Medically reviewed on August 18, 2023 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Table of contents
UTIs are the single most infection contracted outside of a medical setting. The condition is caused by bacteria that find their way into the urinary system, often causing dysuria (discomfort or a painful burning sensation while urinating). 
The main way to treat a urinary tract infection and reduce UTI symptoms is to start a round of antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider. With medication, dysuria typically abates a few days after starting your prescription. However, if you are not taking antibiotics, several behavioral changes can help dispel pain while your immune system works to repair the infection.
Below, we’ll review how to relieve UTI pain, as well as how to seek care if your dysuria does not go away on its own.
As mentioned, diagnosed UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics in cooperation with your healthcare provider. Milder cases of UTIs may resolve on their own, though it may take longer for urination to feel comfortable again.
If you’re waiting for UTI symptoms to pass, the following home remedies and practices may be incorporated to encourage the healing process.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a UTI, taking antibiotics is the most effective way to deal with both the source and symptoms of your infection. At times, severe dysuria accompanying a UTI may be treated with pain medication, like phenazopyridine. 
Antibiotics commonly prescribed for UTIs include: 
Antibiotic rounds for UTIs vary in length depending on the severity of your UTI.  If your UTI is mild, this may be for as few as 1 to 3 days.  Symptoms like dysuria tend to dissipate several days after beginning treatment.
However, even if you notice your symptoms recede, you must complete your course of antibiotics.  This prevents the bacteria in your urinary system from developing a resistance to the medicine, making future UTIs easier to treat if you get them.
Increasing your liquid intake helps to dilute urine and rid the bladder of infection-causing bacteria. Whenever possible, opt for beverages like water, seltzers, and herbal teas.
For the time being, it’s best to minimize your consumption of the following :
Caffeinated beverages in particular tend to dehydrate the body and aggravate your bladder while it’s healing.  Many people also find these beverages tend to heighten their UTI discomfort, rather than dispelling it.
If you are a person AFAB, be sure to wipe thoroughly each time you go to the bathroom. Preferably wiping from front to back. Excess urine may worsen the sensation of burning.
You might try wiping once, waiting, and wiping again to ensure you’ve cleared everything away. If you use a bidet or toilet shower, this can also help clean up after you use the bathroom. And remember to always wipe front to back.
Sometimes, applying heat to an affected area can provide temporary relief from painful symptoms.  You might try tending to dysuria by using:
Before applying the compress to your lower abdomen or pelvic area, be sure the temperature is warm to the touch (not burning hot).
Over-the-counter pain relief medicines like Uristat® or AZO® help some people find dysuria relief.  These are short-term medications that can sometimes have side effects like altering the color of your urine.
If you’ve never taken Uristat® or AZO® before, or are currently taking antibiotics for a UTI, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking it.
Cranberries contain a nutrient that may encourage certain infection-causing bacteria to exit the bladder.  While there is no medical consensus establishing the efficacy of cranberry juice for UTIs, many people report these home remedies help assuage their symptoms of discomfort.
So, if you can find pure cranberry juice, it may be worth trying this home remedy. You can also dilute the cranberry juice with water or seltzer to make the taste milder.
Dysuria is not strictly associated with UTIs. It can also be a symptom of several other conditions affecting the urinary system.
Painful urination is a common symptom of several sexually transmitted infections, including:
If you notice dysuria alongside other symptoms like discharge from your urethra or a rash, it’s a good idea to seek out STI testing.5 Visiting a clinic or screening for infection with an at-home STI test kit can help discern whether your symptoms are UTI-related or the rest of an STI.
While UTIs are one of the most common types of infections, cystitis—an inflammation of the bladder—is the most common cause of dysuria. 
Like UTIs, cystitis is typically treated with antibiotics.13 This can help ensure the infection does not spread to the kidneys.  If you notice UTI symptoms like dysuria as well as a fever, pain in your back or sides, or nausea, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider to get started on medication as soon as possible. 
Urinary stones, which can originate in the bladder or kidneys, are small mineral composites that can form in your urinary system.14 While some may pass on their own, others may require surgery to treat.  They are usually painful and can cause symptoms like: 
If you think you may have urinary stones, pay a visit to your healthcare provider. While the condition may be caused by urine retention, it can also be a symptom of more aggressive conditions like an enlarged prostate or nerve damage. 
People assigned male at birth (AMAB) are less likely than AFAB people to get a UTI. This is because the male urethra is longer and more difficult for bacteria to access than the female urethra.
If you fall into this demographic and have not been diagnosed with a UTI, it may be worth visiting your healthcare provider. This may be especially advisable if you notice your pain worsen, or experience symptoms like: 
These symptoms are often associated with prostatitis, or an inflammation of the prostate gland.15 Like the urinary system, the prostate can also be vulnerable to bacterial infection. 
Prostatitis can be especially common in adult men and men with a history of urinary infection.15 However, it’s important to seek treatment swiftly, as untreated prostatitis can lead to sexual dysfunction, fertility issues, and even a blood or spinal infection. 
So, how long can a UTI go untreated? There are several occasions when it’s recommended you seek clinical treatment for a UTI:
You may be at higher risk of contracting a UTI if :
Whatever demographic you fall into, preventative measures and lifestyle habits are one of the best ways to limit your chances of infection or re-infection. To offset your chances of contracting a UTI, you can :
Whether you’re currently dealing with discomfort or are looking for ways to build health for the long haul, everyone deserves health care that’s hassle-free and more affordable.
From at-home sexual health tests to screen for infections to the prescription services you need to get treated, Everlywell puts creating a healthier, more fulfilling life back in your hands. Find out more about how to make your care more efficient by visiting Everlywell online today and booking a UTI treatment online.