Antibiotics can quickly relieve the symptoms of acute cystitis and eliminate the infection – but they are not always necessary for mild symptoms. There are also some home remedies and herbal preparations. However, their effectiveness has not been scientifically proven.
Uncomplicated cystitis is very common. The cause is an infection with bacteria. It usually manifests itself as a burning pain when urinating, often combined with an increased urge to urinate. These complaints can be very unpleasant, but can be treated well. An uncomplicated bladder infection usually heals without any problems.
Women deal with cystitis in very different ways. Some wait a few days to see if the symptoms go away on their own, or follow common tips on how much to drink. But many choose to take antibiotics because of the unpleasant symptoms.
How well do antibiotics help?
It has been proven that antibiotics help quickly and effectively with uncomplicated cystitis. The pain and burning usually subside within one to three days and disappears completely shortly afterward. Sometimes antibiotics are not necessary. They are not absolutely necessary if the symptoms are bearable and no complications are to be expected.
How long an antibiotic has to be taken depends on the active substance: usually one, 3, 5 or 7 days, rarely longer. For most women, one to three days of treatment is sufficient to reduce the symptoms. A longer intake usually does not relieve the symptoms any better, but more often leads to side effects such as fungal infections of the vagina, gastrointestinal problems and skin rashes.
You can discuss which antibiotic is suitable with your doctor. It depends on whether there are any accompanying diseases and whether the risk of complications is increased. It also depends on how common resistant bacteria are that no longer respond to certain antibiotics. In any case, it is important to take the preparation as described in the package leaflet and not to stop the therapy prematurely.
What else can I do in case of a bladder infection?
In the case of an acute bladder infection, the burning pain when urinating can also be reduced with painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. If this is sufficient for mild or moderate symptoms, antibiotics are not necessary.
Many women drink plenty of water or tea to try to flush the bacteria out of the bladder. Heat (for example, in the form of a hot water bottle, electric blanket or hot bath) is also used to relieve pain and relax. However, there are no studies on whether these home remedies are effective.
There is also no evidence of the effectiveness of herbal and homeopathic remedies or products containing cranberries or cranberries.