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Urinary Tract Infections During pregnancy

by | March 22, 2019

According to the American Pregnancy Association, urinary tract infections are more common during pregnancy. UTI’s, when caught early enough can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Urinary Tract Infections During pregnancy
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Urinary Tract Infections During pregnancy

If a UTI is left untreated, it can develop into a kidney infection, which can potentially be very serious, even life-threatening for mom and baby. Around twenty-five percent of untreated UTIs develop into a kidney infection.

Learn the causes and symptoms of urinary tract infections, as well as the treatment options for moms-to-be.

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

The urinary tract is the system that contains the urethra, kidneys, ureters, and bladder. If bacteria get into the urinary tract and multiplies an infection can occur. A lot of UTIs can be easily treated with antibiotics if they are diagnosed early enough. If UTIs are left untreated, they can sometimes travel to the kidneys, causing complications such as preterm labor, low birth weight, and sepsis.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy?

  • Sex is probably one of the most common causes of UTIs. Bacteria from the colon can get into the urethra during sex.
  • Infrequent urination can cause a UTI because urination clears out the germs from the bladder and urethra.
  • Urinary tract abnormalities.
  • Diabetes.
  • Specific physical changes in the body can make you more prone to a UTI during pregnancy.
  • Hormonal changes, such as the increase of progesterone can cause the muscles of the urethra to relax, which could allow bacteria to enter the bladder and kidneys.
  • The enlarged uterus can stop you from completely emptying your bladder, leaving urine behind, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections that You Should Look Out for.

Sometimes UTIs can be asymptomatic. Your healthcare provider will usually test your urine for UTIs at your first prenatal visit.

Symptoms of a UTI can include:

  • A quick and sudden urge to urinate
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Foul-smelling or cloudy urine
  • Bloody in the urine
  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Pain in the back

How are Urinary Tract Infections Treated During Pregnancy?

There are many antibiotics that are safe for pregnant women to take. Your healthcare provider will know which antibiotics to prescribe depending on allergies and what trimester of pregnancy you are in.

How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections While Pregnant

There are a few preventative measures you can follow to help reduce the risk of a UTI.

  • Good hygiene: Wiping yourself from the front to the back after urinating and defecating can prevent bacteria from spreading from the rectum into the urethra. Bathe regularly and wear clean, fresh underwear.
  • Drink water: Urinating is a very effective way of clearing out bacteria from the urinary tract. Try to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
  • Urinate before and after sex.
  • Wear loose fitting pants.
  • Empty your bladder completely every time, even if it means spending a few extra minutes.
  • Drink cranberry juice: Cranberries can prevent E. coli from sticking to the bladder. Consult your healthcare before you take cranberry pills or capsules.

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, please talk with your healthcare provider.


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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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Comments

One Response to “Urinary Tract Infections During pregnancy”

  1. Marybelle Bervig
    March 29th, 2019 @ 4:30 am

    utterly great written content.

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