One request that I received often in 2019 was to create an update/FAQ video — what am I doing now, am I still UTI free, do I still use d-mannose, etc.
I skimmed through all of my comments on both videos, and compiled a list of what I would call my most frequently asked questions. I answer them one by one in the video below and here in this blog post!
Are you still UTI free?
Yes! Since making my first video in April of 2017, I have had two UTIs that I can remember — both of which I tried to cure with d-mannose. I was able to cure one of them with d-mannose, which is the experience I made my second video about, and the other one I ended up needing antibiotics to cure. I essentially tried to cure one with the NOW pills and failed, and tried to cure another with the KAL powder and was successful. This is what prompted me to stop using the pills preventatively and instead use the powder, and I haven’t had a UTI since!
2021 update: I did manage to contract two UTIs in 2020 on my honeymoon with my husband, but those were both due to my not packing enough d-mannose for the trip! It was much wetter and sweatier than I anticipated. I have also contracted two UTIs this year, this time due to recovering from my pudendal nerve injury and not quite recognizing my body’s signals in the way that I could before I got hurt. In both instances, I partook in “risky behavior,” should’ve taken d-mannose, and didn’t. I speak more about one of those experiences in this video, but I am confident that, as my body and I continue to recover, I will continue to successfully manage my infections!What is your current routine/regimen?
As I mentioned, since having success curing an acute UTI with powder instead of pills, I have switched my preventative routine and now only use powder.
I take one serving of d-mannose powder every morning dissolved in a small glass of water, which I guesstimate now because I am so comfortable taking it. The exact serving measurement given on the bottle of the powder I use is 3/4 of a teaspoon, so I usually take between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. I take it on an empty stomach with my other supplements and haven’t had any GI issues.
I also take one serving of the powder after risky behavior—for me, that’s after sex (penetrative or oral), after I wear a wet bathing suit/go swimming, if I am in sweaty clothes for too long (like I go climbing and then out to eat afterwards and don’t get a chance to change out of my clothes, or if I go dancing in a tight outfit for a few hours), or any other behavior that makes me feel like I am risking butt sweat making its way to my urethra!
Usually I end up taking it at most 2x/day, which is the recommended dosage on the bottle I use.
I would also get the question if it was the probiotics or the d-mannose that was most effective in treating my UTIs—definitely the d-mannose. I no longer take the probiotics and am still UTI free!
2021 update: since I did have to take back-to-back rounds of antibiotics this year, I have reintroduced probiotics and will continue taking them for ~3 months or so to replenish my “good” bacteria, as I imagine it’s time, and I did find them very helpful when I first broke my chronic infection cycle many moons ago! I am using this brand currently (not sponsored, but that is an affiliate link!), but any brand that includes L. reuteri & L. rhamnosus would do the trick!
Do you have a brand that you prefer?
Yes, I prefer the KAL brand (pictured above), but that is only because I was able to cure my acute UTI using it! Other people have told me in comments that they’ve had success with NOW’s powder, and also with Microingredients’ powder!
Where do you buy the powder?
I buy my KAL powder from Amazon, but if you google “KAL D-mannose Powder,” it looks like many online and physical stores sell it!
Also, I am not sponsored by KAL—so these opinions are entirely my own and not influenced by any sort of sponsorship! That being said, I do have an Amazon affifliate link to the product. Should you choose to click, I do make a small %, so thank you for your support: KAL D-mannose Powder.
Are the pills just as effective as the powder?
I would argue, given my personal experience, that the powder is more effective than the pills.
What does the powder taste like?
Sugar! It is super sweet, and I think very easy to drink in a little bit of water.
Why did you get chronic UTIs?
I have had some humans on YouTube suggest vitamin B deficiency, latex allergies, my fiancé not properly cleaning his penis, and a few other things. It is my belief that the reason I am so prone to UTIs is because of my anatomy.
It’s important to zoom out a little bit here to better understand my hypothesis. So, most UTIs in general are caused by a bug called E. coli. My UTIs were always caused by E. coli. E. coli is a bacteria that naturally lives around the buttocks—this is true in men and women.
