Urine Infection In Pregnancy
Urine infection is common in pregnancy. If left untreated some urine infections may progress to cause serious kidney infection. Treatment is with a medicine called an antibiotic. The aim is to cure the infection and also to prevent possible complications.
In this article
Uti Symptoms And Prevention
A urinary tract infection , also called bladder infection, is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women are at increased risk for UTIs starting in week 6 through week 24 because of changes in the urinary tract. The uterus sits directly on top of the bladder. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing a urinary tract infection during pregnancy.
Uti Diagnosis And Treatment
Think you may have a UTI? The standard way to diagnose one is a urine culture. Most doctors will ask for a clean catch sample, where you pee into a cup midstream after carefully wiping your outer vaginal area.
If you are diagnosed with a UTI, your doctor will likely provide a pregnancy-safe antibiotic for seven to 14 days to get rid of all of the bacteria. Be sure to take the recommended full course, even if you start to feel better midway through treatment, and drink plenty of water.
If the infection has reached your kidneys, your practitioner may suggest staying in the hospital, where you can receive IV antibiotics.
Keep in mind: Because an untreated infection can lead to serious complications in pregnancy including kidney infection and, potentially, an increased risk of fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia and preterm birth notify your provider immediately if you have any UTI-like symptoms.
Also remember, not all women have symptoms of a UTI. So, likewise, the urine tests at your regular prenatal visits are really important.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
- pain or burning when you wee
- needing to wee urgently, or more often than usual
- pain in the lower part of your tummy or your back
- a bit of blood in your urine
- feeling generally unwell
- a high temperature of 38 degrees C or above
- constant pain in your back, pelvis or side
- shaking and shivering
- nausea or vomiting
What Are The Common Causes Of Utis
Your urinary tract is normally free of bacteria. If bacteria enter the tract and multiply, they can cause a UTI. There are several factors that increase the risk of developing an infection:
- Infection with common bacteria in your gut, usually from faeces can contaminate your urinary tract
- Being sexually active increases the risk of bacteria moving around the genital area and entering the urinary tract
- If you have weak pelvic floor muscles your bladder might not empty completely, which can lead to an infection
- Women with diabetes are at increased risk of developing a UTI since the sugar in their urine may cause bacteria to multiply
Recommended Reading: Yeast Infection Medication Side Effects
Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy
, MD, PhD, University of Texas Health Medical School at Houston, McGovern Medical School
Urinary tract infections Overview of Urinary Tract Infections In healthy people, urine in the bladder is sterileno bacteria or other infectious organisms are present. The tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body contains no bacteria… read more are common during pregnancy, probably because the enlarging uterus and hormones produced during pregnancy slow the flow of urine in the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder . When urine flow is slow, bacteria may not be flushed out of the urinary tract, increasing the risk of an infection.
Urinary tract infections increase the risk of the following:
Sometimes bacteria in the urine cause an infection in the bladder or kidneys Bladder and Kidney Infections After Delivery A bladder infection sometimes develops after delivery of a baby. A kidney infection can occur if bacteria spread from the bladder to the kidney after delivery…. read more that causes symptoms. But bacteria may infect the urine without causing symptoms of urinary tract infections, so doctors usually check the urine for bacteria, even in pregnant women without symptoms. If pregnant women have bacteria in the urine or a kidney infection, a urine sample is taken each month and tested.
Strengths And Limitations Of Study
The strengths of this study lie mainly in the method used for data collection. The advantage of using an online forum to collect data was that it provided access to a wide range of participants across the UK. Online forum postings increase the perceived sense of anonymity in participants, which can increase disclosure compared to face-to-face interviews. Data was also immediately available for analysis and circumvented transcription errors arising from interviews.
Using an online forum, however, also contributed to the limitations of this study. Women used descriptive text and emoticons to express their feelings, but using an online forum could result in a loss of insight that facial expressions or verbal tone can offer to exploring perceptions. It was difficult to characterise the exact demographics of website users and only views of women who had access to the internet and had subscribed to the forum could be analysed. Different cultural groups in the UK may also have different norms of behaviour in pregnancy and the views of women from varying backgrounds may differ from what was captured from the forum. Therefore, the interpretation and transferability of the results should be made within this context and broad generalisations may not be appropriate.
What Increases Or Reduces Risk Of Utis During Pregnancy
Women who have or carry the trait for sickle cell disease are at increased risk for UTIs. We test these patients monthly to ensure we detect an infection as soon as possible.
