How long does it take for a UTI to go away without antibiotics?

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A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection of the urinary tract. The infection can occur at different points in the urinary tract, including: [1]

  • Bladder — An infection in the bladder is also called cystitis or a bladder infection.
  • Kidneys — An infection of one or both kidneys is called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection.
  • Ureters — The tubes that take urine from each kidney to the bladder are rarely the only site of infection.
  • Urethra — An infection of the tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside is called urethritis.

Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs. However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics. By some estimates, 25–42 percent of uncomplicated UTI infections clear on their own within a week. In these cases, people can try a range of home remedies to speed up recovery.[2]

If your UTI is extremely pesky and won’t go away, your doctor will probably want to see you for an exam and a urine culture to check the specific bacteria causing the infection and pick a different treatment.Most UTIs can be treated with an antibiotic.