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Urinary Tract Infections - UTI's

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Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

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Subsections on this page:


Treatments for symptomatic urinary tract infections during pregnancy.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev.  2011; (1):CD002256 (ISSN: 1469-493X)

Trial Results Cast Doubt on Treating Asymptomatic Bacteriuria in Pregnancy [8/17/15] - Screening and treating pregnant women for asymptomatic bacteriuria may not reduce their risk of delivering prematurely, new findings from a clinical trial demonstrate.

Does the Cranberry Beat Antibiotics for Recurrent UTIs? [Medscape, 12/22/2011]

Does Clinical Examination Aid in the Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections in Women? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis [Medscape, 12/22/2011]

Expert Opinion - Could Probiotics Be an Option for Treating and Preventing Urogenital Infections? (Journal Article)  [Medscape registration is free]

Urinary Tract Infection: Providing the Best Care  CMEs are/were available. [Medscape registration is free]

Antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy from Cochrane Review Abstracts - Updated: 04/01/2003 [Medscape registration is free]

Duration of treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria during pregnancy from Cochrane Review Abstracts - Updated: 04/01/2003 [Medscape registration is free]

Widespread Distribution of Urinary Tract Infections Caused by a Multidrug-Resistant Escherichia coli Clonal Group
          A.R. Manges and Others, NEJM

UTIs in At-Risk Patients: Are They 'Complicated'?  [Medscape registration is free]

Management of Asymptomatic UTIs in Women [Medscape registration is free]

Cranberry Supplements Aren't Equal for Preventing UTIs [4/20/16] - tests of seven popular cranberry-pill brands in the U.S. showed that most contained too little of the key bacteria-fighting ingredient to have any effect.

Predicting bacteriuria in urogynecology patients.

Rahn DD, Boreham MK, Allen KE, Nihira MA, Schaffer JI.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 May;192(5):1376-8.

CONCLUSION: Nitrite dipstick testing has excellent specificity for bacteriuria in urogynecologic patients. These results support the treatment of women with positive nitrites who are preparing to undergo urodynamics without obtaining culture.

Pelvic exams may increase risk of UTI. (Aug 15, 1996)

(Reuters) Drs. Jeffrey D. Tiemstra and James M. Sinacore of the University of Illinois at Chicago reported that after adjusting for confounding factors, "...significantly more women with UTIs had received a pelvic examination within the preceding 2 months - 43% vs. 16%," the authors report. Arch Fam Med 1996;5:357-360. 

Maternal Infection and Cerebral Palsy

Vaginitis Mistaken for UTI

From: C-upi@clari.net (UPI / LIDIA WASOWICZ, UPI Science Writer)

Organization: Copyright 1997 by United Press International

Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 0:50:48 PDT
URINARY TRACT INFECTION TREATMENT: The 24 million women who suffer from uncomplicated urinary tract infections each year now have another option for relief. MONUROL, a one-time, one-dose treatment, is now available. Such bladder infections are second only to the common cold in prompting doctor visits. MONUROL, marketed by Forest Laboratories, Inc., is a powder that tastes like Tang and takes effect within two to three hours. A recent survey found four out of five women ages 18 to 49 who had a bladder infection said they would prefer a shorter course of treatment than the standard five-day therapy. The survey also found 49 percent of women who had an infection did not know what caused it, while 95 percent did not know that sexual contact is a leading cause of such infections.

I have successfully treated UTIs with nutrition and herbs and lifestyle changes.

I have not used the caps, but have used the fresh and frozen cranberries for acute infections. The bags of cranberries are 12oz. each .I recommend using 1 bag for 2 days. You do not have to thaw the frozen berries. You can put 1/2 the bag in a blender ,or a juicer or a food processor, then add an apple or an orange or some unsweetened pineapple for a little sweetening and fluid ( very little fruit juice maybe 1c or less), you still might need to add some water, we have generally used it thick like a slush. Drink this through the day.

