Urinary tract infections are all-consuming; the ultimate discomfort. No position is cozy when you have a raging UTI, but the best healing comes when we get restorative rest.
It’s not just the burn that keeps us up at night—the inflammation that causes us to leap up to the bathroom every 10 minutes is a major factor. Plus the stress that we aren’t treating it properly or that it could be getting worse is enough to keep us up, wide-eyed and staring at the ceiling. We spoke with Dr. Heather Bartos, OB-GYN and Creator of The ME Spot, to get hot tips on cooling the midnight burn.
First things first, treat
“I always keep cranberry pills and D-mannose at home (usually in combo)—start taking those immediately! And start some Azo (or meds like it) that have some antimicrobial properties as well.”
Azo isn’t necessarily going to stop your UTI in its tracts (get it), but it will stop that uncomfortable burn and frequent-pee feeling. It works by coating your urinary tract so that the acidity of your infection doesn’t erode (and hurt) while you writhe in bed.
Take a warm bath
A warm bath can help alleviate some of the pain from a UTI externally as well as internally. It’s deeply relaxing, and the warm water over your most painful region is incredibly soothing. Make sure to rinse off before and after the bath to help keep bacteria at bay; an infection is due to bacteria, after all. While some people suggest pouring warm water over your genital area while you pee, Dr. Bartos dares us to pee in the warm shower or bath for an ultimate feeling of relief.
Cold water therapy
As relaxing as warm water can be, ice water can really chill the burn. Dr. Bartos suggests putting ice water in a squirt bottle (they even have special bottles for just the right angle) and squirting your urethra while you pee to lessen the pain.
Fall asleep with “an ice pack straight on your vagina.”
Sometimes the pain reverberates in a dull ache to your entire lower abdominal area—that’s your bladder throbbing. A heating pad could help like it does with cramps.
While we don’t love anti-inflammatory medications or pain suppressants as the go-to for every little pinch, desperate times call for desperate measures, and you need your rest. Pop this before bed so you can get the shut-eye you deserve.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Dr. Bartos reminds us that it’s an absolute hard no to both caffeine and alcohol during your UTI. Both can worsen the pain due to their acidic content and make urine even more acidic. You’ll majorly regret it. Stick to water, cranberry juice (the pure, unsweetened stuff), and diuretic, non-caffeinated herbal teas during this time.
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