Can a UTI Go Away On Its Own? | Uqora
7 min read | April 11, 24

Will My UTI Go Away On Its Own?

Medically Reviewed by: Heather Ott

Written by: Sareena Rama

Article summary

UTIs are common, but they can escalate quickly if left untreated. If you suspect you have a UTI, see a doctor as soon as possible to get treatment right away.
Will My UTI Go Away On Its Own?

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The discomfort and hassle of a urinary tract infection (UTI) can often leave you grappling with the question, “Can UTIs go away on their own?” It's one of many common UTI questions driven by having difficulty scheduling a doctor’s appointment or a general desire to avoid a visit to the doctor’s office. 

But no matter how tough it can feel, it's important to remember that your health is your number one priority, and seeking medical attention for a UTI can be life-saving, helping you prevent potential complications down the road.  

We understand that, for some of us, there are more barriers that make it challenging to find a doctor’s appointment – we have two resources that could be helpful: How to talk to your doctor and How to talk about UTIs.

Overall, it could be possible for a very mild UTI case to resolve on its own, but at the moment, antibiotics are the only known effective treatment for UTIs. Hopefully we’ll see innovations in UTI treatment in the near future, but for now, always seek medical advice if you suspect you have a UTI.

 In this article, we’ll explore the factors influencing UTI risk, the potential risks of leaving them untreated, and more. 

Understanding UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common bacterial infections that can impact any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra(1). Most commonly caused by the bacteria E. coli , UTIs are more prevalent in females due to the shorter length of the urethra, making it easier for bacteria to ascend the urinary tract(1)

While UTI symptoms can vary, the common signs of a UTI include a persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation during urination, cloudy, or strong-smelling urine, blood in the urine, and discomfort or pressure in the pelvic area(2)

The Possibility of Self-Resolution

So, do UTIs go away on their own? Likely not, as the natural course of a UTI hinges on various factors. 

While some individuals may experience slight relief as the body’s immune system attempts to fight off the infection, it’s not a universal outcome, and antibiotics are currently the recommended treatment method for UTIs.(3, 4).  Antibiotics are incredible,  life-saving drugs. They’re one of the many miracles of modern medicine!

For very mild cases, a UTI can seemingly go away on its own, but this is never something you should rely on because UTIs can worsen quickly if left untreated(3). In fact, UTIs can spread to the kidneys and cause more severe complications(5)

Additionally, the pain and discomfort associated with a UTI will begin to disappear much faster with the correct course of treatment, allowing you to get back to your day-to-day life without worry. 

Risks and Realities

Urinary tract infections should always be taken seriously and be treated by a medical professional. Although there's a slight possibility that a UTI could resolve without treatment, it's never worth risking the infection spreading and causing serious or fatal complications. Untreated UTIs can easily ascend to other parts of the urinary system, including the kidneys, making the condition much more severe(5)

Kidney infections can be fatal and cause complications such as kidney scarring and blood poisoning(6). Untreated UTIs could also contribute to recurrent UTI infections and can even cause permanent kidney damage(2). Learn more about UTIs vs recurrent UTIs and how to take proactive steps to manage your urinary health. 

Moreover, the discomfort and pain associated with untreated UTIs can significantly affect daily activities and your emotional well-being. The persistent urge to urinate coupled with the burning sensation you may experience during urination can lead to increased stress and anxiety. 

In pregnant women, untreated UTIs pose an additional risk, potentially contributing to preterm birth and low birth weight(6,7).

Timely and appropriate medical intervention is always necessary to prevent a UTI from spreading, even if it feels like a minor infection. The only way to determine the severity of a UTI case is by seeking medical attention. 

Proactive Urinary Care

While prompt medical attention is crucial for treating UTIs, there are several proactive measures you can take alongside medical treatment. 

  • Take a test: If you believe you have a UTI, the best course of action is to have a UTI test administered by a doctor. This helps determine the presence of harmful bacteria in your urine and indicate which bacteria is causing the UTI. If you’re prone to UTIs, it’s a good idea to keep a UTI Emergency Kit on hand to hold you over until you can see your doctor.
  • Staying hydrated: Drinking enough water promotes frequent urination, which can regularly flush out bacteria from the urinary tract (8) .
  • Probiotics: Incorporating vaginal probiotics into your supplement routine can be helpful, especially Lactobacilli, your body’s defense against harmful bacteria and infections.. Gut probiotics can be helpful too, either through supplements or fermented foods like yogurt, and can promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the urinary tract and potentially stop the growth of E. coli(9).
    • Keeping stress levels at bay: While stress itself doesn't directly cause UTIs, elevated cortisol levels resulting from stress can compromise the immune system, potentially increasing your susceptibility to infections such as UTIs(10).

    Keep in mind that while these practices can contribute to the possible prevention of future UTIs, they’re not substitutes for professional medical treatment. 