 Recently had a G2 P1 who consistently had nitrites/blood in her urine,  positive cultures with E-coli.  Tried supportive therapy, homeopathy,  acupressure/acupuncture, herbs...  Symptoms would not resolve.  Antibiotic  therapy would decrease nitrites but even one day after therapy  completed, signs and symptoms would again present.  MD recommended  kidney ultrasound which did show a stone in the u-p junction of the  right kidney.  This mother had to continue Macrodantin throughout the  pregnancy and into the postpartum period.  She now has an appointment  with a urologist.  Anyone else have experience with this?

 Something that could help would be one of the soothers like mallow or corn silk, they won't interfere with  abx but will help to reduce inflammation (they also don't mess with the pH)  What is the pH of the urine? or does she know what kind of stone she has? Some stones form in acid urine some in alkaline and some it doesn't matter. But is important before you use natural remedies to know what you are dealing with because you could make it worse. Drinking plenty of water is always indicated though, dilution is the best solution ; )  A couple of references:

"Renal Stones and Urinary pH" by Norma Metheny American Journal of Nursing Sept 1982,


"Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 2nd ed. " Michael Murry, ND and Joseph Pizzorno ND .

My opinion is that a true bladder infection (positive urine culture) requires antibiotics, and Macrobid is my drug of choice at 24 weeks. Urinary tract infections during pregnancy are associated with preterm labor and, due to the change in anatomy during pregnancy, more frequently lead to kidney infections.  There are natural ways to prevent bladder infections (I favor Vitamin C and cranberry extract capsules, avoiding bladder irritants like caffeine and soda, and drinking plenty of water.)  But I  think the risk of complications due to the antibiotics is small compared to the risk of complications due to the bladder infection.

What about the high incidence we are seeing of resistant bacteria remaining in the bladder and resultant chronic problems with recurrent UTI's?

 I do like to get a culture with sensitivity ASAP and then begin treatment with alternative methods while waiting for results and then if no improvement use the antibiotics as a last resort.  There are some docs around here who recommend a loading dose of the antibiotic the first day - the idea being to try to kill as many bacteria as possible before the have a chance to mutate. Anyone else heard of this?

I agree that a sensitivity is important in order to avoid resistant bacteria.  However, if the colony count is high, I start the antibiotics then switch if the organism is resistant.  I talk to everyone about the natural methods as well, but even if they get symptoms improvement, I treat w/ antibiotics.  There is a fairly high incidence of asymptomatic bacteriuria, I find.

This is a remedy that I have been using for years with excellent results . Drink 1 cup of water every hour for 6 hours in the 2nd and 4th hour cup add 1/2 teaspoon of baking sods also drink a lot of water besides

What I recommend to moms is to get 3 one gallon jugs of DISTILLED water.  Drink one gallon per day, squeeze some fresh lemon in it if they object to the taste.  I know that probably sounds like a ridiculous amount of H2O to drink but it's only for 3 days and I have never seen it fail.  The distilled water being completely void actually attracts infection to it and pulls it out of the body. If it is not gone at the end of the 3 days then I suggest continuing the H2O and add echinacea, vit. c, vit. e.   I have rarely had to do that.  Then, of course,  cut out the sodas, sweets and caffeine.

I have found an infusion of nettles works great for kidney problems.

 I actually agree with the trying the other remedies prior to instituting drugs if the infection is not too bad and the client is not experiencing PTL.  I have tried Sepia for Bladder infections and it has been effective.  I use cranberry juice, Vitamin C, water and limiting bladder irritants.  Again there is a fine line that you have to walk in these situations.

I found an excellent resource for bladder symptoms several years ago in the May or June 1994 issue of "Contemporary OB/GYN" magazine. There is a patient handout for non-antibiotic treatment that involves eliminating some foods from your diet, using the cranberry juice, plus some other remedies that involve baking soda and warm water, as I remember. Unfortunately I loaned my copy to a friend who has since moved, but the information is very  helpful if you have some way to locate the magazine.

 I would recommend water, at least half your weight in ounces up to one gallon, qid; CranActin (or generic) TID; 2-4 grams VitC qd.  If you have a hx of UTIs then I would have a mom stay on the CranActin, plus start nettles everyday.  Contact me immediately if pain increases, you start having ucs or backache.

