How Uti Urinary Tract Infection Affect Pregnancy
Every woman who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant has heard the statement, “You’ll pee like a racehorse.” And while it’s true that some women will experience more frequent and intense urination during pregnancy, this is not always the case. There are many factors that affect your ability to pee during pregnancy and after delivery . This article will help answer whether UTIs are harmful for babies in utero , how they occur and what treatments can be used before birth or after birth if necessary
Can A Uti Go Away On Its Own
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs. However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics. By some estimates, 2542 percent of uncomplicated UTI infections clear on their own. In these cases, people can try a range of home remedies to speed up recovery.
Preventing Utis During Pregnancy
While UTIs might happen whatever precautions you take, a few steps can help reduce the odds youll suffer from a UTI during pregnancy:
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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What Do My Results Mean
- Asymptomatic bacteriuria: Where you have no symptoms and bacteria are found in your urine.
- Cystitis or UTI: Where bacteria are found in your urine and you have lower urinary tract symptoms.
- Pyelonephritis: If you have the above symptoms, and also have symptoms or signs of fever or feeling unwell, this may indicate upper urinary tract infection such as pyelonephritis.
Your doctor will discuss your results and the appropriate treatment for your situation with you.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system. UTIs are the most common bacterial infection that women develop during pregnancy. They can occur in different parts of the urinary tract, including the bladder , urethra or kidneys . Sometimes when a UTI develops and bacteria are detected in the urinary tract, you may not have any symptoms of an infection. This is known as asymptomatic bacteriuria.
While anyone can get a UTI, they are much more common in women than men and they are also more likely to occur in the very young and the elderly.
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Your Body Goes Through Several Changes During Pregnancy And Utis Are One Of Them Sometimes Pregnant Women Experience The First Signs Of A Urinary Tract Infection Only When They Are Pregnant
- Pregnancy is a time when your body goes through several changes. These changes include the development of your uterus, which can make it harder for you to pass urine and may cause an increase in urinary tract infections .
- UTIs are common during pregnancy because some bacteria can thrive in this environment and cause an infection. The most common types of bacteria found in women’s bladders are E coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, but other types may also be involved at times.*
- If you experience any symptoms associated with a UTI including pain or burning while urinating and frequent urination then it could be serious enough that you need treatment right away!
Having a UTI during pregnancy is not that common but when it happens, you need to take precautions to avoid dehydration. You can also try cranberry juice or drink more water and even use a diuretic. If you cannot get rid of the infection on your own, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Acute Pyelonephritis In Pregnancy
The incidence of acute pyelonephritis in pregnancy , estimated in an 18-year retrospective cohort study, was 0.5% . Kazemier et al. , in a Dutch multi-centre prospective cohort study with an embedded randomized controlled trial, reported that 2.4% of pregnant women with untreated first-trimester ASB developed APN compared with 0.6% women who were ASB negative . APN occurs at
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What Treatment Options Are Available
UTIs can be safely treated with antibiotics during pregnancy. Urinary tract infections are most commonly treated by antibiotics. Doctors usually prescribe a 3-7 day course of antibiotics that is safe for you and the baby. Call your doctor if you have fever, chills, lower stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, contractions, or if after taking medicine for three days, you still have a burning feeling when you urinate.
Is A Uti During Pregnancy Harmful For The Baby
You may be wondering if a UTI during pregnancy is harmful to your baby. The answer is no! A UTI during pregnancy does not affect the health of your baby, and it’s not a reason to terminate pregnancy.
- UTIs are common in pregnant women and generally do not cause any long-term damage or complications in their children.*
- If you have a urinary tract infection , your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics for you to take until your symptoms clear up.*
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How Can I Prevent A Bladder Infection
You may do everything right and still experience a urinary tract infection during pregnancy, but you can reduce the likelihood by doing the following:
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day and unsweetened cranberry juice regularly.
- Eliminate refined foods, fruit juices, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
- Take Vitamin C , Beta-carotene and Zinc to help fight infection.
