complications.

If you need to get rid of a UTI fast, book a telehealth appointment to talk to a healthcare provider within the day. Urologists and primary care providers may require you to book an in-person appointment days or weeks in advance. Urgent care clinics have long wait times. Skip the stress and book an online doctor appointment to get seen right away and start your treatment.

Get fast UTI treatment and pick up your prescription medication on the same day. Create a free Sesame account and earn 20% off your first appointment.
Get started

How Sesame can help

Looking to talk to a healthcare provider now? Book a video UTI visit on Sesame right away to discuss your symptoms with a provider, all from the comfort of your home.

When appropriate, providers on Sesame can write prescriptions and arrange for the medicine to be delivered to your home or ready for same-day pickup at a pharmacy of your choice. These prescriptions often cost 60% less than a prescription ordered through an insurance network. Book an online visit on Sesame for affordable and convenient care right away.


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Sesame content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have a medical concern, it is critical to seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions. If you are facing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room immediately.

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