 How do you treat nitrites, and why not abx?

 Usually the same way.  I really don't like to use abx if I don't have to.  I think we have become too dependent on them and am really concerned about their over use.  I do feel they are imperative if alternatives do not work, and don't hesitate to send the mother in to get abx.  I cannot prescribe them.

You think your policies and procedures are from the gut?

I think the issue is compliance.  My moms want to have a home birth and use as little medication and technology as possible.  This is our focus.  For the most part, I know they will follow through with my recommendations.  If I had any concerns about that, I would put them on abx right away.

'3 or more organisms' almost invariably represent 'contamination' by both vaginal and/or intestinal flora; however, if one of the organisms was to grow out say, >100K E.Coli, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, GBS, enterococcus, etc, that would dx 'infection' and then you would know to treat. On the conservative side, you could try and recollect a better MSCC or to avoid the 'contamination' issue altogether, a cath specimen (which for certain 'heavy' women is sometimes the only way to obtain a 'clean' specimen). Unless they are at risk or symptomatic, this is potentially 'much ado about nothing'.

Non-Antibiotic Alternatives

See also: Probiotics

Can someone tell me what they would do for a urinary tract infection if they wouldn't want to use antibiotics?

Blueberries Can Also Treat Urinary Tract Infections from Dr. Mercola

Take a pint of blueberries & ice and make a frozen slushy with them.  I tried that when I had a UTI and it really helped.  Twice a day I would mix a pint of blueberries (or a bag of frozen) with a little Trader Joe's blueberry juice.  I'd drink one big glass immediately and sip one. I also recommend teas made from corn silk or mallow (remember mallow is a cold infusion).  Both are very soothing when you have a UTI.

Cranberry's acidifying effect on urine lessens the impact of an herb called uva ursi (or bearberry) that is also taken for urinary tract infections. Choose either uva ursi or cranberry; don't use them together.

Role of cranberry juice on molecular-scale surface characteristics and adhesion behavior of Escherichia coli.
Liu Y, Black MA, Caron L, Camesano TA.
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 Feb 5;93(2):297-305.

Growth and lactic acid production by vaginal Lactobacillus acidophilus CRL 1259, and inhibition of uropathogenic Escherichia coli.
Juarez Tomas MS, Ocana VS, Wiese B, Nader-Macias ME.
J Med Microbiol. 2003 Dec;52(Pt 12):1117-24.

"These results suggest that inclusion of L. acidophilus CRL 1259 in probiotic products for vaginal application would be beneficial."

I have to say that some of the best information I've ever found about UTIs is in the book You Don't Have to Live with Cystitis! It's written by a female urologist (she says she's not a "flash in the pan!") and details causes, dosages and which foods to eat and to not eat. One of the most controversial thing you'd read in her book is to NOT take cranberry juice or other acids for UTI. She says this is because any bacteria that can live in urine, likes acid and you're only improving their environment.

I've done quite a bit of study on UTIs since my daughter had asymptomatic UTIs since she was a baby. By the time she was 7, the doctors were mentioning that if they couldn't keep these away, she might have to have a renal transplant by the time she was 14.

After studying a great deal, we took her off antibiotics which really weren't doing what the drs wanted anyway and put her on a daily tea of Comfrey and Nettles with Marshmallow tincture and with Dandelion tincture (she was fairly anemic due to chronic kidney involvement). We put her on a very alkaline diet and kept her from the foods listed in the YDHtLwC! book and she went over a year w/o a UTI. Now that she's been well for several years, she can eat those foods again.

Another good reference is Anne Frye's Understanding Lab Work in the Childbearing Year and Susan Weed's Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year - although they both recommend cranberry juice, I think if all three were read and course of treatment could be worked out for an individual patient that would work.

My understanding of the cranberry juice thing is that it would take gallons of it to actually make your urine more acidic. There is another chemical...someone help me out here... that is found in cranberries, that is helpful in UTI's.

I don't know the chemical name but my understanding is that the mechanism of action is that it alters the epithelial lining of the bladder so that bacteria have a hard time clinging to it. If they've got no place to hang out they are toast.

