A few years ago I had to deal with these over and over, with a great deal of pain, run down health, and medical expense to treat them. Often treatment required more than one round of antibiotics. Even repeated infections, to which some people seem to be prone (for any or no reason), mean a fresh doctor visit each time. I often needed painkillers for the intense pain, as well. Though this is rarely considered a serious medical issue, infections can spread and kill you if ignored.
I learned that basic biology means women are more prone to them than men. That some women are particularly vulnerable to them, and that older people are at risk of repeated infections as well. None of this seemed particularly urgent or of great importance to the medical profession, but it sure was a hellish situation for me! Or anyone else dealing with these things.
Things that helped:
Probiotics to build up my system
. I found this one (Pearls YB) http://www.pearlsprobiotics.com/Products/Probiotic-Pearls-Women-s
particularly helpful, as it is gentle but targeted particularly towards the female system and UT health. After dealing with repeated infections and getting extremely run down, I was very glad to find a product that helped me, and I took several pearls a day for months, until my system seemed strong enough that I didn't need to. I may have gone overboard, but overdosing was impossible, while living in terror of yet another doctor visit and more agony was really impacting my quality of life. I can say without a doubt, these pearls helped. Today I don't need to take them because my biology has been built up a lot, and it seems to not even be an issue. But I definitely recommend them for any woman dealing with UTI vulnerabilities. A pearl of prevention is worth a pound of cure (not to mention the expense, pain, and antibiotics!).
I've taken other probiotics that I believe helped as well, such as Gut Shot, which generally built up my health; and good overall nutrition and not being malnourished in any particular nutrient seem to be important or helpful as well. https://www.farmhouseculture.com/gut-shots
(I'm sure there are lots of overall good probiotics, and I've tried a lot of them! I honestly think the more the merrier because different companies use different strains. Also someday maybe I'll learn to make my own probiotic foods, but I haven't yet.)
A natural health practitioner gave me some advice that really helped in more emergency (aka not so much preventative or health building, but a situation where it feels like you might be coming down with a UTI and are hoping against hope that you won't have to go to the doctor). That advice was to take some baking soda in water
several times a day to adjust your body's PH and make it less "friendly" for a possible infection.
The second advice she gave was to skip the cranberry juice (which I had chugged for years to very little avail) and go straight for for the D-Mannose
, a concentrated form of the beneficial ingredients in cranberries, to prevent/heal UTI issues before they got to a point of desperation. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HCMK90
Obviously if you need medical care, go to a doctor. Take the antibiotics if you have to. But anything that can reduce the expense of medical bills, or having to take harsh antibiotics over and over again, is very worth pursuing!
Eventually my body healed and built up to the point where I rarely need to use any of these things, but I keep them in mind, just in case. And I do feel that they were very close to lifesaving for me! It felt like my health was spiraling lower each time—back to the doctor every few months for more and more treatment, a revolving door of pain and seemingly causeless UTI issues that kept coming back.