Questions and Answers about Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

I was told that cranberries (in juice or supplement form) are a great home remedy to treat a UTI (urinary tract infection. Can you cure a UTI with cranberry juice?

  • The short answer is no. Cranberries have long played a role in helping many women, particularly those with recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), to promote better bladder health. In fact, some 50 percent of women report drinking a lot of cranberry juice when they suspect they have a UTI, according to a survey conducted for Cystex®. Unfortunately, while studies indicate that cranberry may help prevent recurring UTIs, studies do not indicate that cranberries help treat a UTI once you already have one. Morever, the bitterness of pure cranberry juice can make it intolerable for most to drink on a daily basis, and cranberry juice cocktail, which has less health impact on the urinary system than pure cranberry juice, can be loaded with sugar and calories, offsetting any potential bladder health benefits.
  • If you suffer from recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), you can take new Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complex, which has been clinically proven to promote urinary health and help prevent UTIs from recurring. Each tablespoon (15 ml) of the proprietary blend of cranberry concentrate also contains D-Mannose, bromelain, inulin and vitamin C.


 I think that I might have a urinary tract infection (UTI). What are the symptoms of urinary tract infection? 

  • The telltale signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) include frequent urination, urgency to urinate (yet often releasing just a few drops of urine at a time), or burning, frequent urination with back and side pain. If these classic urinary tract infection symptoms are present, it is important to act fast to help alleviate the pain and slow down the progression of the infection until you can set up a doctor appointment. Cystex® Urinary Pain Relief Tablets is a unique over-the-counter urinary tract infection (UTI) medication that is the only one with a dual-action formula that combines pain/burning relief with an antibacterial to help stop the progression of the infection.



I feel like I’m the only one of my friends that gets urinary tract infections (UTIs)? What gives…am I the only one?

  • To the contrary….the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) reports that urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for more than 8.3 million doctor visits each year, making it the second most common type of infection in the body. According to a recent Cystex®/Harris Interactive survey, nearly 6 out of 10 women (59 percent) of all ages reported suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in the past. Moreover, the NIDDK reports that “20 percent of women who have one UTI will have another, and 30 percent of this group will have yet another,” making recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) an issue. So while you might be prone, you’re not alone.



I heard that sex causes urinary tract infections (UTIs), is this true?

  • The term “honeymoon cystitis” (cystitis is inflammation or infection of the bladder) has perpetuated the myth that increased sexual activity will lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI). In fact, in a recent Cystex®/Harris Interactive survey, young women (ages 18-34), were more likely than any other age group surveyed to suspect that an “increased amount of sexual intercourse” was the root cause of their most recent urinary tract infection (UTI). However, according to leading medical experts, sexual activity, itself, does not lead to the actual urinary tract infection (UTI), regardless of sexual position or frequency. However, the increased genital friction of sex can more easily introduce bacteria into the female urethra (leading to the bladder, which for some women who have issues with urinating properly, can increase the chance of getting a UTI). For more information on the sex-UTI connection, click here.



Is there a connection between bubble baths and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)?

  • Some doctors instruct their female patients to avoid taking bubble baths to prevent vaginal irritation. The chemicals and fragrances in some bubble bath mixtures can cause irritation to the skin in the urethro-vaginal region. However, bubble baths will not cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). To avoid any potential issues if you are prone to urinary or vaginal health conditions, it is probably best to avoid bubble baths altogether.



What is a “lazy bladder?”

  • A “lazy bladder” is the layman’s term for a bladder that is unable to completely empty itself. This condition can definitely lead to recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), and, quite possibly, urinary incontinence later in life. The process of urination is actually complicated, relying on signals in the brain to tell your bladder when it is full, allowing it to relax and empty itself completely. If there is an interruption in this signal due to muscle problems (too much or too little contraction, for example, that can be related to medications, diabetes, etc.) or neurological issues (such as lower back injury), this interrupts proper urine flow, which can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI) since you can’t normally flush the bacteria out of the urinary system. Talk to your doctor about medical options for correcting this problem. Kegel exercises can also help strengthen the muscles in this region to aid in proper urination.



Does “holding it in” cause urinary tract infections (UTIs)?

  • According to an interesting survey conducted by Cystex®/Harris Interactive, nearly 30% of adults indicated that they only use public restrooms in dire emergencies.While “holding it in” does not directly cause a urinary tract infection (UTI), it can cause overdistension (stretching) that can damage the lining of the bladder, making it more vulnerable to bacteria that are normally present. Medical experts advise that you should urinate when your body signals that you should do so, avoiding holding it in for long periods of time.



Do I need to see a doctor if I have a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

  • Yes, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible, since antibiotics are the most common UTI cures. Your healthcare provider will take a urine culture so hat he/she can prescribe antibiotics that treat UTIs. If you are prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), you should also discuss a uroflow exam (which measures the flow and force of your urine stream) with your physician, as well as talk to your doctor about taking Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complex as a preventative measure.
  • Drink plenty of water to flush the system and take the over-the-counter (OTC) medication Cystex®, as this medicine can help ease the pain of the infection and will not interfere with the antibiotic. Antibiotics begin fighting the infection immediately, but they can't stop all the symptoms right away, such as the pain in your bladder.



How do Cystex® Urinary Pain Relief Tablets work?

  • Cystex® Urinary Pain Relief Tablets are designed to help with the pain and discomfort of UTIs. More uniquely, it is the only OTC UTI pain product with an antibacterial agent that helps to contain the progression of the infection while you wait to see the doctor. The dual-action formula of Cystex® Urinary Pain Relief Tablets not only helps numb the pain and burning sensation with an analgesic, but it also contains the anti-infective methenamine to help control the infection.

    To help prevent UTIs from recurring, you can also take one tablespoon daily of new Cystex® Liquid Cranberry Complex, which has been clinically proven to promote urinary health and help prevent UTIs from recurring. Each tablespoon (15 ml) of the proprietary blend of cranberry concentrate also contains D-Mannose, bromelain, inulin and vitamin C.



Why do females have urinary tract infections (UTIs) more often than men?

  • While males do experience urinary tract infections (UTIs), women are much more susceptible to them because their urethras are shorter, creating a quicker pathway for bacteria to reach the bladder. Additionally, a woman's urethral opening is directly near more sources of bacteria, such as the anus and vagina, creating the perfect environment for infection.


Can’t find the information you’re looking for? Click here and ask Dr. Kavaler your question and see her response posted on the Cystex Ladies Room Blog.