UTIs aka urinary tract infections aka bladder infections are one of the most common infections in the U.S. If you have a vagina, congratulations! You are way, way more likely to get a UTI. You can thank your short urethra in its proximity to the anus for that.
If you have never had a bladder infection then I will break it down for you. Basically, it feels like you have to pee really bad, but when you go to the bathroom, nothing comes out except for maybe a drip and it BURNS! Pain, agony, it’s terrible!
UTI is caused by different kinds of bacteria getting up into the urethra but instead of urinating it out or be destroyed, it takes over. The bacterium multiplies and gets to the walls. If left untreated, it climbs up to your kidneys and in some cases have killed people.
When you get a UTI, doctors will usually give you an antibiotic which zaps the bacteria in a snap! But, there are some problems with antibiotics. They also zap up your good bacteria leaving you with a lovely departing gift called a yeast infection. Now you are just burning a whole other hole.
If you get UTIs regularly, the bacteria can also become resistant to the antibiotics and then you are really screwed. If you ask grandma, she will probably tell you to drink your cranberry juice. Cranberry juice for UTI is a remedy that’s been held on to for over one hundred years but the science behind it is pretty shaky.
A view of 24 studies concluded that there just isn’t any evidence that cranberries helps with anything. Cranberry juice, powders, or pills DID help a very small number of people sometimes but it wasn’t nearly enough evidence to say, “Yes, this helps UTI.” On the other hand, some researchers maintain that there is something to this cranberry business.
A study recently published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology found that in petri dishes, phytochemicals in cranberries may inhibit some type of bacteria that can cause UTIs. But, you know, that’s in a petri dish and not in a urethra which is two different environments.
There is however a sugar called D-Mannose that may help with UTI. Multiple studies found that the molecules in this sugar binds the bacteria that cause UTI and carries it out when you urinate. The journal Urological Research found that 71% of women improved with D-Mannose. Also, the world Journal of Urology found that D-Mannose performed just as well as antibiotics.