Thinking about what I’ve outlined now and in previous videos as “risky” behaviors—sex, wearing a wet bathing suit/sweaty clothes for too long, dancing in tight clothes, etc. These are all activities that, in a way, promote butt sweat making its way from the buttock towards the urethra.
So, quick anatomy review—your urethra is the tube that connects to your bladder. When you pee, you aren’t peeing out of your vagina, it’s coming from a hole right above the vaginal canal.
Urethral anatomy varies greatly woman to woman. Some women have longer urethras, some women have short urethras, some woman have urethral openings that are really close to the to the surface, some women have urethral openings that are almost hidden deeper within the vagina.
That being said, I think I probably have a shorter urethra (which means e. coli don’t have to climb up as long of a tube to plant themselves in my bladder and give me an infection), and I know I have a urethral opening that is closer to the surface, which means butt sweat doesn’t have to travel as far to get to my urethra!
How did you cure an acute UTI with d-mannose?
I used powder, not pills. I took one serving of the powder (KAL brand) every 2-3 hours for 5 days. I did not wake up at night to take the powder, I only took it during my natural waking hours.
I also did not perform any risky behaviors while trying to cure the acute UTI, which for me means no sex, no swimming, and no tight clothing.
I didn’t change what I was drinking or eating—I still drank coffee and tea, and ate citrusy foods. However, other than UTIs, I don’t think my bladder is very sensitive. These fluids and foods can be irritating for some people. However, I do try to drink 1.5 – 2 liters of water per day.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that, after more UTis than I can count, I am very good at recognizing the symptoms, and I recognized the symptoms way early on and started this regimen immediately. Which leads nicely into the next question!
I tried to cure an acute UTI with the d-mannose, and it made my symptoms better but they are still there. How long should I take the d-mannose before getting antibiotics?
It is my belief that you need to catch the infection early. I think if you tried the d-mannose for 3-5 days and still have symptoms, it’s time to get antibiotics and try using the d-mannose preventatively. Of course, consult with your physician if you have any other questions.
Let me also mention, though! If you are a woman who gets chronic UTIs, trust your gut when it comes to detecting symptoms early on! According to a 2002 study,
“women with recurrent cystitis (a.k.a. recurrent UTIs) can accurately self-diagnose and self-treat UTI as accurately as any physician.”
Is it okay to take the d-mannose and antibiotics?
I have in the past without an issue, but you should ask your prescribing physician.
What else do you to prevent UTIs other than d-mannose?
I always, always pee after oral or penetrative sex. After I urinate or defecate, I wipe from front to back. I stay hydrated. And I get out of sweaty or wet clothes quickly!
Will d-mannose interact with my birth control?
While I am no longer on hormonal birth control, I took d-mannose while taking the pill and had no issues or change in efficacy. That being said, check with the physician who prescribes your birth control!
Is this regimen safe if I am pregnant?
I have not used d-mannose while pregnant, so I cannot speak to this personally. Ask your physician!
Is your friend with the spinal cord injury still using d-mannose and how much does she take?
Yes, my friend with the SCI still uses d-mannose. Last I checked, she uses the pills, and takes one serving in the morning and one before bed.
Do you notice you have food sensitivities related to your UTIs?
No! Some foods can irritate some people’s bladders, but this has not been an issue for me to my knowledge.
How much water do you drink?
1.5 – 2 liters per day.
Is d-mannose safe for diabetics?
There is research suggesting that d-mannose does not cause a spike in blood sugar the same way other sugars do, which suggests it is safe for diabetics. However, there is also research suggesting the contrary. So, if you have diabetes, you should consult with your physician before trying d-mannose.
I heard prolonged use of d-mannose causes kidney infections, damage, and even failure. Are you worried about your kidneys?
From what I’ve read, “high” doses of d-mannose may negatively affect the kidneys. I rarely take more than the recommended dosage, and I am always an otherwise healthy young adult. Given I do not have a history of diabetes or any kidney disorders, I am not currently worried about my kidneys. If you have anything concerning in your past medical history, ask your physician before using d-mannose.
D-mannose isn’t working for me, why?
D-mannose ONLY works if the bug causing your UTI is e. coli. Get your urine cultured next time you have an infection. If it’s not e. coli, d-mannose won’t work for you.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more information on pelvic health, and have a wonderful rest of your day!