How To Prevent A UTI When You Feel It Coming On

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is a common infection with several painful symptoms. There is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions surrounding UTI’s, so this article will help to demystify this common, treatable type of infection. The rest of the article will provide accurate, up-to-date information on how to prevent UTI’s and how to appropriately treat them, including natural at-home remedies.  

There are several ways one can prevent a UTI when you can feel it coming on. The biggest piece of advice is to stay hydrated. Drinking water helps to create paler urine and also helps to flush out any bacteria in the urinary tract that could cause an infection. 

Understanding UTI

A UTI occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract. The bacteria enter the urinary tract via the urethra, and can sometimes continue to move down into the body, reaching the bladder and kidneys. UTI’s are more common in people assigned female at birth (AFAB), because they have a shorter urethra, meaning that the bacteria can reach the bladder and kidneys quicker than in people assigned male at birth (AMAB). 

What causes a UTI?

It is the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract that causes a UTI. There are several ways in which bacteria can enter this area. One of the main ways is via faeces. There are a lot of bacteria in faeces which can enter the urinary tract due to its proximity. It is recommended to wipe from front to back after going to the toilet, to prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract.1 Another cause of UTI’s is having sex. It is important to urinate after sex to remove any bacteria that may have entered the area. Another way in which a UTI can arise is by not keeping the genital area clean and dry. This is more prevalent in children, especially during potty training. It is important for parents to be aware of this issue and always keep their children’s genital area clean and dry. 

There are other causes of UTI’s that are more difficult to prevent, such as kidney stones. Kidney stones block the urinary tract, which can lead to a buildup of bacteria, and therefore a UTI.

During pregnancy, the risk of UTI’s is also increased.2 This is due to changes in hormone levels, as well as proteins and sugars in the urine. Problems in the urinary tract, such as an enlarged prostate in people AMAB, are also common causes of UTI’s. Finally, a weakened immune system can increase one's chances of getting a UTI. This makes it a common disease for elderly people, people with diabetes or people undergoing chemotherapy. 

Symptoms of a UTI

Having a UTI can cause many, unpleasant symptoms. These can include:

  • Increased frequency of urination 
  • Pain during urination 
  • Urine that is dark in colour, cloudy or containing blood
  • The need to urinate suddenly  
  • Feeling the need to go to the toilet but then not being able to 
  • Pain in the lower abdomen  
  • Feeling unwell and tired3 

If left untreated, a UTI can develop into a kidney infection. This is a more serious condition and causes more severe symptoms, such as:

  • A high temperature 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Lower back pain 
  • Shivering 
  • Loss of appetite 4 

This is why it is important to treat a UTI as early as possible to prevent it from spreading up the urinary tract and causing kidney infection. The rest of the article will provide information on how to spot UTI signs, how to treat it, and how to prevent further infection. 

Warning signs that you have a UTI

It is likely that you are suffering from a UTI if you are experiencing any combination of the symptoms listed above. The symptoms are the warning signs themselves. As time goes on, the symptoms will most likely become more severe and more painful. 

What to do if you feel that a UTI is coming on? 

If you feel that a UTI is coming on, the best advice is to call your GP. Your GP will normally run tests to see if the symptoms experienced are due to a UTI. If necessary, a GP will prescribe antibiotics to help treat the UTI. You can also take some measures at home if you feel that a UTI is coming on. The most important thing to do is to drink lots of water. This is essential in flushing out any bacteria that may be present in the urinary tract that may cause infection. The next section of this article will further develop on measures you can take when you feel that a UTI is coming on. 

Tips to prevent a UTI before it gets worse

There are several ways in which you can stop a UTI from getting worse, and potentially developing into a kidney infection. A GP will normally prescribe antibiotics if you have a UTI, and this should prevent it from spreading to the kidneys. However, there are at-home remedies that can be used alongside antibiotics to speed up recovery. 

Natural ways

The best remedy for UTI’s is water and hydration. Drinking lots of water will help to increase the passing of pale urine regularly. This helps to ease the symptoms and essentially flushes out the bacteria in the urinary tract.5 Another tip is to reduce the amount of sex you are having, or to at least always urinate after sex. This is essential to remove any bacteria that has entered the urinary tract during intercourse. 

Cranberry juice is thought to help to prevent UTI’s, specifically unsweetened cranberry juice. According to the NHS, there is no evidence to suggest that cranberry juice helps to treat a UTI, but it may be useful in preventing one. Cranberry juice capsules are also available. If you are prone to UTI’s, it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of sugar you consume, as this can promote bacteria growth in the urinary tract. It is also important to not use scented soap when washing the genitalia, as this can disrupt the pH of the vagina, and cause bacteria to grow. There is also evidence to suggest that an increased amount of vitamin C can help prevent UTI’s. This can be achieved by taking vitamin C tablets daily, or by eating foods high in vitamin C more regularly, such as oranges, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli. 6 


The most common medication to treat UTI’s are antibiotics. Common antibiotics that are prescribed include: 

  • Nitrofurantoin 
  • Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole
  • Fosfomycin
  • Cephalexin7 


There are several complications that can arise due to a UTI. One of these is a kidney infection, which can lead to permanent kidney damage. Kidney infections will only develop if the UTI is left untreated, which highlights the need for prevention and early treatment. Another complication is premature birth if there is a UTI during pregnancy. This is something that doctors and nurses will be checking for regularly, so it is not something to worry about. A UTI can also lead to sepsis, which is a disease that can be life-threatening. Sepsis is the body’s very severe reaction to infection. This can sometimes occur when the infection rises up the urinary tract and to the kidneys.8 These complications can be prevented if the UTI is treated as quickly as possible. 

Effective ways of treating a UTI

The most effective way of treating UTI’s is with antibiotics. This normally consists of a short antibiotic course, which should ease all the symptoms and remove the infection within a few days. If this does not work, stronger antibiotics may need to be prescribed. Alongside antibiotics, you should also take other measures to help treat the infection. The key advice is to keep hydrated. Drinking lots of water and fluids is really going to help to flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract and help you in returning to normal urination patterns. It is also really important to keep the genitalia clean and dry at all times. The genitalia should be washed with water, and not with any scented soap. In the case of preventing UTI’s in children, parents should regularly check and change nappies, to prevent a damp environment where bacteria can grow. 


UTI’s can cause a lot of painful symptoms, so it is important to take preventative measures. It is also important to be aware of the symptoms, so as to catch UTI’s as early as possible to prevent further infection and more severe symptoms. There are some dangerous complications of UTI’s, which further highlights the need to treat a UTI as quickly as possible. This article contains a lot of useful advice which will help to prevent UTI’s from getting worse if the advice is followed.


  1. Urinary tract infections (Utis) [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
  1. Contributors WE. What if i get a urinary tract infection (Uti) while i’m pregnant? [Internet]. WebMD. [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
  1. CDC. Suffering from a urinary tract infection? [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
  1. Urinary tract infection (Uti) symptoms and treatments [Internet]. [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
  1. Treatment for bladder infection in adults | niddk [Internet]. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
  1. 6 home remedies for utis(Urinary tract infections) [Internet]. Healthline. 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
  1. Contributors WE. Antibiotics for utis: what to know [Internet]. WebMD. [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
  1. Urinary tract infection (Uti) - Symptoms and causes [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2022 Nov 9]. Available from: 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Paula Messa

BSc, Biomedical Sciences, University of Bristol, England

I am a recent graduate with a passion for healthcare. I am taking a year out to go travelling and get some experience in medical writing. I am hoping to do a Masters in Global Health next year, to allow me to work in humanitarian settings or in policy in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818