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Home Remedies for Chronic Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)

The urethral opening on women’s bodies in right in the middle of all the juicy business that happens during sex. According to Sheri Winston in her book, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal, the more aroused we are, the more the erectile tissue around the urethra expands, thus closing up the urethral opening and protecting it from bacteria entering.

Nonetheless, many of us still struggle with bacteria entering the urethra which can lead to infection. And for many of us, getting off the cycle of antibiotics as a solution is a priority. I try my best to avoid taking prescription anti-biotics. It seems to me that it makes things worse over time by throwing off my bacteria balance (in my stomach and urinary tract). I also have the sense that it makes my body even more inclined towards future infections. I worry about the degradation of my good bacteria through the overuse of antibiotics as well as the reliance on an outside treatment rather than encouraging my body to figure out how to overcome this recurring problem.

Unfortunately so many women feel so anxious by the whole process, in part because there’s so little information available about DIY or at home treatment protocols. Additionally, I believe that many male doctors don’t understand the ongoing suffering and don’t know how to offer empowering alternatives.

Preventing and treating bacteria in the urethra at home is definitely a worth endeavor. As with everything, use your own judgement. Heads up….this is not medical advice. Just trying to empower women with a little supplemental, at-home, preventative knowledge. Use your common sense and innate body knowledge. And if it gets severe, see a doctor.

I’ve written this protocol down for friends so many times that I’ve made it available publicly. This article primarily focuses on solutions for cis-women who are having sex with male-bodied people although it can also apply to cis-women having sex with anyone or anything.

Saliva, the Worst Culprit

I’ve come to realize that saliva, mine or my intimate partner’s is the worse possible culprit for that tingly feeling that comes with bacteria in my urethra and urinary tract. Sex without the saliva is not usually a trigger for me but as soon as saliva gets into the picture, the reaction is almost immediate. Recently, I’ve been willing to forgo oral sex so that I can enjoy all the other kinds of sex with less anxiety and less risk of infection. One thing to try is to have your partner swish around some MMS in their mouth before oral sex which will reduce the bacteria count. Also, make sure to have accessible, fun, and easy to use lube around so that you are not tempted to use saliva in your genital region. The best lube for this is ozonated coconut oil (if you wan to use this company, you can use the code RECLAIM to get 15% off your order of $25 or more) which has an oxidizing effect and therefore helps with bacterial overgrowth.

This may or may not be an issue for you. It’s worth spending some time considering what might be your specific triggers. Keep track in your mind or in a journal and consider adjusting your practices to minimize the risk of a UTI.

Early detection….CRUCIAL

The earlier you can detect an imbalance in the urethra, the better. My early warning signs are a tingling up the inside of my leg and a slight pain sensation in the inner heal, just under the ankle bone. These spots correspond with the meridians associated with the bladder. As soon as I feel these sensations I go into action. UTI’s are soooo much easier to kick out early on. Other early warning signs including an unpleasant sensation in the urethra, burning feeling when you pee, or cloudy urine. Get good at noticing very subtle symptoms. Do not ignore then. If you jump right on these steps, you could avoid more serious steps later.

Before Sex Protocols

If you can set up these protocols with your sex partner way ahead of time and get into the habit and practice of them, it won’t take away the in-the-moment spontaneity and fun. These practices can become things you do for self and other care. Do as many of these as you feel comfortable with and see if it changes anything.

  • Drink large glass of water before sex
  • Ask your partner to clean his/her hands before touching your genital area.
  • Clean your own hands.
  • Ask your partner to rinse their mouth with some kind of bacteria reducing product (diluted MMS is what I recommend).
  • Wash your own genitals and anus area and be mindful to keep anus play completely separate from vaginal and clitoral play. If you do anal play it might be helpful to have wipes to clean the area in the moment and also to clean hands.
  • Ask your partner to wash their genital area.
  • Have lube on hand. Something non-irritating, non-chemical, non-perfumey. My favorite is Ozonated Coconut Oil (use the code RECLAIM to get 15% off your order of $25 or more). It smells great, feels great, and is soothing to the urethra. It’s also anti-oxidant and antibiotic. But it’s an oil so the downsides: greasy and not to be used with latex condoms (it will make them thin and potentially break).
  • Get creative with arousal techniques to make sure you are fully aroused before intercourse. The erectile tissue in women is just as plentiful as it is in men, it’s just spread out all over our vulvas. The more aroused we are, the more closed down our urethra gets and the more protected we are from bacteria entering.

External Protocols & Topical Applications

Most people don’t think to treat a UTI on the outside. But from my perspective that’s the best place to treat it. That’s where it begins and that’s where I try to nip it in the bud. I believe this is the most important approach to preventing a UTI.

