Recurrent UTI At-Home Preventative Treatment

Tired of antibiotics to prevent recurring UTIs? Here's what we know about emerging evidence about D-mannose, a nutritional supplement that could help stop recurring UTIs

Recurrent UTI At-Home Preventative Treatment

Recurrent UTI At-Home Preventative Treatment

Recurrent UTI At-Home Preventative Treatment

August 20, 2020
Medically Reviewed by

Pee immediately after sex or masturbation, drink lots of water and take cranberry, avoid sugar,  don’t hold pee for too long, wear cotton undies, avoid alcohol and caffeine, take vaginal-health-boosting probiotics, remove soggy swimsuits or sweaty yoga pants as soon as possible, and try to keep vulvas dry and happy: these are the mantras of those who have experienced a UTI (urinary tract infection) and do not want to experience another. But even following these best practices, recurrent UTIs are extremely frustrating problems for many women and vagina owners. 

Pregnancy, menopause, and sexual activity all increase the risk of UTIs, as shorter urethras make vagina owners more susceptible -- 30 times more likely. And research shows that four out of ten will get at least one more UTI within six months

Everyone should consult their doctors about their UTI prevention plan, but we know in times of quarantine and COVID-19, we need as much help as we can at home.  Let’s discuss more preventative solutions based on emerging evidence for your UTI prevention toolkit at home, like D-mannose pills, powders, and at-home diagnostic tests.

What is D-mannose, and is it safe?

D-mannose is a naturally occurring sugar found in many fruits and vegetables that prevents the bacteria from attaching to the urinary wall. It binds with the bacteria (E.coli  in 80-90% of UTIs) and helps flush out the bacteria in urine. D-mannose is still pending FDA approval, but it is cleared as a safe nutritional supplement. It’s even been shown to be as effective as one of the leading antibiotics in some studies

If you experience recurrent UTIs, take all the precautions, drink all the cranberry, and still haven’t found any relief, we recommend learning about D-mannose, talking to your doctor, and giving it a try.

How do you take D-mannose? 

D-mannose is available in a mostly tasteless (some say slightly sweet) powder form which can be mixed with water or in pill form sometimes combined with other ingredients like cranberry or other herbal ingredients. 

What are good D-mannose supplements to try?

We curated the following list based on our standards of purity, quality, and also sifting through customer reviews and researching the companies, and we may make a modest sum if you try them out!

What are the best D-mannose powders?

What are the best D-mannose pills?

Uqora - Woman-Led Urinary Tract Health Supplement Brand

If you want to try a suite of products from a modern brand dedicated to helping others finally get relief from recurrent UTIs, try Uqora, which offers a series of products called Target, Control, and Promote that are sold separately and for a cheaper price as a subscription. It’s a bit more pricey than other options, but the brand mission, thoughtful products which also include a probiotic in addition to D-mannose products, additional herbal ingredients, and customer experience set them apart.

How much D-mannose should I take? 

D-mannose comes in 500mg capsules typically. There aren’t official dosage recommendations yet, only what was used in the studies conducted about D-mannose, where it was recommended to take 2 grams once a day or 1 gram twice a day to prevent recurring infections.

Is D-mannose the same as taking cranberry pills? 

D-mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in cranberries as well as other fruits like blueberries, apples, oranges, and peaches, but it occurs in much smaller and less concentrated amounts in these fruits, which means you would need to eat a LOT of cranberries to get the same amount of D-mannose. Pure D-mannose has been studied separately from the effects of cranberry supplements alone. If you want to stick to cranberry and it’s working for you, great! If it has not worked to prevent UTIs, try out the D-mannose to see if it helps. We’ve also included recommendations above that are the best of both worlds: D-mannose and cranberry. 

What is the difference between the D-mannose pills and powders? 

The main difference is preference! Some people find the pills more convenient, while others like the pure factor of D-mannose powder, as pills often need additional ingredients like cellulose (for the capsule, usually made of trees), rice powder, silica, and flow agents like “stearic acid” or “magnesium stearate”. 

Are there any side effects to taking D-mannose? 

Most customer reviews of folks taking D-mannose do not report serious side effects. According to the research, some side effects may include upset stomach, loose stools, and diarrhea. There are some who have brought up concerns about very high doses affecting the kidneys. More research is needed, and our advice is to communicate with your doctor about all supplements you are taking, what is right for you, and monitoring your body to see how it feels.

How long do I take D-mannose? 

There’s no official FDA-approved answer for this yet, as research is still needed. However, current research suggests taking it for a few months to see how you feel and if it helps you live UTI-free. Some choose to take D-mannose immediately after sex, while others opt for making it part of their daily regimen for peace of mind protection against getting an infection.

Is D-mannose safe to take for diabetics? 

D-mannose has been shown to have a low glycemic index, but this is definitely something to discuss with your doctor if you have concerns.

At-home UTI Diagnostic Test

If you have symptoms that are very minor or you are sensing you could be coming down with a UTI, or you are not sure and want to check before you take antibiotics or call your doctor, you could try an at-home diagnostic test like this Azo one. In pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS, you can find AZO at-home testing strips or you can find the cheaper generic versions of them.

But what if I get a UTI? 

If the pain intensifies, your symptoms worsen, or you suspect you may have an active infection, please call your doctor and get treatment, as antibiotics are still the safest method of treating UTIs. Not treating them can have dangerous consequences.

Bottom line: if you are struggling with recurrent UTIs, D-mannose is an evidence-based preventative nutritional supplement that can be an alternative to using antibiotics to prevent recurrent UTIs that you can try in addition to all of the best practices, like peeing after sex and keeping hydrated. 

We wish you a happy, UTI free life.


Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

The team is here to provide you with the most medically-accurate information around sex, sexual wellness, pleasure, relationships, and dating. Every article we publish is vetted by our medical review board, ensuring that readers are provided with answers you can trust.

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