Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

To reduce discomfort while you recover from a kidney infection, you might:

  • Apply heat. Place a heating pad on your abdomen, back or side to ease pain.
  • Use pain medicine. For fever or discomfort, take a nonaspirin pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, others).
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking fluids will help flush bacteria from your urinary tract. Avoid coffee and alcohol until your infection has cleared. These products can worsen the feeling of needing to urinate.

Prevention

Reduce your risk of kidney infection by taking steps to prevent urinary tract infections. Women, in particular, may reduce their risk of urinary tract infections if they:

  • Drink fluids, especially water. Fluids can help remove bacteria from your body when you urinate.
  • Urinate as soon as you need to. Avoid delaying urination when you feel the urge to urinate.
  • Empty the bladder after intercourse. Urinating as soon as possible after intercourse helps clear bacteria from the urethra, reducing your risk of infection.
  • Wipe carefully. Wiping from front to back after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria from spreading to the urethra.
  • Avoid using feminine products in the genital area. Using products such as deodorant sprays in your genital area or douches can be irritating.
Aug. 07, 2017
References
  1. Pyelonephritis: Kidney infection. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-infection-pyelonephritis. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  2. Kidney infection. American Kidney Fund. http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/kidney-problems/kidney-infection.html. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  3. Hooton TM, et al. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis in women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  4. Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ050. Urinary tract infections. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For Patients/faq050.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140523T1534363926. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  5. Hooten TM. Patient education: Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) (Beyond the Basics). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.
  6. Hooten TM, et al. Urinary tract infections and asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2017.