  1. Immediately after sex wash the genital area. Leftover semen, saliva, condom irritation, and friction somehow makes us more susceptible for bacteria.
    • I always use a gentle soap, never commercial soaps with perfumes. Always fragrance free and easy on the body. I use Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap.
    • I always use my hand and not a wash cloth as cloths are sometimes scratchy and rough and can irritate the area. I generally squat naked in the bathtub and cup my hand and be sure to clean the entire genital area. Rinse very thoroughly.
    • Make sure to wash away all the soap. Soap residue can also be a culprit for irritation. If all soap is irritating find something else to wash with. Maybe a combo of clay and water? Or diluted MMS (see below)?
    • If you have had sex without a barrier and there is semen leaking out of the vagina, try washing every hour or so until you’re certain that it’s gone.
    • Side Note: The quality of your partner’s semen is directly related to how your body will react to it. If your partner drinks alcohol, eats lots of sugar or gluten, or has other similar dietary habits, this will directly impact how your body reacts to his body fluids. If this is something you can influence, it might be worth doing so.
  2. After washing, keep the genital area dry. Pat the area dry with a towel but then let it air dry as long as possible. Minimize irritation as much as possible. Also, damp and moist conditions are what bacteria love.
    • Wear only cotton undies if you must wear undies – avoid synthetic fabrics as they lock in the moisture. Cotton breaths.
    • If possible go without undies and let the area breath unimpeded. This is less possible when applying clay (see below) but worth experimenting.
  3. Apply any of the following to the urethral area directly after cleaning and apply regularly afterward. Depending on how prone you are to bacterial overgrowth in the urethra and urinary tract, you could apply this every hour. DO NOT IRRITATE THE AREA. Balance applying these things with making sure the area is able to self heal.
    • Dry clay– yes directly on the freshly cleaned urethra (see below for the details.)
    • Ozonated Coconut Oil from PurO3. (Use the code RECLAIM to get 15% off your order of $25 or more)
    • DILUTED MMS.
  4. Insert an ozonated coconut oil bolus (I make my own with these molds) into the vagina and it will melt and slowly leak out over time, thus coating the entire area in ozonated oil (Use the code RECLAIM to get 15% off your order of $25 or more). Make sure to wear panties and a pantyliner for this treatment as things get greasy.

Internal Protocols — Water & Supplements

  1. Immediately after sex drink lots of water. It helps wash out the area. Flushing water through the body is key.
  2. Do whatever kind of protocol you use to alkalinize the body. Here are some suggestions:
    • Alka Seltzer Gold can help pretty quickly.
    • Fasting helps with the body Ph balance.
    • Drink veggie juice, the fresh kind, from a health food store (or make it at home with your own juicer). I get organic green vegetable juice (celery, parsley, cucumber, or some similar combination with very little sweet in it). A little pineapple is ok because it has lots of enzymes and will make the juicy tasty.) If you have access to an organic juice bar, drink as many of these as possible over the next few days. I’ve had these juices kick out a UTI and done little to nothing else.
    • Exercise can help change the Ph of the body and activate healing endorphins. Don’t overexert yourself. Gentle exercises like walking, or mini trampoline, or swimming can work wonders.
    • There are mixed reviews about cranberry. I stay away from it personally due to fructose intolerance and the fact that it never helped me.
  3. Urinary Tract Supplements. I’m not a big pill popper. I try to encourage my body to do it’s best without a bunch of supplement support. But when I feel that UTI is hanging on a bit too long or progressing in symptoms (cloudy pee, pain, burning urine, need to pee and not much comes out) I do all the above steps more and I do take supplements.
    • Uva Ursi combination (I use this one even though it’s not organic.) Important herbs are: Uva Ursi and Marshmallow. Find a combination you like.
    • D-Mannose (a sugar made from birch, like xylitol trees that’s supposed to take the bacteria with it but it doesn’t absorb or digest in the body). I researched a bunch of them and this one seems the purest. If you’re trying to get pregnant, d-mannose might prevent that for a 4-hour window around when you take it. Do some more research first.
  4. Homeopathy – There are a couple of UTI focused remedies on the market that some folks swear by. The general ones are one-size fits all sort of thing. But if you want to get one that fits your specific situation, see a homeopath.
  5. Natural Anti-biotics. Ok so here’s the rap. Our bodies are made of bacteria. If we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t be alive. They are often in perfect balance all of the other micro-organisms in the body (including fungi and viruses). When we start messing with this balance by killing them (anti-biotic is a bacteria killer) we sometimes make problems worse because things get out of balance. That being said, sometimes I feel the need to lower the bacteria count in the urinary tract just to get it under control so the other methods have a chance. I use these in moderation. Anything to avoid pharmaceuticals.
    1. Oregano oil
    2. Echinacea
    3. Usnea

Self Care Protocols

  1. Sleep. Loss of sleep  can exacerbate UTI’s for me. Sleep deep and long if you can. It really helps.
  2. Stress can make everything worse. Reduce your stress so your body has energy to deal with vitality and wellness.
  3. As soon as you start to feel that tingly feeling, clean up the diet of sugar and alcohol and fast food and trans fats and any other things that are challenging for your body. Eat clean. It makes a huge difference.

