If you鈥檝e ever had the joy of a urinary tract infection, you also know the joy of feverishly Googling home remedies while you double over in pain. And chances are, one of the first supposed miracle solutions you came across was 鈥渄rink cranberry juice.鈥澛營f that seemed suspect (or you tried it, and it flat-out just didn鈥檛 work), it turns out that wasn鈥檛 just the UTI pain making you paranoid.

Glass-with-Cranberry-Juice-000029744040_Medium Cropped

According to a recent investigation by Vox, Ocean Spray is the latest food company to fund a so-called independent study to corroborate flimsy health benefit claims its marketing department is making about its product. The study claimed that聽鈥渃ranberries can be a nutritional approach to reducing symptomatic [urinary tract infections].鈥 Ocean Spray took those 鈥渇indings鈥 and ran with them, even claiming that cranberry juice could replace antibiotic prescriptions for UTIs.

Sound too good to be true? That鈥檚 because it is. Vox uncovered that the study was actually co-authored by Ocean Spray staff scientists, and some of the research methods and conclusions weren鈥檛 exactly copacetic. While cranberries do contain compounds that are thought to prevent bacteria from latching onto the cells lining your bladder, to maintain the level of bacteria-fighting compounds necessary to prevent a UTI, you鈥檇 have to drink a LOT more than just a glass of cranberry juice 鈥 twice a day, every day, from now 鈥檛il question mark. Worst open-ended party end-time ever.

So what should you do to prevent (or at least relieve) UTI pain? Here are some options:

Stomach ache

1.聽Get (home) tested. Not sure if what鈥檚 going on down there is definitely a UTI? When you feel symptoms coming on, pick up an at-home urine test from your pharmacy. If it鈥檚 positive, call your doctor; if it鈥檚 negative but the symptoms don鈥檛 go away, also call your doctor.

2.聽Take your antibiotics 鈥 all of them. If your UTI symptoms persist, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to fight those bad bacteria once and for all. It鈥檚 important to finish the full cycle of whatever your doctor prescribes, and if you鈥檙e concerned about whether or not the UTI is actually gone, you can take another home urine test.

3. Try a heating pad.聽While you wait for the antibiotics to start working, a heating pad might help soothe the pain 鈥 or at very least, it鈥檚 an excuse to lie around and relax for a little while.

Health trend

4. Drink lots of water. Maybe even more than your聽daily 64 ounces. This will help flush the bad bacteria out of your system if a UTI is active, and it鈥檚 also a good idea for UTI prevention.

5.聽Change up your sex life.聽 Not in a sexy way, unfortunately. Getting into the habit of peeing right after sex can help prevent UTIs, and you should avoid spermicide condoms and diaphragms if your doctor believes they鈥檙e the culprit of frequent UTI attacks.

6. Wear cotton underwear.聽This聽isn鈥檛 part of changing up your sex life, we promise 鈥 no one cares whether you鈥檙e wearing lace, silk or a fig leaf聽once the clothes come off. But your body will thank you. Cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes can help keep things dry to prevent the kind of environment where bacteria go haywire.

7. Cut down on the coffee and alcohol.聽Going crazy with UTI pain might make you want to reach for a stiff drink or a shot of espresso, but caffeine and聽alcohol are known bladder irritants.

8. See a doctor if it鈥檚 happening frequently. If you鈥檙e getting UTIs all the time, something鈥檚 up. Uncross your legs聽long enough to walk back to your doctor鈥檚 office and get treated.

What are your go-to tactics for UTI relief? Tweet us your ideas聽@BritandCo!

(Featured photo via Getty)