That would be the bacteria-fighting chemical known as hippuric acid. Acidity really has nothing to do with cranberry's effectiveness. Cranberry prevents the UTI germs from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. It also has a very high vitamin C content which nourishes the immune system. I like the capsules better, too because it's impossible to get un-reconstituted, organic cranberry juice YET.

You can buy a concentrated cranberry juice capsule at your favorite health food store called Cran-actin (and also a CranDophilus). You can still drink lots of water but don't need the large volume of sugar. I don't think its that the cranberries kill the bacteria. I think it changes the PH of the urine and helps to resist the bacteria. The object is to flush the bacteria through the system to avoid their growth within the bladder.

[WARNING - Goldenseal contains uterine-stimulating alkaloids and is not safe during pregnancy. Juniper has some rascally, potent volatile oils and is quite irritating.  I cannot in good conscience recommend its use in pregnancy.]

This is exactly my understanding of why cranberries work. I also recommend 5000mg. ascorbic acid daily, in the cheapest form available (no sense getting expensive Vit C with added in stuff when all you need is the ascorbic acid) for the same reason, it causes the urine to become very acidic.

In really serious cases, like the mom is complaining of a lot of burning, bladder or kidney pain, or urine is smelly, I also recommend a herbal combination called Juniper Berry combination (I believe it's a Nature's Way or Nature's Herbs product). It contains Juniper berries, marshmallow root, uva ursi, golden seal, and a few other herbs I can't think of right now. I have them take 2-3 capsules 4 times a day until the bottle is gone. Between the cranberry juice or capsules, vit. C and if really needed the Juniper berry combination, I have had only 2 or 3 women ever need to be put on antibiotics or other allopathic drugs. [WARNING - DO NOT USE DURING PREGNANCY.]

I have given my clients uva ursi many times in pregnancy. It is ok have had no prob with it in pregnancy. It is good for those tenacious UTI's but this is my last resort and if it doesn't work then I have them go to the doc for antibiotics. One client was on 3 different antibiotics before the prob corrected. Take heart, drink lots and take vit C. Cut out sugar and fruit and fruit juices till it goes. It can correct.

Susun Weed comments about Uva Ursi:  "Because it is a strong diuretic, Uva Ursi requires cautious use during pregnancy. . . Do not use Uva Ursi for more than ten days."  [Ed: Some other sources suggest 3-4 days max.]

I have used these 2 natural products with great success.  They can be found at whole foods, or a local health food store:

1) CranActin Syrup cranberry extract by Solaray 1-800-683-9640, www.nutraceutical.com <http:

2) Uva Ursi by Eclectic Institute, www.eclecticherb.com <http:

3) you can also buy just pure cranberry extract (which looks like the glass jar for cranberry juice but just a much smaller jar, MUST be diluted with water because very strong-tasting)

Half gallon of cranberry juice in 24 hours and UTI will be gone.

I used to have kidney infections 2 or more times per year, and they never went away until I became a vegetarian. The protein that's so concentrated in animal products was too hard on my system. Here's my To-Do List to avoid problems with urinary tract infections, but all of these must be done!

  1. no sugar as it depletes the immune system rapidly
  2. lots of fluids
  3. Cran gel caps about 3 TID for 10 days, these are cranberries concentrated in a gel cap form. Very cleansing to the urinary system.
  4. Herbal preparations in the form of tea
  5. Can use any combination of the above, uva ursi and buchu are suppose to be contraindicated in pregnancy so if pregnant you may need to stick with chimaphila. There are also other urinary tact herbs, these are just the ones I like.
    Take 3 to 4 cups per day for 7 days and then decrease for the next week,
  6. homeopathics of which there are many. Consult with a homeopath or naturopath who uses homeopathy.

For bladder infections I have had excellent results with the following recipe, must be started at the first sign and can be repeated.

Drink 1 cup of water for every hour for 6 hours
add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the second and fourth hrs cup of water

Repeat if necessary.

This probably works because the body is too acidic. The body needs an 80% alkaline (20% acid) environment to stay disease free, when it becomes too acidic it is more subject to infection.

