When you have a UTI, the idea of taking a bath can sound relaxing. UTIs can cause discomfort and sometimes cramps, and they can be pretty stressful to deal with too.
But before you dip your toe into a warm bubble bath, it’s important to know that it’s safe and isn’t going to make your infection worse. Urinary tract infections need to be treated appropriately, but there might also be things you can do to relieve the symptoms.
Table of Contents
- Can Baths Cause a UTI?
- Do Baths Make UTIs Worse?
- Can a Bath Help With a UTI?
- UTI Bath Remedies
- What Can You Do to Avoid UTIs?
- How to Treat a UTI?
- When to See a Doctor?
- Key Takeaways
Can Baths Cause a UTI?
Some women do find that they have problems with UTIs after having a bath, using a hot tub, or swimming. One of the reasons baths could increase the risk of UTIs is the use of bubble baths and other products in the water. Doctors commonly recommend that parents avoid using bubble baths with their children to help prevent UTIs, and the same advice can apply to adults too.
Studies have shown that the use of bubble bath products, bath oils, and soaps can interrupt the vaginal flora, which then increases the risk of UTIs. These products could also irritate the urethra, which might also make urinary tract infections more likely.
Do Baths Make UTIs Worse?
Taking a bath could possibly make a UTI feel worse. It can increase irritation, especially from the products you might be using in the bath, and disrupt the pH balance of the vagina and around the vulva. If you’re already feeling pretty irritated from having a UTI, taking a bath could make you feel worse. Although it might relieve some of the discomfort at first, it could even lead to more bacteria getting into your urinary tract.
Can a Bath Help With a UTI?
Some people might find that taking a bath does help them to feel better when they have a UTI. A warm bath can relieve pain caused by a UTI so they are sometimes recommended as a way to treat your symptoms at home. However, if you are worried about whether a bath could make your UTI worse, there are some things you can do. Firstly, avoid using bath products that could irritate you.
Don’t use scented soap or bubble bath if you want to avoid UTIs or prevent them from getting worse. Use a pH-balanced soap to help prevent irritation. It may also be a good idea to avoid whirlpool or spa-type baths, which could be a factor in UTIs. Be careful to dry off properly after your bath, as too much moisture could increase bacteria growth.
UTI Bath Remedies
There are various bath remedies suggested for the treatment of UTIs and UTI symptoms, but are they a good idea?
One suggestion is to take a “sitz bath”, which is a warm and shallow bath designed to help clean the genital area. This type of bath can help to relieve the pain that you are experiencing from a urinary tract infection. Although a sitz bath is used for a number of other reasons, including to soothe pain after surgery, they are not usually recommended to treat UTIs. Some people recommend using baking soda or Epsom salts in your bath, which could possibly have a soothing effect.
It’s also important to remember that although a bath can help you to relieve discomfort when you have a UTI, it won’t effectively treat the UTI. You need a course of antibiotics to treat the infection effectively. Additionally, taking a bath could risk the infection getting worse or causing more irritation to the urethra. If you take a soothing bath, try not to stay in the water too long and avoid irritating products.
What Can You Do to Avoid UTIs?
Effective treatments are available for UTIs, but it’s much better to try to avoid them if you can. Fortunately, there are various things you can do to help prevent urinary tract infections.
If you’re a fan of baths, you don’t have to avoid them if you want to prevent UTIs. However, it is helpful to make sure you take the right precautions. If you’re prone to developing UTIs, you might find that avoiding the use of bubble baths, scented soaps, bath bombs, and other bath products can help to prevent them.
There are other ways you can try to prevent UTIs, including practicing good hygiene. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract. To help prevent this from happening, maintain good hygiene around your vulva and bottom. There’s no need to use any “feminine washes” as just warm water and a mild soap are enough.
You don’t need to clean inside your vagina either, as it should keep itself clean. Another way to maintain good hygiene is to change menstrual products regularly. Sex can increase the risk of UTIs too. To help prevent them, you can wash around your genitals before and after sex and urinate as soon as possible after having sex.
How to Treat a UTI?
It might be tempting to see if you can find any home remedies to treat your UTI. However, the best way to treat a UTI is with a course of antibiotics, which will kill the bacteria causing the infection. It might also help to ensure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. This can help to keep fluids moving through your urinary tract, which may help the bacteria to be flushed out.
When to See a Doctor?
You should see a doctor if you have symptoms of a UTI, even if you’re not sure that a urinary tract infection is causing your symptoms. When you talk to a doctor, you can describe your symptoms and they can find the best diagnosis and treatment.
There’s no need to see a doctor in person. An online doctor can also provide a diagnosis and prescribe the correct treatment for you.
With DrHouse, you can see an online doctor within 15 minutes and get a diagnosis and treatment for your UTI without leaving your house.
- Taking frequent baths could increase your risk of UTIs, especially if you use bath products such as bubble bath
- Baths could cause irritation when you have a UTI but can also help to relieve pain
- If you take a bath when you have a UTI, avoid harsh bath products and try not to stay in the bath too long
- Prevent UTIs with good hygiene and other best practices
- Be sure to see a doctor if you think you have a UTI
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- Sitz Bath. Healthline. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/sitz-bath
- Salmen P, Dwyer DM, Vorse H, Kruse W. Whirlpool-Associated Pseudomonas aeruginosa Urinary Tract Infections. JAMA. 1983;250(15):2025–2026. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.1001/jama.1983.03340150067029
- Cystitis. NHS. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cystitis/
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- Modgil G, Baverstock A. Should bubble baths be avoided in children with urinary tract infections? Archives of Disease in Childhood 2006;91:863-865. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/adc.2006.100909
- Understanding Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Bringham and Women’s Hospital. Available from: https://www.brighamandwomens.org/surgery/urology/urinary-tract-infection
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