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How Does A Pregnant Woman Get A Urinary Tract Infection

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Uti Treatment: What To Expect

Urinary Tract Infections

UTI treatments during pregnancy are safe and easy, usually involving a short course of oral antibiotics. There are two exceptions:

  • If you continue to have UTIs after we treat the first one, we may recommend suppressive therapy. You will take a lower dose of antibiotics every day of your pregnancy instead of larger doses for just a few days.
  • If you have pyelonephritis , you will need to receive antibiotics through an IV at a hospital.

For most patients, receiving antibiotic treatment is much safer than risking a kidney infection. We will discuss all your health conditions and pregnancy symptoms to determine the best type of antibiotic for you, depending on what will work effectively against the bacteria in your urine.

How Does The Urinary Tract Work

The urinary tract is an organ that produces urine and eliminates it from our body. The kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters are parts of the urinary tract. The main role of these organs is to make, store, and carry out the urine from the body. Urine is a waste product of the human body.

Our kidneys produce urine and the ureters carry it into the bladder. Then it is stored in the bladder. Urine is eliminated through the urethra by the urination process. In males, the opening of the urethra is in the penis. In females, the opening of the urethra is above the vaginal opening.

Hope you are very familiar with the function of kidneys. The liquid waste from the blood is filtered by the kidneys. Kidneys help us to make chemical balance in the body. They also made several hormones. One should note here that the hormones boost RBC production and control BP.

Do Utis Differ By Trimester

At week 6, UTI risk starts to go up, with two-fifths of UTIs occurring during the first trimester. Because of the likelihood of getting a UTI during the first trimester, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that pregnant women have a urinalysis and urine culture at their first prenatal visit whether they have UTI symptoms or not. In the second trimester, about half as many pregnant women are diagnosed with a UTI as in the first trimester, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that number is almost halved again for the third trimester. However, 80 to 90 percent of acute kidney infections in pregnancy occur in the second and third trimesters, according to data published in the Archives of Medical Science, so pregnant women should have a repeat urine culture during the third trimester.


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A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis

You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI. A pharmacist can:

  • offer advice on things that can help you get better
  • suggest the best painkiller to take
  • tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms

Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service and can prescribe antibiotics if they’re needed.

Communication With The Patient

Saving Our Sons: UTI Resource Page

As mentioned earlier, recurrent UTI in women, rather than being just a sequence of isolated episodes that can be treated with appropriate antibiotic therapy, is often multifactorial. Thus, the most important step in treatment is identification of the causes leading to the problem. Clearly, communication between the female patient and her physician is paramount, but is not always easy because patients often underestimate their symptoms, or consider them too embarrassing to discuss with their doctor. However, when placed in a specialist setting, women will often appear more uninhibited and more willing to discuss their symptoms.

The use of urinary charts could prove useful even in unspecialized settings and help the practitioner to overcome the difficulties of imprecise reporting by patients. These can be presented to the patient and be taken home, in order to give the woman an opportunity to think about her problem in a more comfortable setting and answer questions sincerely and openly.

A subsequent evaluation some days later, together with the results of investigations will clarify whether the UTI can be adequately treated in general practice, or if there are complications requiring specialist referral. Either way, prescription of broad-spectrum therapy without attempting to identify the causative pathogen should be avoided. General symptoms are not reliable enough to enable diagnosis of UTI without culture and sensitivity analysis.98

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms

Urinary tract infections dont always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:

  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • The need to urinate more often than usual
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • A feeling of urgency when you urinate
  • Blood or mucus in the urine
  • Cramping or pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine
  • Waking up from sleep to urinate
  • Change in the amount of urine, either more or less
  • Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong
  • Pain, pressure, or tenderness especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
  • If bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections In Women: Diagnosis And Management

CHARLES M. KODNER, MD, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky

EMILY K. THOMAS GUPTON, DO, MPH, Primary Care Medical Center, Murray, Kentucky

Am Fam Physician. 2010 Sep 15 82:638-643.