- Develop a habit of urinating as soon as the need is felt and empty your bladder completely when you urinate.
- Urinate before and after intercourse.
- Avoid intercourse while you are being treated for a UTI.
- After urinating, blot dry , and keep your genital area clean. Make sure you wipe from the front toward the back.
- Avoid using strong soaps, douches, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders.
- Change underwear and pantyhose every day.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants.
- Wear all-cotton or cotton-crotch underwear and pantyhose.
- Dont soak in the bathtub longer than 30 minutes or more than twice a day.
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Is It Common To Get Utis When Trying To Conceive
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There is no definitive answer to this question as there are many factors that can contribute to the development of a UTI. However, some experts believe that UTIs may be more common in women who are trying to conceive due to the increased levels of estrogen in the body during this time. Estrogen can promote the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract, which can lead to infection. If you are concerned about developing a UTI while trying to conceive, you may want to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.
You will most likely experience a lot of pain if you try to have a child. If you have more sex, you may get urinary tract infections . Untreated UTIs during pregnancy can lead to additional infections and complications. If you are trying to conceive and continue to get UTIs, you should consult your primary care physician. It is best to urinate after sex, which will help flush out any bacteria, and to drink plenty of water to help flush the bacteria away. Constipation can also be managed to reduce the amount of bacteria that enter your urine. Use a uti-daily-protection-supplement to help prevent UTIs. More information on how this can help is available on the UTI supplement website.
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Uti Testing While Pregnant
Testing for a UTI requires a sample of urine. Urine samples are collected routinely during prenatal appointments. If you have UTI symptoms in between appointments, youll want to make arrangements to get a urine sample tested right away. You can do this in person, or at home.
Here are the types of tests that might be used to detect a UTI.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Utis
If you have a urinary tract infection, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain or burning when urinating
- The need to urinate more often than usual
- A feeling of urgency when you urinate
- Blood or mucus in the urine
- Cramps 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 in the area of the bladder
- When bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
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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.
What Are Early Signs Of Pregnancy
The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include:
- Missed period. If you’re in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. …
- Tender, swollen breasts. …
- Nausea with or without vomiting. …
- Increased urination. …
What Is A Uti
A urinary tract infection is a medical condition where bacteria from outside the body gets into the urinary system. It can cause a few types of infections:
- Asymptomatic bacteriuria : Bacteria in the urine without any symptoms
- Urethritis: An infection in the urethra
- Cystitis: An infection in the bladder
- Pyelonephritis: A kidney infection
Your doctor will treat you if she finds any bacteria in your urine, even if you do not have symptoms.
Causes Of Urine Infections
Women are more likely to get urine infections than men. In women, the tube that carries urine out of the bladder is shorter than in men. So it’s easier for germs to get into a womans bladder than a mans bladder.
Pregnant women are also more prone to getting urine infections due to:
- hormonal changes
- the pressure of your baby and womb on your bladder, which may prevent it from emptying properly when you pee
You can reduce your chances of getting a urine infection in pregnancy by:
- wiping yourself from front to back after going to the toilet or when you are washing your genital area
- emptying your bladder before and after sex
- going to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to pee
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About Utis And Kidney Infections While Pregnant
A urinary tract infection is a very common medical complication of pregnancy. Unless treated, a UTI can cause serious problems in pregnancy. Normal urine is sterile. It contains fluids, salts, and waste products, but is free of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The tissues of the bladder are isolated from urine and toxic substances by a coating that discourages bacteria from attaching and growing on the bladder wall.
The main parts of the urinary tract are:
Two kidneys. A pair of purplish-brown organs located below the ribs toward the middle of the back.
Two ureters. Narrow tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
Bladder. A triangle-shaped, hollow organ located in the lower abdomen.
Two sphincter muscles. Circular muscles that help keep urine from leaking by closing tightly like a rubber band around the opening of the bladder.
Urethra. The tube that allows urine to pass outside the body.
Uti Treatment: What To Expect
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.
