Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy: Symptoms Treatment And Common Questions
In addition, as the uterus grows throughout pregnancy, it can put pressure on the bladder, making it more difficult to empty completely.
Pregnancy can also make a UTI more difficult to treat, which can have serious consequences, including pyelonephritis preterm labor low birth weight and .
A urinalysis and a urine culture are routinely performed at an initial prenatal visit to screen for UTIs, but if you’re pregnant and suspect you may have an infection, seek medical attention quickly.
Are Some Women More At Risk For Utis
- 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.
Urinary Infections In Children
A urinary infection in a child needs to be investigated as it may indicate a more serious condition.
The most common urinary system condition is urinary reflux. With this condition, the bladder valve isnt working properly and allows urine to flow back to the kidneys, increasing the risk of a kidney infection.
Urinary reflux and the associated infections can scar or permanently damage the kidney, and can also lead to:
- high blood pressure
- toxaemia in pregnancy
- kidney failure.
Urinary reflux tends to run in families, so its important to screen children as early as possible if a close relative is known to have the problem.
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Can Frequent Urination Be Controlled Or Stopped
Frequent urination can be controlled, and often, stopped over time and with treatment. Your healthcare provider will usually start by determining the cause of your symptom. If the condition can be treated, you should see a decrease in how often you need to urinate. Treatment depends completely on the condition. In cases like a UTI, you may need an antibiotic medication. This may be prescribed by your healthcare provider and you should feel better once you have finished the medication. Other conditions like diabetes or prostate problems will require a trip to see a specialist. The specialist will work with you to manage your symptoms and improve your daily routine. If your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with overactive bladder syndrome, pelvic floor physical therapy may help and there are actually several medications that can be used to calm your bladder. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether or not these might be good options for you.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
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When To Get Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.
How Do I Read My Urine Test Results
Depending on which tests your healthcare provider ordered for your urinalysis, there may only be a few or several measurements on your test results. Laboratory reports, including urinalysis reports, usually provide the following information:
- The name of the urine test or what was measured in your urine.
- The number, measurement or assessment of your urine test result.
- The normal result, measurement range or assessment for that test.
- Information that indicates if your result is normal or abnormal.
Urine clarity refers to how clear your urine sample was. Most laboratories categorize the clarity of urine as one of the following:
- Turbid .
If you had a chemical urine test, such as a glucose urine test or nitrite urine test, the results may be categorized as negative or positive and/or indicate the amount of the substance.
If you had a microscopic urine test, such as one that checked for red blood cells or bacteria, the laboratory will likely categorize the number of the substance as one of the following:
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Common Questions & Answers
UTI symptoms can be uncomfortable or painful. They include the following:
- A strong urge to urinate
- Pain or burning during urination
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Cloudy, strong-smelling, red or pink urine
- Mucus or discharge
- Fever, shaking, chills, or pain in the upper back, side, or groin
Can Drinking Alcohol Cause A Uti
You may know that beer, wine, and liquor can irritate your stomach if you’ve got reflux or an ulcer, and alcohol can irritate the bladder, too, particularly if you have a bladder infection. Though you want to get plenty of fluids when you’ve got a UTI, it’s important to avoid alcohol. So, take a hiatus from cocktails at least while you’re trying to flush out the bacteria and recover from a urinary tract infection.
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
The bacteria enter through the tube that carries pee out of the body .
Women have a shorter urethra than men. This means bacteria are more likely to reach the bladder or kidneys and cause an infection.
Things that increase the risk of bacteria getting into the bladder include:
- having sex
do not use scented soap
do not hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go
do not rush when going for a pee try to fully empty your bladder
do not wear tight, synthetic underwear, such as nylon
do not drink lots of alcoholic drinks, as they may irritate your bladder
do not have lots of sugary food or drinks, as they may encourage bacteria to grow
Types Of Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections can occur anywhere within the urinary tract, which includes the:
- Urethra, the tube that passes urine out of the body from the bladder. Infection of the urethra is also known as urethritis
- Bladder, the organ that collects and stores urine. Infection of the bladder is also known as cystitis
- Ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
- Kidneys, the organs that filter blood, eliminating waste via the urine. Infection of one or both kidneys is also known as pyelonephritis
The majority of UTIs affect the bladder and/or the urethra. These are known as lower urinary tract infections.
However, the infection can also travel up the urinary tract to reach the kidneys. In rare cases, the ureters may also become infected. These are called upper urinary tract infections. They are less common than lower tract infections and tend to be more severe.
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Condom Use During Sex
Non-lubricated latex condoms may increase friction and irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. This may increase the risk of a UTI.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms that have been coated with spermicide.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection In Teens And Adults
The symptoms are different depending on where the infection is.
Symptoms of a UTI in the bladder include:
- Pain or burning when you urinate.
- An urge to urinate often, but usually passing only small amounts of urine.
- Pain in the lower belly.
