UTI Pain Relief: What Are Your Options?

One of the most common symptoms of a UTI is pain, including pain when urinating or a general unease in the pubic area. Because of this, it is only natural to wonder what can be done to ease this pain and make your days more manageable as the treatment for your UTI works on clearing the infection.

Luckily, there are both home remedies and medical treatments that can help you ease your UTI-related pain.

Table of Contents

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI), as the name suggests, is an infection of the urinary tract, which consists of the bladder, urethra, kidneys, and ureters. While any of these parts of the urinary tract can become infected, UTIs most often result from infections of the bladder, which in severe cases may evolve into infections of the kidneys.

Several pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi, can cause a UTI, but most UTIs are due to bacteria, particularly E. coli.

E. coli are bacteria commonly found in and around the anus, and it is the transfer of them from the anus to the vagina and/or urethra that can then cause a UTI. The bacteria enter the urethra and travel through the urinary tract until they reach the bladder, where they multiply and grow, causing an infection.

When a UTI begins, you will likely notice symptoms that can include:

These symptoms are not pleasant, which is why those with a UTI often search for a way to relieve their symptoms.

How to Relieve UTI Pain?

Relieving UTI pain is a multifaceted task that can combine multiple options, both home remedies and medical treatments included. In fact, the greatest pain relief is often achieved when combining multiple treatments and remedies compared to using only one.

Home Remedies for UTI Pain Relief

For those looking to relieve pain and other unpleasant symptoms from a UTI, the following home remedies can help provide some relief.

Hydrate

One of the best things you can do when you have a UTI is to drink more water because it helps flush the bacteria out of the body. By removing the bacteria, you support the body as it fights the infection, which can then lessen your symptoms.

A problem that many people with a UTI find, though, is that they want to drink less water because of the pain they experience when they urinate. However, just remember that the more water you drink, the better you will soon feel.

While water is the best choice for hydration, any type of fluid will help you urinate more and clear out the bacteria. 

Apply Heat

UTIs can cause pressure, burning, and pain around the pubic area from irritation and inflammation. Applying a heating pad can help relieve some of this pain.

Some things to keep in mind when using a heating pad: refrain from putting the heat too high (lower is better), have a barrier between the heating pad and your skin and use it for only 15 minutes at a time.

OTC Medications

For those with a UTI, OTC medications can significantly relieve unpleasant symptoms.

General pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce inflammation, easing pain and lessening the urge to urinate frequently.

Phenazopyridine is another OTC medication option that helps to numb the lining of the urinary tract, reducing pain from urination. This medication acts quickly, often providing relief in just 20 minutes. However, it is essential not to take phenazopyridine for more than three days because, while it does a great job of subduing symptoms of UTIs, it can mask if the symptoms are still there, which can keep you from seeing medical care.

Medical Treatments for UTI Pain Relief

The most common medical treatment for UTIs is antibiotics, which directly kill the bacteria or prevent them from growing and reproducing, eventually causing them to die off. By killing the bacteria responsible for the infection, the symptoms caused by the infection lessen until they go away completely.

Types of antibiotics often used to treat UTIs can include:

  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Fosfomycin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Cephalexin
  • Amoxicillin

Once you begin your antibiotic prescription, you will typically feel relief in one or two days.

A doctor may also be able to prescribe prescription-strength pain medication to help ease UTI pain as the antibiotics work.

When To See a Doctor?

The most effective way to relieve UTI-related pain is by combining the above home remedies and antibiotics to relieve your symptoms and destroy the bacteria.

However, if your symptoms persist, despite taking antibiotics, it is recommended to see a doctor as an alternative type of antibiotic may be needed. Additionally, if at any point your symptoms worsen, seek medical attention. A UTI left untreated can become a kidney infection, which requires more intensive medical care, and thus should not be left ignored.

Symptoms of a UTI may be annoying and unpleasant, but they are a great marker of whether the infection remains or has been treated. Because of this, it is crucial when relieving your symptoms that you never take anything that masks them completely for more than 3 days, as this can then prevent you from seeking medical attention when it is needed.

How Can DrHouse Help You?

For those with a UTI, DrHouse can offer quick and convenient access to an online doctor who can help prescribe antibiotics and discuss techniques to limit UTI pain. Whether this involves home remedies or prescription-strength pain medicine, your doctor can help you find a way to reduce your pain.

Key Takeaways

Pain is a common symptom with UTIs, as they can cause pain when urinating or general pain in the pubic area. To help combat this, there are home remedies and medical treatments. Antibiotics often see pain relief in just one to two days, and combining home remedies such as hydration, heat, and OTC medications can help provide relief even sooner.

For those unsure what combinations are safe to use, an online doctor such as those with DrHouse can help you successfully reduce your UTI-related pain.

Sources:

  • Fu, Z., Liska, D., Talan, D., & Chung, M. (2017). Cranberry Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection Recurrence in Otherwise Healthy Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The Journal Of Nutrition, 147(12), 2282-2288. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.3945/jn.117.254961 
  • eastham jH, Patel P. Phenazopyridine. [Updated 2022 Nov 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK580545/ 
  • Nordt, S. (2017). Pyelonephritis following phenazopyridine use. The American Journal Of Emergency Medicine, 35(5), 805.e3-805.e4. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2016.11.058 
  • Bleidorn, J., Gágyor, I., Kochen, M., Wegscheider, K., & Hummers-Pradier, E. (2010). Symptomatic treatment (ibuprofen) or antibiotics (ciprofloxacin) for uncomplicated urinary tract infection? – Results of a randomized controlled pilot trial. BMC Medicine, 8(1). doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-8-30 
  • Aloush, S., Al-Awamreh, K., Abu Sumaqa, Y., Halabi, M., Al Bashtawy, M., & Salama, F. (2019). Effectiveness of antibiotics versus ibuprofen in relieving symptoms of nosocomial urinary tract infection: A comparative study. Journal Of The American Association Of Nurse Practitioners, 31(1), 60-64. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1097/jxx.0000000000000101 
  • Flores-Mireles, A., Walker, J., Caparon, M., & Hultgren, S. (2015). Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 13(5), 269-284. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro3432 

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

DrHouse

Healthcare

on your schedule

Skip the unnecessary waiting room,
see a board-certified clinician now.

Start an Online Visit
Available in 50 states. No insurance needed.

Prescriptions as needed
Renew or get a new Rx.

On-demand virtual visits
See a clinician in 15 minutes.

24/7 care support
We are here to help you.

DrHouse
  • 1

    Download the DrHouse app.
    Set up your free account in a minute.

  • 2

    Start a visit with an online doctor. Wait time is less than 15 minutes.

  • 3

    Get an Rx from your preferred pharmacy. Pick up a Rx nearby or get it delivered to you.

Download our app