    If symptoms of an active UTI persist or worsen, seeking the guidance of a healthcare provider is essential to prevent potential complications. Integrating these proactive approaches to an overall care plan can support the maintenance of a healthy urinary tract.

    When to Seek Medical Attention

    The short answer – seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have a UTI. It’s crucial to visit a doctor to prevent complications and ensure you have the correct treatment plan for your unique situation. Even after you have received your medical treatment plan, complications can occur. 

    Here are a few indications that you may need to go back to the doctor: 

    • Persistent or worsening symptoms: If UTI symptoms persist or worsen, it’s time to consult a healthcare provider again. This includes ongoing discomfort, pain during urination, and persistent urgency or frequency. 
    • Fever and chills: The presence of a fever, chills, or lower back and side pain may indicate that the infection has progressed to the kidneys (6) . These symptoms require prompt medical attention to prevent more severe complications.
    • Recurrent UTIs: Individuals experiencing recurrent UTIs, which is defined as two or more infections within six months or three within a year, should consult a healthcare professional for a more detailed and specific treatment plan(11). This may warrant further investigation into potential underlying causes. We know it can be tough to bring this up with a doctor, here’s a guide to help you navigate that conversation
    • Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals with UTI symptoms should seek medical attention promptly if symptoms worsen, as untreated infections can pose risks to both the mother and fetus(12)
    • Diabetes or immune system issues: Individuals with diabetes or compromised immune systems should seek prompt medical attention for worsened UTI symptoms, as they are at an increased risk of complications(13)
    • Males and UTIs: Although UTIs are less common in males, their presence could indicate an underlying issue and need prompt medical attention(14). Males experiencing UTI symptoms should consult a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation. 

    Addressing Common Misconceptions

    Urinary tract infections are the second most common infection, but they come with a set of misconceptions that can impact how individuals perceive and manage their UTI(15). One myth is that UTIs will resolve on their own. While the body can sometimes fight off minor infections, UTIs can progress and lead to more severe complications if left untreated. 

    The biggest misconception that we need to debunk is that UTIs can only occur from “bad” hygiene. This common misconception can make a lot of us feel like we are getting UTIs because we did something wrong. 

    Research has shown that some people are in fact, more prone to UTIs than others.⁠ This means that you can practice the same hygiene as someone else, and one person may get a UTI and another may not. ⁠

    We still recommend practicing good hygiene to reduce your likelihood of getting a UTI. But if you get a UTI, that does not necessarily mean you did something wrong. 

    Also, the misconception that UTIs can only affect females is false. While females are more prone to UTIs due to having a shorter urethra, males can also experience this common infection(14). Any signs of a UTI in females or males should be promptly addressed with medical attention. 

    It's crucial to debunk these common misconceptions to help people make more informed decisions about their UTI. We should never feel like we’ve done something wrong and we hope that you feel empowered to make informed choices about your health. 

    Can a UTI Go Away on its Own? Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the typical symptoms of a UTI that might resolve without treatment?

    Mild UTI symptoms may include a slight increase in urinary frequency, a subtle urgency to urinate, or a mild burning sensation during urination(1). But, a UTI is highly unlikely to resolve without treatment – it’s always necessary to consult a doctor right away if you experience UTI symptoms, so they can prescribe the right treatment and prevent any complications. 

    How likely is it for a UTI to clear up without antibiotics or medical intervention?

    It is very unlikely to resolve a UTI without medical treatment, because UTIs can become complicated and potentially fatal if left untreated.

    While the body’s immune system can sometimes temporarily overcome minor infections, relying on the body to clear a UTI may lead to the infection persisting or worsening. Waiting is not worth the risk!

    Are there specific factors that determine whether a UTI can self-resolve or requires treatment?

    No, medical treatment is always necessary for a UTI to avoid complications. 

    What are the potential risks or complications if a UTI is left untreated?

    Untreated UTIs can progress, leading to more severe kidney infections, permanent kidney damage, and bloodstream infections. They can even become fatal(6). A mild UTI with minor symptoms can quickly progress into a painful UTI that requires medical intervention as quickly as possible.

    Can lifestyle changes or home remedies aid in the self-resolution of a UTI?

    While staying hydrated and practicing good hygiene are great proactive measures to support urinary health, they are not methods to treat an active UTI. Antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional are currently the only treatment to effectively clear the infection and help to prevent recurrence(16)

    Note: references to "female", “women”, “male”, and “men” in this article refer to sex assigned at birth, not gender.

    This article does not replace medical advice. We recommend you seek treatment if you think you are experiencing a UTI.


    Sareena Rama manages Uqora’s Digital Content and is responsible for Uqora's social media, newsletters, and contributing articles to the UTI Learning Center.


    Heather Ott is Uqora's Senior Health and Science Educator. She supports the team by writing Learning Center articles and reviewing all scientific communications.


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