Recurrent urinary tract infections are common in women and associated with considerable morbidity and health care use. The clinical features, diagnostic testing, and causative organisms are often similar to those of single cases of UTI, although there are additional treatment strategies and prevention measures to consider with recurrent UTIs.


A urine culture with greater than 102 colony-forming units per mL is considered positive in patients who have symptoms of UTI.

Clinical recommendation

Continuous and postcoital antimicrobial prophylaxis have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the risk of recurrent UTIs.

Cranberry products may reduce the incidence of recurrent symptomatic UTIs.

Use of topical estrogen may reduce the incidence of recurrent UTIs in postmenopausal women.

Treatment of complicated UTIs should begin with broad-spectrum antibiotic coverage, with adjustment of antimicrobial coverage guided by culture results.

Prophylactic antimicrobial therapy to prevent recurrent UTIs is not recommended for patients with complicated UTIs.

UTI = urinary tract infection.


UTI = urinary tract infection.

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Are Some Women More At Risk For Utis

Yes. You may be at greater risk for a UTI if you:1,5

  • Are sexually active. Sexual activity can move germs that cause UTIs from other areas, such as the vagina, to the urethra.
  • Use a diaphragm for birth control or use spermicides with a diaphragm or with condoms. Spermicides can kill good bacteria that protect you from UTIs.
  • Are pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can change the bacteria in the urinary tract, making UTIs more likely. Also, many pregnant women have trouble completely emptying the bladder, because the uterus with the developing baby sits on top of the bladder during pregnancy. Leftover urine with bacteria in it can cause a UTI.
  • Have gone through menopause. After menopause, loss of the hormone estrogen causes vaginal tissue to become thin and dry. This can make it easier for harmful bacteria to grow and cause a UTI.
  • Have diabetes, which can lower your immune system and cause nerve damage that makes it hard to completely empty your bladder
  • Have any condition, like a kidney stone, that may block the flow of urine between your kidneys and bladder
  • Have or recently had a catheter in place. A catheter is a thin tube put through the urethra into the bladder. Catheters drain urine when you cannot pass urine on your own, such as during surgery.

How To Treat A Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy

Urinary Tract Infection, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Pregnancy has its ups and downs, and different women experience different types of problems.

One common problem during pregnancy is urinary tract infections , also known as bladder infections. This type of infection occurs when bacteria causes the urinary tract to become inflamed.

The problem usually starts after the sixth week of pregnancy, occurring as the growing baby puts more pressure on the bladder. The increasing pressure prevents the bladder from emptying completely, which leads to bacteria getting trapped in the urinary tract and ultimately causing an infection.

Apart from the physical changes in your body, several factors can lead to a UTI during pregnancy. Such factors include bacteria from the bowel, intercourse, a history of recurring UTIs, maternal diabetes, sickle cell disease, kidney disease, and previous urinary tract surgery.

When suffering from a UTI during pregnancy, you can experience symptoms like a burning sensation during urination, frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate, an intense urge to urinate while the amount of urine expelled is small, cloudy and smelly urine, a low-grade fever, lower-abdominal pain or discomfort, and nausea, and vomiting.

It is important to treat a UTI right away. An untreated infection could turn into a kidney infection, triggering preterm labor and causing your baby to have a low birth weight.

Apart from antibiotics, there are many things you can do to help treat the infection and ensure a safe pregnancy.

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How Common Are Utis During Pregnancy

At least 5 percent of women can expect to develop at least one UTI during pregnancy those who develop one have a 1 in 3 chance of an encore later.

During pregnancy, the compression of your expanding uterus, the muscle-relaxing hormones flooding your body and the challenge of keeping your perineal area clean due to your baby bump make it even easier for intestinal bacteria to enter your urinary tract, leading to UTIs.

While bladder infections are more common among non-pregnant women, kidney infections are about twice as common in expecting women as bladder infections. That said, they’re still quite rare, occurring in only about 2 percent of pregnancies.

