Urinary infections(UTI) During Pregnancy

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UTI in Pregnancy
Urinary tract infection during Pregnancy

1.0 What is UTI

A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of your urinary system — bladder,urethra kidneys and ureters. Mostly infections involve the lower urinary tract i.e the bladder and the urethra.

Risk of developing a UTI is more in women as they have short urethra and proximity to vagina.

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UTI in pregnancy

Types of UTI

Type of urinary tract infection is based on the part of urinary tract it has involved

  • CYSTITIS – If the infection has involved the urinary bladder. You may feel urgent need to pee and pain in lower abdomen.
  • PYELONEPHRITIS- If infection has involved the kidneys.This can cause fever, chills, nausea,vomiting, and pain in your upper back or flank pain.
  • URETHRITIS- If urethra is involved with infection.This can cause burning sensation while urinating.

2.0 What are the Symptoms of UTI in pregnancy?

You can have the following symptoms if you have UTI

  • Urgency for passing urine
  • Pain while passing urine
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Incomplete emptying of bladder
  • Urine that looks cloudy or has an odor
  • Blood tinged urine
  • Lower abdomen pain or backache
  • Fever,nausea,vomitting

3.0 Why Are UTIs More Common During Pregnancy?

In pregnancy,the inreased hormonal level causes changes in the urinary tract, and that makes women more likely to get infections. Changes in hormones can also lead to vesicoureteral reflux, a condition in which your urine flows back up from your bladder to your kidneys. This can cause UTIs.

As early as six weeks gestation, almost all pregnant women experience ureteral dilation due to progesterone hormone .This also causes statis of urine.And thus more risk of UTI in pregnancy.

In pregnancy the urine is more concentrated. Moreover the water intake becomes less due to nausea and vomitting in pregnancy. These changes also put you at higher risk for a UTI.

UTIs are common during pregnancy. That’s because the growing fetus can put pressure on the bladder and urinary tract.This causes incomplete emptying of bladder. Leftover urine can be a source of infection.

4.0 Can UTI harm the baby?

UTI in pregnancy

What are the complications of UTI in pregnancy? Lets discuss

Urinary tract infection in pregnancy can cause the following compliactions

  • Preterm labour
  • Anemia
  • Long-term infection

These complications per se are not harmful to the baby.But preterm labour and anemia can cause premature delivery,respiratory distress in newborn, NICU stay of newborn.

5.0 Can UTI cause miscarriage?

A mild urinary tract infection alone does not cause a miscarriage, but if complications arise it can. Sometimes if UTI is not treated early the infection can ascend to kidneys.Pyelonephritis can cause serious infection and sepsis.In this condition it can cause miscarriage.

6.0 What is the treatment of UTI?

First we have to diagnose UTI . This is done by urine tests.

Urine routine microscopy and culture senstivity may be advised by the doctor.

Precautions you need before collecting sample for test:-

  • Wash the perineal area with water
  • collect mid stream urine
  • Take morning sample of urine

According to the culture report your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.These antibiotics are continued for 5-7 days. If there are other symptoms your doctor will give you symptomatic treatment.

Your symptoms should go away in 3 days.But do not stop the antibiotics without doctor consultation, even if your symptoms fade.

Read also : Ultrasound in Pregnancy

7.0 Can UTI go away on its own without any treatment?

As in other infections also, mild urinary infection can go away by the defense mechanism of body.Increasing your daily water intake also will flush out the infection.But you should always consult a doctor.If the infection is heavy antibiotics will be needed.They are an effective treatment for UTIs.

8.0 What precautions should I take to avoid UTI ?

You can follow some tips to avoid UTI in pregnancy:-

  • Drink atleast 14 glasses of water throughout pregnancy.
  • Dont hold your urine.Whenever you feel to pass urine you should pee.
  • Take care of perineal hygiene.
  • Cleanse your genital area before sex and after sex
  • After sex pass urine to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
  • Keep your genital area dry by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Don’t wear tight jeans and nylon underwear.
  • You can use toilet seat sanitizer if using public toilets.

9.0 Summary

UTIs are common, and some women may experience them during pregnancy.

Women who have symptoms of a UTI during pregnancy should see their doctor immediately. Without treatment, UTIs can cause serious complications for a pregnant woman and the developing fetus. Prompt intervention can help to prevent these complications.

Routine pregnancy checks help detect the early signs of a UTI.

Read Also: What are the reasons of vaginal Bleeding during Pregnancy



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