Urinary tract infections are common—and often painful, as well as annoying.
UTIs, as they are commonly called, are among the most frequent bacterial infections in humans. UTIs affect millions of people every year.1
As women, we are at greater risk of developing a UTI than men. UTIs are often treated with antibiotics.2 But can a UTI go away on its own?
Urinary Tract Infections
Your urinary system includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. While a UTI can be an infection in any part of this system, most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract—the bladder and the urethra.2
Here are some of the common symptoms of a UTI:3
- pain when you pee
- pain in your abdomen, pelvic area or lower back
- pressure in the lower part of your pelvis
- cloudy, foul-smelling pee
- urinary incontinence or frequent urination
UTIs are most often caused when bacteria enter through your urethra into your bladder. The infection can also travel up from your bladder through your ureters and eventually infect your kidneys.3 If an infection is limited to the bladder, it can be painful and annoying. But serious health problems can result if a UTI spreads to the kidneys.2
Can A UTI Go Away On Its Own
UTIs are common enough that it’s estimated about 60 percent of women will have at least one UTI during their lifetime.4
Can a UTI go away on its own? The answer is not straightforward.
A UTI can go away on its own, but not every type of UTI and not every time. That’s because some infections are different from others, and if a UTI is left untreated, it could last longer. There are different UTIs: uncomplicated, or cystitis, and complicated.4
Danger signs include the following symptoms:
- blood in your urine4
- lower back pain4
- decreased urine production4
- feeling extremely tired3
- mental changes or confusion3
So it’s possible that a UTI will get better on its own, but most of the time it doesn’t. If your symptoms are minor, you could try increasing your fluid intake for a day and see if the infection resolves itself. Otherwise, it’s worth seeing a doctor for a urine test for diagnosis and treatment.5
The danger of leaving a UTI untreated is that it could progress into a more serious infection, such as a kidney infection. This can be dangerous, because it can travel through your bloodstream and cause sepsis—which can make you very ill. If you develop symptoms of a more serious infection, seek immediate medical attention.5
See A Doctor
If you have symptoms of a UTI, it’s best to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health issues. If a UTI does not go away on its own, you risk an acute or complicated UTI that can lead to potentially fatal conditions such as sepsis. Complicated UTI infections also carry a higher risk that treatment will fail.6 UTIs are a common condition that can easily be treated when caught early.