If you have diabetes, youre also at a higher risk. We might not test you as frequently, but we will consistently look for symptoms. Both conditions make it harder for the body to fight infections.
Just as when youre not pregnant, you can take specific actions to lower your chances of getting a UTI, such as:
- Wiping front to back in the bathroom
- Urinating before and after sex
- Wearing cotton underwear
- Avoiding tight and wet clothing
- Drinking more water
What Are The Symptoms Of Uti In Pregnancy
Common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are:
- pain when you pass urine
- passing urine more often
- pain in the lower stomach area
- blood in your urine
- urine that looks cloudy or smells more than normal.
|If you have a high fever, shakes, back pain or feel generally unwell, with or without urinary symptoms, seek medical advice right now. You may have pyelonephritis, a more serious infection of the kidneys which needs immediate treatment.|
Don’t Miss: Fungal Infection In Hiv Patient
Common Uti Symptoms In Pregnant Women
While mildly painful urination during pregnancy can often mean a yeast infection, not a UTI, its always best to see your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms, says Heather Bartos, MD, an ob-gyn in Cross Roads, Texas. After all, research suggests that about 18 percent of UTIs that occur during pregnancy are symptomatic UTIs, meaning the telltale UTI signs and symptoms are present:
- Strong and frequent urge to use the bathroom
- Burning while urinating
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain, usually in the center of the pelvis
In pregnancy, women are also more susceptible to asymptomatic UTIs, meaning you have significant bacteria in your urine but your urinary tract is free of signs and symptoms. Experiencing no symptoms, however, does not mean that asymptomatic UTIs are benign. An asymptomatic UTI can lead to a symptomatic UTI or even a kidney infection, says Dr. Bartos. In fact, research shows that if asymptomatic UTIs are left untreated, 30 percent of pregnant women will go on to develop a symptomatic UTI, and half of those women will eventually be diagnosed with acute pyelonephritis . Up to 23 percent will have a kidney infection recurrence during the same pregnancy. Its important to note that classic UTI signs, like frequent and painful urination, may or may not occur with a kidney infection. Here, some signs to look out for:
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.
Don’t Miss: Ear Infection Antibiotics List Over The Counter
What Causes Utis In Pregnancy
You are more prone to UTIs during pregnancy due to changes in your hormones, which slows the flow of urine . As a result, bacteria have more time to grow in your urine before being flushed out. Also, as the uterus grows, the increased weight can block the flow of urine from your bladder, causing an infection.
How Common Are Utis During Pregnancy
Between 2 and 13 percent of women can expect to develop at least one UTI during pregnancy.Trusted SourceNational Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of MedicineUrinary tract infections in pregnancy: old and new unresolved diagnostic and therapeutic problemsSee All Sources Because some women have no symptoms of a UTI during pregnancy, your practitioner will have a clean void urine culture done at your first prenatal visit.
Kidney infections are about twice as common in expecting women as non-pregnant women. That said, they’re still quite rare, occurring in only about 2 percent of pregnancies. Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea/vomiting and pains in the lumber and mid-back regions.
Recommended Reading: Can An Ear Infection Cause Your Jaw To Hurt
Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy
Urinary tract infections are common during pregnancy. A UTI may not have any symptoms, but it may show up as a burning sensation during urination or the feeling of having to go again right away. Doctors routinely check for urinary tract infections during prenatal visits and treat them as soon as possible. Heres what you need to know about the causes, treatment, and prevention of UTIs during pregnancy.
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.
Recommended Reading: Hiv Infection Rate In Usa
What Can I Do To Avoid Getting A Uti
- Going to the toilet as soon as you feel the need to wee, and emptying your bladder fully.
- Emptying your bladder as soon as possible after having sex.
- After going to the toilet, wiping yourself from front to back, to reduce the spread of bacteria.
- Using a mild, unperfumed cleanser to wash yourself, and having a shower rather than a bath.
- Wearing cotton rather than synthetic underwear and avoiding tight jeans and trousers.
- Drinking plenty of fluids. Even though frequent trips to the loo may be annoying, lots of fluids will help to flush out bacteria and staying hydrated is good for your baby too.