Acupuncture

According to Chinese medicine, chronic urinary tract irritations are a sign of low vitality and overall “kidney” deficiencies. Since kidney energy is the source of our wellbeing, sexual vitality, and longevity, framed in this way, if we have chronic urinary infections it might be pointing to a deeper issue of deficiency. Acupuncture treatments can be very effective at preventing UTI’s as well as reversing them. It’s a powerful remedy. If you have chronic infections consider a series of acupuncture sessions to build strength in this area of the body. If you find a community acupuncture clinic near you, this can be an affordable way towards reproductive wellness.

Details About the Topical Treatments

Clay is Drying and Absorptive

This is a very easy and cheap experiment. Here’s the logic: UTI’s come from irritation and bacteria externally on the urethra, right? Well why not protect and heal the urethra externally, right? I’ve tried all kinds of things on the urethra but most of them either sting, irritate, or don’t work. What I discovered is that if I put a bit of clay powder (I like this one but I’m sure any good-quality, pure, dry clay will do), it absorbs moisture, protects the urethra from more bacteria (because it has anti-bacterial properties) and sort of “seals” and sooths the area with its magical properties.  Voilà – all sorts of solutions in one simple package.

There are two ways to apply the clay. 1. Lay back on the bed, spread open the labia and drop ½ teaspoon right on the urethra. Close the legs and the moisture and closure keeps it in there. 2. Put a little mound of clay on the tip of the finger, spread the labia with the other hand, and try to hit a bulls eye on the urethra. You’ve got to know where the urethra is though. It’s right above the vaginal opening and below the clit. Feel around with some clay on your finger and you’ll find it. It’s the most sensitive thing down there. And if it’s infected, you’ll doubly know. Or look at some pictures or in a hand mirror.

Ozonated Coconut Oil

This is the best product on the market in my opinion. From my understanding it takes weeks to infuse ozone into oil. I have a water ozonator and love it but I purchase my oils from PurO3 because they make such a good product. They use organic oil, they are made in the US, they package in glass (no plastic BPA’s), they are fully saturated with ozone, and they are frozen to keep their potency. They are expensive but worth it. Click here and use the code RECLAIM to get 15% off your order of $25 or more. Their coconut oils come in unscented, lavender, and vanilla. The essential oil of lavender may actually add additional anti-bacterial components, which is always good in this context. If you experiment with other oils – hemp, jojoba, castor, please drop a comment and tell us how you like them. To read about more benefits of ozonated oil, here’s an article.

MMS

MMS is currently extremely controversial. Take this information if you desire. Do your own research. I have personally found MMS to be a miracle. I cured myself of Lyme disease using this and now I experiment with it a bunch. Be mindful as it is very harsh. Please do your research to learn more about it. I buy here but there are lots of options. Look around online. There is no affiliate link with this because it’s super cheap and more of the “people’s medicine.” In order to avoid persecution the folks who sell it are all churches and the MMS is their sacrament. You’ll need to register before buying and pay a membership fee. Worth it.

When to See a Doctor/Clinic

  • Anytime you want.
  • If the pain is severe.
  • If the pain moves up your back.
  • If there is blood in the urine.
  • If you feel anxious or uncertain.
  • If you want more understanding and empowerment you can always explore holistic options when you’re not in an acute or painful situation.

 

PurO3 Ozonated Oils

Bladder Infection, honeymoon cystitis, Sex related infections, Urethra, Urinary Tract Infections, UTI, UTI's


Lee Warren

Lee Warren is reclaiming wisdom through conscious relating with self, land, and others. She has 25 years of experience envisioning, designing, and living innovative solutions to mutually empowered relationships, land-based food systems, residential community, non-violent communication, and sustainability education. She is the principle and founder of Reclaiming Wisdom, a co-founder of SOIL, School of Integrated Living, and a proponent of regenerative systems, consent culture, and authentic living. Lee is a writer, teacher, and activist, with an passion for embodiment practices, rural wisdom, sustainable economics, conscious dying, and community of all kinds.

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