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Here’s how you can deal with urinary tract infection during pregnancy

Urinary tract infections are quite common during pregnancy, but the good news is you can deal with it with some simple tips. Ready to find out?
myths about UTI
Dealing with UTI is not as difficult as you think. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Astha Jain Mathur Published: 14 Jul 2021, 14:08 pm IST
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Urinary tract infections (UTI) can be very difficult for people, especially for pregnant mothers. UTI happens when there is bacterial infection in the bladder (can even impact the kidneys), a burning sensation when one urinates, and a urinary emergency where people feel the need to rush to the washroom (which means they cannot wait). Remember that increased frequency might suggest that you have UTI. It might be a surprise to many, but having a urinary infection while being pregnant is very common. 

Causes of having a urinary tract infection:

Pregnant women are more prone to having a urinary tract infection, as their urine is less acidic, and has more percentage of hormones, proteins and sugars during pregnancy. 

  • The changes in the pH of the vaginal area encourage the vaginal bacteria to enter the urinary tract and sometimes that is how one gets a urinary tract infection. 
  • The hormones in the body that nourish the baby somehow slow down the movement of the bladder. 
  • As the baby grows, the pressure on the bladder increases. The process of passing urine slows down and there are traces of urine that are left behind in the bladder, which becomes a source of a urinary tract infection. 
  • The length of the urethra in a woman is shorter than in a man, and hence are more prone to a UTI. 
  • Reduction in water intake can be one reason for the urinary tract infection.
  • High blood sugar
pregnancy and UTI
The UTI will not cause harm to your baby. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Signs and symptoms:
A person with a urinary tract infection may have these symptoms:
  • Pain in the lower back 
  • A burning feeling while urinating
  • Increased frequency of urination 
  • Smelly urine 
  • Very dark or cloudy urine
  • Blood in the urine
This UTI can spread to the kidneys as well, and these are the symptoms for that:
  • Fever 
  • Pain in the lumbar region or just below the ribs in the back 
  • Nausea and vomiting throughout the day (and not only when related to food)
  • Might even have chills
Here’s how to treat UTI:

A urinary tract infection, however small it may seem, can cause complications with pregnancy. Hence, it is necessary to treat a urinary tract infection as soon as possible. The treatment is generally through antibiotics, which are safe for you and your baby, and one must never self-diagnose and have tablets as there can be consequences. Do not abuse the antibiotics, because the course must be completed. Mostly the treatment is oral, however, with a few patients where the urinary tract infection is resistant and is not getting treated with pills, injections might have to be given to treat it. 

If you want to know what antibiotics are safe during the trimesters, kindly contact your gynaecologist to understand more.

pregnancy and UTI
Urinary tract infections can cause extreme discomfort. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
One should get treated for a urinary tract infection, as it can cause:
  • The infection may sometimes increase the chances of a premature baby
  • It can cause a low birth weight baby. 
  • Ascending infection can also cause the mother to have cystitis or pyelonephritis, which can lead to maternal anaemia.
How to prevent urinary tract infections:
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. It makes the urine dilute. 
  • Never hold the urine, if you have the urge to pass urine. 
  • Always clean your private areas and wipe from front to the back to avoid any kind of contamination from the anal area to your vaginal area. 
  • One must always urinate before and after sexual activity. 
  • Keep the area clean throughout the day. 

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About the Author

Dr Astha Jain Mathur, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Indore ...Read More

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