How Are Utis Identified
Urinary tract infections may be present even if no symptoms are present and require prompt treatment. A Urinalysis is the standard method for detecting UTIs. Other conditions like Asymptomatic bacteriuria or dehydration could cause some of the same symptoms as a UTI. Consult a health care professional, and they will determine a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Recommended Reading: Pee In Ear For Ear Infection
What Is A Urine Infection And What Are The Symptoms
A urine infection is caused by germs which get into your urine. Usually the germs have come from your skin, and travelled up the tubes of the urinary system. The symptoms may depend on how far up your system the germs have travelled. The germs may cause:
- Asymptomatic bacteriuria. In this situation bacteria are found in your urine but are not causing any symptoms. You will only know you have it if your urine is tested.
- Bladder infection . This is common, both in pregnant and non-pregnant women. Typical symptoms are pain when you pass urine and passing urine more often. You may also have other symptoms such as pain in your lower tummy , blood in your urine, and a high temperature .
- Kidney infection . This is uncommon but may occur as a complication from cystitis or asymptomatic bacteriuria. It is usually a more serious infection, making you feel very unwell. Some or all of the possible symptoms may occur, which include:
- Pain in your side over your kidney.
- Having a high temperature.
- Symptoms of cystitis as above.
- Feeling generally unwell.
Can I Prevent Utis
You can lower your risk of developing a UTI during pregnancy by:
- drinking plenty of fluids, especially water
- quickly treating any vaginal infection that may occur, including thrush or a sexually transmitted infection
Some women have also found the following tips helpful:
- urinate immediately after sex
- dont delay going to the toilet go as soon as you feel the need
- wipe from the front to the back after going to the toilet
- wear cotton underwear
You May Like: Antibiotics For Strep Skin Infection
Prepare For Possible Postpartum Utis
In some cases, the risks of developing a UTI increase after you give birth.
Patients who have a C-section or receive an epidural during labor have a catheter inserted into their bladder. This ensures a safer delivery by keeping your bladder empty. But a catheter increases your risk of infection the longer it stays in your body, and its placement provides the perfect track for bacteria to enter your bladder.
To decrease your UTI risk, our goal is to remove your catheter no more than six to eight hours after surgery and even sooner after an epidural. An infection can take days to appear, so watch for symptoms after you leave the hospital and tell your doctor right away if you experience them. We dont perform routine UTI tests after delivery, so its important to alert us to abnormal pain or discomfort.
With so many new tasks to complete and emotions to experience after bringing your newborn home, it can feel overwhelming to keep track of one more thing but your health remains a priority after the birth of your baby. The more you tell us about how you feel, the more we can do to help you stay healthy.
Are Utis Dangerous During Pregnancy
UTIs can rapidly progress to a kidney infection in pregnancy, which can be much more dangerous than a kidney infection in nonpregnant women, says Bartos. Severe infections can lead to respiratory problems and , which can then lead to preterm labor or even the need to urgently deliver the baby. Beyond a kidney infection, simply having a UTI during pregnancy appears to possibly be a contributing factor to low birth weight. Women who have a UTI in pregnancy also have a 1.31-fold higher risk of developing preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, according to a meta-analysis published in September 2018 in the journal Medicine. Its thought that a UTI may alter a pregnant womans inflammatory response, which can spur preeclampsia.
RELATED: National Period Day Is October 19
Recommended Reading: Young Living Essential Oils For Sinus Infection
What Causes A Urine Infection
Most urine infections are caused by bacteria which come from your own bowel. They cause no harm in your bowel but can cause infection if they get into other parts of your body. Some bacteria lie around your back passage after you pass a stool . These bacteria can sometimes travel to your urethra and into your bladder. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause infection.
Less commonly there may be other causes of a urine infection. If you have to have a tube passed into your bladder, it is easier for germs to directly reach your bladder, and this may make urine infection more likely. Occasionally for people whose immune systems are not working well, the infection may spread through the bloodstream rather than up the urinary tubes.
Urinary Tract Infections In Pregnancy
Getting a urinary tract infection while pregnant isn’t all that fun, but the good news is that it’s completely treatable. The treatment of pregnant women for UTIs differs from that of the general population due to an increased risk of complications, and early detection is important.
If you’ve previously had UTIs or any other condition that increases your risk of developing one, screening for bacteria in your urinary tract is a routine part of your prenatal care. If you’re pregnant and think you might have a UTI but haven’t consulted your healthcare provider, you should do so as soon as possible.
Recommended Reading: What’s The Strongest Antibiotic For Tooth Infection