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How Are Utis Diagnosed
UTIs are diagnosed by taking a urine sample which is checked in a laboratory for bacteria. Your doctor may also perform a physical examination if they think you have an infection.
All pregnant women are offered a urine test, usually at their first antenatal visit or soon after. You may need to repeat the urine test if you have a history of UTIs have symptoms of a UTI have a contaminated sample or if your doctor thinks you are at high risk of developing a UTI. If you have frequent UTIs, you may also need additional tests such as an ultrasound of your kidneys.
Why Are Utis Common In Pregnant Women
When youre pregnant, the anatomy of your urinary tract actually changes. For instance, your kidneys become larger and your growing uterus can compress your ureters and bladder. Because of this compression, fully emptying your bladder during pregnancy becomes more difficult. In addition, your progesterone and estrogen levels increase during pregnancy, which can weaken your bladder and ureters. Pregnancy also alters the makeup of your urine, reducing the acidity and increasing the amount of protein, hormones, and sugar in your urine. That excess sugar, for one, can encourage bacterial growth. All of the above contribute to a heightened chance of developing a UTI in pregnancy. And that is why its recommended that all pregnant women receive a urinalysis and urine culture at 12 to 16 weeks or during the first prenatal visit.
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Utis And Pregnancy: How To Avoid Them
UTIs are common in people trying to conceive. They can, however, be avoided and babies can be born healthy. One of the most important things you can do is track your ovulation and plan ahead of time when you will have sex. In the event of UTIs, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible and take antibiotics and fluids to flush the infection from your system.
Uti Treatment During Pregnancy
Youâll take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days or as your doctor recommends. If your infection makes you feel uncomfortable, your doctor will probably start your treatment before you get your urine test results.
Your symptoms should go away in 3 days. Take all of your medication on schedule anyway. Donât stop it early, even if your symptoms fade.
Many common antibiotics — amoxicillin, erythromycin, and penicillin, for example — are considered safe for pregnant women. Your doctor wouldnât prescribe others, such as ciprofloxacin , sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, or trimethoprim , that can affect your babyâs development.
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Group B Streptococcal Infection
Group B streptococcal vaginal colonization is known to be a cause of neonatal sepsis and is associated with preterm rupture of membranes, and preterm labor and delivery. GBS is found to be the causative organism in UTIs in approximately 5 percent of patients.31,32 Evidence that GBS bacteriuria increases patient risk of preterm rupture of membranes and premature delivery is mixed.33,34 A randomized, controlled trial35 compared the treatment of GBS bacteriuria with penicillin to treatment with placebo. Results indicated a significant reduction in rates of premature rupture of membranes and preterm delivery in the women who received antibiotics. It is unclear if GBS bacteriuria is equivalent to GBS vaginal colonization, but pregnant women with GBS bacteriuria should be treated as GBS carriers and should receive a prophylactic antibiotic during labor.36
Is A Uti Dangerous During Pregnancy
Any infection during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous for you and your baby. Thats because infections increase the risk of premature labor.
I found out the hard way that an untreated UTI during pregnancy can also wreak havoc after you deliver. After I had my first daughter, I woke up a mere 24 hours after coming home with a fever approaching 105F .
I landed back in the hospital with a raging infection from an undiagnosed UTI, a condition called pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis can be a life-threatening illness for both mother and baby. It had spread to my kidneys, and they suffered permanent damage as a result.
Moral of the story? Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms of a UTI during pregnancy. If youre prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take every last pill to knock out that infection.
You can help prevent UTIs during your pregnancy by:
- emptying your bladder frequently, especially before and after sex
- wearing only cotton underwear
- avoiding douches, perfumes, or sprays
- drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
- avoiding any harsh soaps or body wash in the genital area
Most UTIs during pregnancy are treated with a course of antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that is pregnancy-safe but still effective in killing off bacteria in your body.
If your UTI has progressed to a kidney infection, you may need to take a stronger antibiotic or have an intravenous version administered.
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