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A UTI is a urinary tract infection. It can be an infection in any part of your urinary system, including your bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters.

It can be difficult to sleep at night if you have some of the common symptoms.

You can learn about home remedies to relieve nighttime UTI symptoms.

Most people say a bladder infection is a UTI, but it is actually a urinary tract infection. The setup of the body makes it more likely that a person will get a uti at birth.

S. Adam Ramin, MD, urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles, explained that the “bladder and its tubing, the urethra, sit directly along the length of the vagina. Urine exits the body through this very short tube, and the opening of the urethra is a tiny hole right above the entrance into the vagina.”

The positioning makes it easy for the bugs to travel.

Ramin said that vaginal intercourse can cause a urinary tract infection if the vagina and rectum are colonized.

Hormonal change is another cause of UTIs, though it’s less common. Karyn Eilber, MD, a board certified urologist and an associate professor of urology & OB-GYN at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, said some people experience UTIs at certain times of the month.

The vaginal pH can be influenced by the menstrual cycle. The vaginal pH is acidic and good for the goodbacteria. The pH can become less acidic at certain times of the month, so that a woman can be more prone to having a UTI.

For most people, peeing should be pain-free and urine output should be odorless, but in some cases it should only have a slight scent of ammonia. An infection might be present if that is not the case. Here are a few signs of a urinary tract problem.

Urgent and frequent urination

The bladder lining can be irritated by a UTI. This results in more frequent urination. You might notice that the output is not very high despite the urgent need to pee.

Burning or pain while peeing

burning with urination is a common symptom. It is possible that pain due to a UTI is not related to urination, but is indicative of a vaginal infection.

Smelly or cloudy urine

Ramin said that sometimes a cloudy appearance of your urine is a sign of an impending UTI. If you suddenly notice a foul smell, it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection or urinary stones, especially if the smell is accompanied by a cloudy appearance.

Loss of control

You may find that you have less control over your bladder during a UTI episode. The symptoms of a uti that has reached the kidneys include back pain and a high temperature.

You need to rest. It can be hard to sleep with some of the symptoms of a UTI.

Here are some things you can do at home to help you sleep comfortably:

  • Drink lots of water to help flush out the bugs.
  • Coffee and soft drinks that contain caffeine or other substances are not good for you. These can irritate your bladder and make it harder to urinate.
  • Do not drink a lot of fluids before bed.
  • Wear incontinence pants or a incontinence pad. These can help you sleep better and give you the option of not urinating in the night.
  • Use a hot water bottle or heating pad to warm your abdomen to minimize bladder discomfort or pressure.
  • Before bed, completely empty your bladder.
  • Your doctor will tell you to take your antibiotics.

“If your doctor doesn’t prescribe pain medication, you should ask for a recommendation for OTC or prescription pain medication.”

The first thing to do to relieve the pain at night is to see your doctor.

Stopping the infection

Based on your current health and the type of bacteria in your urine, your doctor might recommend antibiotic medication for a simple UTI, such as:

  • ceftriaxone is a drug.
  • cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Fosfomycin is a drug.
  • nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin)
  • The trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is a drug.

If you have a complicated UTI or kidney infection, your doctor may prescribe a type of antibiotic called fluoroquinolones, such as levofloxacin (Levaquin) or ciprofloxacin (Cipro).

The shortest treatment course is the best way to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance. Effective treatment takes 7 days.

There are also other medications available for treatment that are not antibiotic-based.

Relieving the pain

You should notice a relief in your pain within a few days of starting the antibiotic, but your doctor may suggest an opiate.

Antibiotics aren’t the only option and there are other prescription medications available to treat UTIs.

Many UTI analgesics include phenazopyridine for relief from the pain, itching, burning, and urinary urgency. It’s available in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) forms.

Over-the-counter UTI medication

You may want to skip treating utis with OTC options. Bladder infections can be treated with a course of antibiotics and plenty of fluids. Ramin recommends AZO if you are looking for pain relief.

AZO is one of the best over-the-counter bladder analgesics we have available to ease urinary pain. This is safe if taken in small amounts. He said that overdosing on AZO should be avoided. I recommend using AZO for 3 days if you use antibiotics.

Experts also recommend drinking plenty of fluids, unsweetened cranberry juice, and taking probiotics. Just because there are OTC options to relieve UTI discomfort, you shouldn’t overlook the actual infection. In fact, Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH, FACOG, double board certified in OB-GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine, doesn’t recommend taking the OTC route at all.

“She said she doesn’t recommend over-the-counter medications for urinary tract infections. A bladder infection can spread to the entire body if not treated.”

Bladder infections can be more progressive in nature if a pregnant woman is susceptible to them.

“Eilber says that the symptoms of UTI are not worse at night. They are more annoying because people aren’t as distracted by their daily activities and the symptoms of frequency and urgency are forcing you to get out of bed.”

“It may seem worse because you aren’t emptying your bladder as much. The pressure from urine creates a sensation of pain in the bladder.”

There are specific lifestyle steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a UTI.

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Drink cranberry juice.
  • After urinating and bowel movements, wipe from front to back.
  • Empty your bladder before and after sexual activity.
  • Take showers.
  • Avoid potentially irritating products, such as deodorant sprays, douches, and powders, in the genital area.
  • Change your sanitary napkins frequently.
  • You can switch your birth control method. Condoms can be a factor in the growth ofbacteria.
  • Wear cotton underwear and clothing.

If you are having a UTI, it is best to see your doctor as soon as possible. A UTI can be dangerous for a pregnant woman.

The doctor will perform a urine culture to figure out the primary cause of your illness. They will prescribe medication that is tailored to your needs.

“This isn’t something you want to ignore for too long, because it could get worse. The UTI is more difficult to treat if thebacteria can make their way to your kidneys.”

He said that in more serious cases of urinary tract infections, antibiotics may need to be administered in a way that involves a course of oral antibiotics for several days to weeks.

UTI supplement options

Read our full review of Uqora, a company that focuses on developing natural supplements for UTI prevention.

How do you get rid of a UTI?

It is possible for some UTIs to be cleared on their own, but the best way to get rid of a UTI is to see a doctor.

How long do UTIs last?

According to Jordan Gitlin, MD, chief of pediatric urology at NYU Langone Hospital, a very minor infection will need treatment for about 5 to 7 days. For a more severe infection that goes up to the kidney or requires hospitalization, treatment lasts 10 to 14 days.

Why is UTI pain worse at night?

The pain and discomfort associated with UTIs are not worse at night. You are not distracted by your daily tasks and you are not emptying your bladder as much as you would during the day.

How should I sleep with UTI pain at night?

If you have a pain in your UTI, you can do some things to sleep better.

  • Before you go to bed, make sure you empty your bladder.
  • You could set alarms so you wake up and use the bathroom.
  • Wear incontinence pants or a incontinence pad. These can help you sleep better and give you the option of not urinating in the night.
  • Use a hot water bottle or heating pad to warm your abdomen to minimize bladder discomfort or pressure.

Some of the symptoms of a UTI can affect sleep.

When your doctor has recommended treatment for your UTI, you should talk to them about how you can make sleeping easier. They can recommend pain medications. You can also try bottles.

You can avoid another one if you stay hydrated, take showers, and wear cotton underwear after you have recovered from your UTI.