- Urine that looks cloudy, is pink or red, or smells bad.
Symptoms of a UTI in the kidneys include:
- Pain in the flank. This is felt just below the rib cage and above the waist on one or both sides of the back.
- Fever and chills.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Some people have bacteria in their urinary tract without having any symptoms. This is called asymptomatic bacteriuria. It may lead to infections that cause symptoms, but in many cases it doesn’t. It usually goes away without treatment.
Several other conditions, such as vaginal infections or an irritable bladder, can cause symptoms like those of a UTI.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections
It is generally not recommended to treat urinary tract infections with home remedies alone, because antibiotic treatment is usually required to clear the infection. It is only in very mild cases of cystitis that the infection may clear without medical intervention. However, it is possible to use certain natural methods at home alongside antibiotic treatment to alleviate pain and help clear the infection quicker. Such remedies can include:
- Drinking plenty of water, ideally at least 1.5 liters a day, to help flush the bacteria out of the body
- Placing a hot water bottle or heating pad against the abdomen or lower back to ease pain in those areas make sure to wrap the heating device in a clean cloth or towel before application to avoid burns from direct contact with the skin
- Taking pain-relief medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
Drinking cranberry juice has been cited in the past as a successful treatment method for urinary tract infections. Although not harmful, recent studies indicate the benefit of cranberry juice for treating UTIs is limited.
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Prevent Your Bladder From Getting Too Full
Empty your bladder when needed. Empty it completely each time. This will help to reduce your chances of developing two common problems that increase your risk for UTI.
What Are Symptoms Of Uti In Infants
Infants with a urinary tract infection are less likely than adults or older children to have the characteristic symptoms. Urinary tract infections can develop in both male and female infants. Affected babies may have a fever and no other symptoms. Infants who have a urinary tract infection may:
- be irritable, have a fever, and
- have loose stools and/or feeding problems.
Because of the nonspecific nature of many of these symptoms, urinary tract infections can be more difficult to diagnose in infants.
The symptoms can also appear nonspecific and the diagnosis may be more difficult in the elderly or those in healthcare settings who require long-term catheter use.
Urine testing will establish the diagnosis of a urinary tract infection. The urine is examined for the presence of red blood cells that signify bleeding into the urine and for white blood cells that signify infection. A culture of the urine is also taken to identify the organism responsible for the infection and to determine the effectiveness of different antibiotics against the offending organism. If recurrent infections develop, further types of testing including imaging studies and/or visual examination of the bladder may be recommended.
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What Is The Long
UTIs become more serious the further the infection spreads, so seeking prompt medical treatment is essential to a positive outlook.
UTIs can be prevented by staying hydrated each day and not holding urine in for long periods of time. You can also reduce the risk by regularly including cranberries in your diet.
Most UTIs will go away after treatment, but some can become recurrent. The same bacteria are usually the cause of recurrent infections, but in most cases, you can get rid of recurring infections too.
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Im Pregnant How Will A Uti Affect My Baby
If you have a UTI and it isnt treated, it may lead to a kidney infection. Kidney infections may cause early labor. Fortunately, asymptomatic bacteriuria and bladder infections are usually found and treated before the kidneys become infected. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, it wont hurt your baby.
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Check If It’s A Urinary Tract Infection
Symptoms of a UTI may include:
- pain or a burning sensation when peeing
- needing to pee more often than usual during the night
- pee that looks cloudy
- needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- needing to pee more often than usual
- lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
Risk Factors For Developing Utis
Some people are at greater risk than others of developing UTIs. These include:
- women sexually active women are vulnerable, in part because the urethra is only four centimetres long and bacteria have only this short distance to travel from the outside to the inside of the bladder
- people with urinary catheters such as people who are critically ill, who cant empty their own bladder
- people with diabetes changes to the immune system make a person with diabetes more vulnerable to infection
- men with prostate problems such as an enlarged prostate gland that can cause the bladder to only partially empty
- babies especially those born with physical problems of the urinary system.
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Treating Urinary Tract Infections
Your recommended treatment plan by your GP will depend on whether your infection is in the upper or lower urinary tract.
Both types of urinary tract infection can usually be treated at home using a course of antibiotics.
If an upper UTI is more serious or there is increased risk of complications, you may need hospital treatment.
What Is The Outlook For People Sensitive To Bladder Irritation
If foods irritate your bladder, you may worry about finding enough to eat. SOME people with IC are able to eat and drink these foods:
- Alcohol or wines .
- Coffee or highly roasted.
- Extracts .
- Nuts almonds, cashews and peanuts.
- Onions .
- Sun tea .
- Tomatoes .
- Zest of orange or limes.
- Other foods not listed.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
You may find your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, you should see your GP if you find your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days.
Also see your GP if you have a UTI and:
- you develop a high temperature
- your symptoms suddenly get worse
- you are pregnant
- you have diabetes