How Long Does a UTI Last?

Julian Selemin
Julian Selemin
April 3, 2023
min read
Technically reviewed by: 
Adele Morris
How Long Does a UTI Last?

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common medical condition that affects millions of people every year. It’s common to wonder how long can a UTI go untreated and how long does a UTI take to go away with medications.

This article will review the duration of UTIs, which varies depending on the severity of the infection and the treatment applied. Still, remember that the specific timeline varies from person to person — so ask your doctor if you have any doubts.

How Long Does a UTI Last?

Generally speaking, UTIs take between three days to six weeks to fully resolve. Most cases fall on the lower side of this range, usually not taking more than a week to fully mitigate the infection. However, certain medical conditions can delay this timeline. Similarly, complicated or recurrent UTIs don’t resolve as quickly as uncomplicated ones.

The exact timeline will depend on the specific treatment used and the properties of the infection. Below you’ll find the estimated timeline for the common treatment options — but remember that this will vary from person to person.

How Long Does a UTI Last With Antibiotics?

Antibiotic therapy is, by far, the quickest way to solve an uncomplicated UTI. Well-administered antibiotics can mitigate the infection in as little as three days. In addition, the symptoms usually disappear during the first three days.

A 2006 study shows that 60 out of 100 cases of UTIs clear up after a week of treatment with antibiotics. However, it is important to get the right antibiotic for the specific type of pathogenic bacteria causing the infection. A recent report shows that almost 50 percent of the time, the wrong antibiotics are prescribed to treat UTIs in women. Another difference lies in how long you need to take them. Most antibiotics are taken for three, five, or seven days.

How Long Does a UTI Last Without Antibiotics?

Some individuals may decide not to take antibiotics for a number of different reasons, such as wanting to avoid possible side effects. Luckily, this doesn’t change the expected timeline — as long as it’s a mild case of uncomplicated UTI.

Researchers found that 30 to 50 out of 100 women solved their UTIs without antibiotics in a week. Your doctor may advise you to take non-antibiotic medications and supplements such as probiotics, NSAIDs, cranberry products, D-mannose, and vitamins to help accelerate this process.

How Long Does a UTI Last Untreated?

Even if you choose not to do any treatment (neither medications nor supplements), most UTIs will resolve on their own in about a week. Yet, this is only the case for mild, uncomplicated infections.

More severe cases may lead to health complications if left untreated. These may include kidney infection, incontinence, persistent pain, and hypertension, among many others. As such, it’s always best to check with a doctor — even if you don’t want to take medication.

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Do Complicated UTIs Take Longer To Resolve?

Complicated UTIs are defined as any infection of the urinary tract that doesn’t fit the description of the usual UTI. Complicated UTIs have a higher risk of treatment failure, repeat infections, and future complications.

Due to its ample definition, giving a precise timeline for the treatment of complicated UTIs is challenging. A comprehensive 2023 study suggests that improvement should become evident after the first 24 hours of starting antibiotic therapy. Yet, the infection will take longer to fully resolve, with experts suggesting an antibiotic course of 10 to 14 days.

If the infection doesn’t improve after a few days, doctors may need to prescribe other medications. Poor response to antibiotics can mean many different things — but it’s crucial to remember that more than 90% of complicated UTIs resolve without further complications.

When Should I See a Doctor?

You should see a doctor as soon as you start suspecting that you have a UTI. You can take an at-home UTI test to clarify the situation while you wait for your appointment. Uncomplicated UTIs usually resolve on their own, but checking with a doctor is essential to avoid any possible problems or future complications.

If you notice any highly painful or abnormal symptoms, make sure to set your priority on going to the hospital. This should also be the case if you are having recurrent UTIs — meaning that you get two or more UTIs in the span of six months.


UTIs usually resolve in about a week, with the longest cases taking up to six weeks to fully disappear. Antibiotics are, by far, the best treatment option for UTIs, often mitigating the infection in as little as three days. If you have any concerns about the duration of your UTI or notice anything unusual, check with a doctor to clear all your doubts.

About the Author
Julian Selemin

Julian Selemin is a freelance writer with a burning passion for learning new languages. He has a BA in Languages and is currently majoring in Contemporary Music — however, research is one of his strongest points, so he also likes to write outside of those topics. His writing niches include medicine and alternative medicine, music, and business.

About the Reviewer
This blog was
Technically reviewed by: 
Adele Morris

Adele Morris served as the editor and proofreader of this blog, displaying her exceptional editorial skills and expertise in the field.

The blog was also reviewed by the Diagnox content team. Diagnox Staff consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, content writers, and healthcare professionals with an expertise to create and review high-quality, informative, accurate, and easy-to-understand content for both professionals and everyday readers. Our staff follows strict guidelines to ensure the credibility and authenticity of the information, reviewing them independently and verifying them by various scientific and technical sources to ensure accuracy. Our review team believes in delivering knowledge free from bias to improve public health and well-being.

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