Do I Always Need Antibiotics for a UTI?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2020
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A urinary tract infection (UTI) can often be painful, causing discomfort in the abdomen or lower back. It can also be accompanied by fever or blood in the urine. In severe cases, antibiotics for a UTI are recommended. Cases that are more moderate may be treated by drinking lots of water, cranberry juice, or taking a cranberry supplement.

One of the first signs of a urinary tract infection is frequent urination. This is often accompanied by a stinging or burning sensation. In some cases, the urine may be a dark yellow color. If you notice these symptoms, try to increase the amount of water you are drinking and avoid caffeinated beverages. Doing so may prevent the need to take antibiotics for a UTI.

Cranberries can sometimes help treat infections of the kidney or bladder. If you think you may have a urinary tract infection, try to drink at least one or two glasses of cranberry juice a day. You may also want to try cranberry extract, a supplement normally found at health food stores.

If your infection is more severe, antibiotics for a UTI may be the best option. Seek the advice of your physician if you have lower back or lower abdominal pain in conjunction with a burning feeling when urinating. Fever, nausea, or red streaks in your urine are also symptoms to discuss with your doctor.


Some individuals are more prone to urinary tract infections than others. If you experience a mild case only to have it reappear a short time later, you should consult with a doctor. Tell him you are experiencing frequent infections so he can decide whether to prescribe antibiotics for a UTI.

If you are given antibiotics for a UTI, make sure to finish all the medication as directed. Failure to do so can sometimes allow bacteria to remain in your system. The bacteria can become immune to some medicines, making it easier for you to contract a urinary tract infection in the future.

Consider forming healthy habits that can prevent urinary tract infections. Drink plenty of water and avoid carbonated, sugary, or caffeinated beverages. Some people report that certain foods such as chocolate and cheese seem to make bladder infections worse, so you may want to skip these foods. Practicing good hygiene and urinating when you have the urge to do so can also keep this condition from occurring on a regular basis.


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Post 2

@MissDaphne - I had better luck with home treatment for what I think were the very beginnings of a UTI.

I had talked to my sister, who's a nurse, and she said to just be really careful and start antibiotics if my symptoms were getting worse and not better. An untreated urinary tract infection can turn into a kidney infection, which is much more serious and can be life-threatening.

Anyone treating a UTI should be on the lookout for kidney infection symptoms. These are all the bladder infection symptoms (pain urinating, urgency, etc.) but also fever, abdominal pain, and blood or pus in the urine. Any of those mean see your doctor pronto!

Post 1

My first year as a teacher, I developed all sorts of problems because I was so stressed and run-down, my immune system just gave up! I had stomach flu, two yeast infections, seriously bloody stool, and a urinary tract infection. (I was prone to them as a kid - my mother used to call them bladder infections, and they had me wetting the bed until I was almost nine. But this was my first one since then.)

I saw my OB/GYN, actually because of the bloody stool (which coincided with the infection, lucky me) and she diagnosed me with a UTI. I asked if I could try home treatment before antibiotics, and she said that would be fine. I tried to flush my system with gallons of water and cranberry juice.

But no luck. My urinary tract infection symptoms just got worse and worse, and I went ahead and took the antibiotics. Felt better within twenty-four hours!

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