uti in pregnancy

UTI In Pregnancy – Causes, Risks, And Treatments

UTI, or Urinary Tract Infection is caused due to bacteria. It commonly happens in women, due to various reasons and it is treatable. What makes it serious is getting UTI during pregnancy. These infections have the ability to adversely impact your urethra, and bladder and can even cause you a kidney infection. If not treated on time, these infections can also result in a preterm labor, and a newborn with low birth weight. This article educates you about the probable causes, potential risks, and treatment involved in pregnancy.

Is UTI Common?

Yes. UTI is a commonly seen in pregnant women. As per the research conducted in the past, it was found that around 9% of pregnant women suffers from this infection. UTI is basically an infection that can occur in any region of the urinary system. In most of the pregnant women, UTI impacts their bladder.

When Is The High Chance Of Getting UTI Infection?

Women are susceptible to getting infected by UTI in and post-delivery. During labor, it is noted that there are higher chances of bacteria to enter the urinary tract. When a woman gives birth, she experiences swelling, and sensitivity in her bladder, that increases possibilities of getting affected by a Urinary Tract Infection.

What Are The Causes Behind Getting A UTI?

So, the first step to deal with a UTI is to identify the possible cause behind it. The major reason behind its occurrence is hormones. In pregnancy, there are a lot of changes in pregnant hormones that can, in turn, cause changes in the urinary tract. It makes a woman more susceptible to getting infected.

Another cause is that the growth of uterus puts a pressure on the bladder that makes it difficult for a person to let out the urine in the bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder causes UTI infection. It is less acidic in nature and has high amounts of sugars, proteins, and hormones. Due to this composition, it makes a woman prone to a UTI occurring.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

Some of the possible signs that a woman has a UTI are:

  • urgent need to urinate
  • frequent urination
  • pain or burning sensation felt during urinating
  • cloudy urine
  • present of blood in the urine
  • urine with a strong odor
  • experiencing pain in the abdomen, sides, and lower back region

In acute cases, when the bacteria spreads to the kidney region, then it causes Kidney infection. Signs that your kidneys have been infected by UTI are:

  • back pain
  • chills
  • fever
  • nausea, and
  • vomiting

As Kidney infections are serious, they need quick medical assistance to prevent development of any dangerous complication.

Risks Of UTI

UTI needs to be treated quickly as absence of proper treatment can take form of serious complications in pregnancy. In a few cases, this infection can even pass to the newborn baby. Some of the risks related to UTI infection are:

  • kidney infection
  • sepsis
  • premature birth
  • low birth weight baby

If a UTI leads to kidney infection, then it can cause severe repercussions in the form of:

  • anemia
  • high blood pressure,
  • preeclampsia
  • decomposition of RBC
  • low platelet count in blood
  • bacteria in the bloodstream
  • chronic respiratory distress syndrome

Diagnosis and Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infection

Your doctor will advise a urine test to test RBC, WBC, and for bacteria. Based on the finding he will suggest a treatment. He may prescribe you an antibiotic course for 3 to 7 days. For complete elimination of infection, it is advised to take complete course of medication without skipping any dosage. Such short antibiotic course won’t cause any harm to the developing fetus.

Important Home remedies to treat UTI

  • In addition to seeing a doctor in case of UTI symptoms, you should follow the below tips to treat this problem:
  • Drink a lot of water to flush out bacteria
  • Drink cranberry juice as cranberries have compounds to stop bacteria to get attached to the interior surface of the urinary tract.
  • Cranberries also aids in preventing and eliminating infection.
  • Urinate when the need arises to let bacteria flush out the urinary tract quickly.
  • Take certain supplements that contain vitamin C, probiotics, and cranberries, to treat recurrent infection in women.

Also read: How To Treat Or Prevent Constipation During Pregnancy?

Conclusion

Urinary tract infections are commonly experienced in women during pregnancy. It can pose a lot of acute health risks to any pregnant woman and the developing fetus. Women who shows signs of a UTI at the time of pregnancy should check to their doctor at the earliest. Regular screenings for UTIs in pregnancy and receiving quick treatment can aids in prevention of the infections, and its complications.

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