Hpv : The Facts About The Infection And The Vaccine

HPV: Sexually Transmitted Infection

  • What is HPV?Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, with approximately 14 million cases diagnosed annually. There are more than 150 strains of HPV, over 40 of which can cause and genital warts . The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types that can cause cancers.
  • What are the symptoms?Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it. In 90% of cases, the bodys immune system clears HPV naturally within two years.
  • What are warts?
  • Genital warts Usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat or shaped like a cauliflower. Warts can appear within weeks or months after sexual contact with an infected partner. If left untreated, genital warts might go away, remain unchanged or increase in size or number. They will not turn into cancer. For more information on symptoms and treatment for genital warts, .
  • Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis Is a condition in which warts grow in the throat. These growths can sometimes block the airway, causing a hoarse voice or trouble breathing.

HPV and Cancer

  • Sometimes there are no signs or symptoms.
  • Anal bleeding, pain, itching or discharge
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the anal or groin area
  • Changes in bowel habits or the shape of your stool
  • Penile Cancer
  • Sore throat or ear pain that doesnt go away
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    Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided

    There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:

    • Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
    • Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
    • Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
    • Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
    • Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
    • If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
    • Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
    • Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
    • If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.

    From A Lower Uti To An Upper Uti

    Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy

    The most common type of UTI occurs in the lower urinary tract, infecting the urethra and bladder. Highly virulent strains, if left untreated, can spread further up to the ureters and the kidneys, in the upper urinary tract. Kidney infection symptoms in women are considerably worse than lower UTI symptoms, and may include back pain, nausea and fever. Kidney infections are potentially serious since they can cause damage to the kidneys and even kidney failure if left untreated. Eventually, they can also lead to urosepsis, an infection of the bloodstream that requires intensive care.

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    What Are Chronic Urinary Tract Infections

    A chronic urinary tract infection is a repeated or prolonged bacterial infection of the bladder or urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

    While urinary tract infections are common, some women suffer from repeated or recurrent infections .

    Women suffering from chronic urinary tract infections may have:

    • Two or more infections in a 6-month period and/or three or more infections in a 12-month period
    • Symptoms that dont disappear within 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins
    • A urinary tract infection that lasts longer than two weeks

    Chronic urinary tract infections can be a painful and frustrating disorder, but effective treatment is available.

    What Is A Uti

    A UTI is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract, which includes the bladder , the urethra or, in more serious cases, the kidneys .

    The urinary tract removes waste and extra water from the body. It’s made up of two kidneys, where urine is produced, two ureters, which carry urine to your bladder, the bladder itself, which collects and stores the urine, and the urethra, the tube that sends the urine out of your body.

    Sometimes, normal bacteria from your skin and other areas can trespass into the urinary tract, where they multiply fast, resulting in infection.

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    What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated

    If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.

    Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.

    Why Are Utis Common During Pregnancy

    Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Most Commonly Asked Questions – Urology Care Foundation

    UTIs are common during pregnancy. Thats because the growing fetus can put pressure on the bladder and urinary tract. This traps bacteria or causes urine to leak.

    There are also physical changes to consider. As early as six weeks gestation, almost all pregnant women experience ureteral dilation, when the urethra expands and continues to expand until delivery.

    The larger urinary tract, along with increased bladder volume and decreased bladder tone, all cause the urine to become more still in the urethra. This allows bacteria to grow.

    To make matters worse, a pregnant womans urine gets more concentrated. It also has certain types of hormones and sugar. These can encourage bacterial growth and lower your bodys ability to fight off bad bacteria trying to get in.

    2 and 10 percent of pregnant women experience a UTI. Even more worrisome, UTIs tend to reoccur frequently during pregnancy.

    Women whove had UTIs before are more prone to get them during pregnancy. The same goes for women whove had several children.

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    Can Having A Uti While Pregnant Hurt The Baby

    Possibly. A UTI itself doesnt hurt the baby directly, says Bartos. Its the failure to treat a UTI that can cause things like preterm birth or, rarely, infection of the amniotic sac. For example, research published in American Family Physician shows that treating pregnant women who have asymptomatic UTIs decreases the incidence of preterm birth and low-birth-weight infants. Thats why screening and prompt treatment are important.

    Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis

    If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.

    There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:

    • a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
    • cranberry products, such as juice or tablets

    Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.

    Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.

    Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023

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