Acidic foods are the starches, sugars and proteins. The rest are alkaline. Also when a person's elimination is not very good he/she may build up too many acids.

In the opposite direction when a person exercises a more acid environment is produced, therefore the more one exercises the more acid type foods are needed to keep the body balanced.

As in everything balance is needed and when the body gets out of balance dis-ease begins.

Take marshmallow root( althaea officinalis) can be used to soothe inflammation and reduce pain, whether it comes from infection or stones, it can be used with antibiotics. Caps take 2, 3or4x a day, if you prefer a tea make it a cold infusion put about 1oz in a 2qt pitcher let it sit over night at room temp. I have used Hollyhock roots(Althea rosea),and common mallow(malva neglecta) whole plant , if you can't get these or are suspicious you could eat some okra and get some benefit-the slime is what helps mucopolysaccharides.

This is a remedy I found in Glamour magazine back in the seventies to treat "Honeymoon Disease" which is what they called cystitis, or a urinary tract infection. It works for me every time. In a medium sized pot put:

1 washed potato unpeeled
1 brown onion
1 whole bunch of parsley
1 cup of barley, unhulled if possible

Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. Drink ALL of the fluid. It tastes bland. Drink it all anyway.


Coping with bladder infections, UTIs and Cystitis using Waterfall D-Mannose

Dr. Mercola has a couple of helpful web pages:

D-Mannose for UTI Prevention Validated in a Clinical Trial - 4/28/14

D-Mannose: Destroy Urinary Tract Infections Without Antibiotics or Cranberry Juice - 4/20/11

I've used D-Mannose capsules for both prevention and treatment, with great success. Dr. Mercola carries it in his store, but I'm sure you may be able to find it elsewhere.

I've also used D-mannose with great success after years of battling UTI's, both bladder and urethral infections.  An informative website and where I bought my d-mannose is http:

This website explains why cranberry is actually a bad idea once you have an infection as it makes your urine acidic, providing a better environment for the bacteria to reproduce.  One thing to know is that d-mannose has been effective against e-coli infections (which is the large part of infections).  If you have a different bacteria causing the problem then it might not be effective.

Whenever I feel one coming on, I take lots of D-Mannose, which you can get at the health food store.  It's just a natural sugar that E Coli bacteria really love, and they adhere to that rather than your bladder, and you can flush them out.

I take it weekly as a preventative, too.

You can also get cranberry extract in pill form, but I find this irritates my bladder more than helping.  But it's much better than the juice, which is way too sweet, and bacteria LOVE sugar

This is likely basic stuff you already know, but what helps me prevent them is:

1. gentle wiping after using the toilet, or even patting instead of an actual wipe motion
2. Pee before sex and ASAP after sex - even if you don't feel the need to pee after, make yourself do it - just a dribble is enough.
3. Use lotsa lube to prevent friction during sex.
4. Cotton panties
5. Avoid tight clothes around the crotch area

Anything that causes friction or irritates the area can cause a UTI...

Things like this are more indicative of a "whole system" issue in your body rather than an external solution.  These things below can definitely help, however, if your body isn't "prime" for a UTI, and you don't do the stuff below, you won't get one.

My family has successfully not used antibiotics for the last two years by using the "fever/infection" remedy from Newton Homeopathic Labs.  When we were detoxing the first year, we had to use it for kids fevers, sinus infections, pink eye, "feminine issues" etc.  I have also used it on my horses for any infection they had coming out while detoxing.  However, it doesn't matter if you are detoxing or not, it will work..we just had a lot of "junk" come out when we started the detox.  Follow the instructions and continue to use it for awhile after the infection seems gone... And ITS REALLY CHEAP!!!!

Orange Urine

If you see orange urine, you need to use the pee sticks to rule out blood in the urine and general infection.

If there's no blood, then consider dietary colorations - carrots, beets, senna, borscht, rhubarb, and blackberries.

Other causes might be bile in urine, beta carotene supplements, certain laxatives, Phenolphthaleine, hepatitis (though this is usually caused by the treatment for hepatitis, I have seen this also), and jaundice can lead to orange colored urine.


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