In a nutshell
This study looked at non-antibiotic treatments for recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs – infections that keep coming back) in women. The study reported on non-antibiotic options including cranberry extract, estrogen applied to the vagina, and other alternative medications.
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the ureter or bladder and is very common in women. Repeated treatment with antibiotics can lead to resistance over time. It is therefore important to research other options to treat recurrent UTIs (rUTIs).
Methods & findings
This study analyzed the research on several non-antibiotic options to treat rUTIs in women.
Cranberries and hyaluronic acid are thought to stop bacteria from sticking to the ureters and urethra (tubes that carry the urine from the kidneys and out of the body). A review study found that cranberries could reduce rUTIs by 35%. However, an updated review involving 14 studies and a total of 4,471 patients found that cranberry products were not more effective than placebo (control drug with no active effect).
Probiotics (“good” bacteria taken as a pill) may help fight off bacteria that cause rUTIs. A recent study found no significant benefit in reducing rUTIs but the patient sample size was small. Estrogen applied as a cream to the vagina may also help fight off bacteria that cause rUTIs. One study found that this may reduce rUTIs by 75%. Another study found that the reduction was 36%.
Research on other medications that stimulate the immune system (oral immunostimulants) were also found to be effective. A study found that these drugs can reduce risk of rUTIs by 39%. Another study found no difference betwen these drugs and placebo (a false treatment for comparison) in reducing rUTIs.
The bottom line
This study outlined research on several non-antibiotic options to treat rUTIs.
The fine print
The other treatments were not compared directly to antibiotic treatment to assess effectiveness.
Talk to your doctor about non-antibiotics options for your rUTIs.
Published By :
Nov 23, 2017
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