Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

What is urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection is a type of infection occurs when you experience a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women are at higher risk for urinary tract infection starting in week 6 through week 24.

What causes urinary tract infection during pregnancy?

Urinary tract infection is generally more common during pregnancy than usual because of the changes in the urinary tract. Normally, the uterus sits directly on top of the bladder. When you get pregnant, the uterus grows and its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection. Additionally, another cause of urinary tract infection is the hormonal changes when women get pregnant. They cause changes in the urinary tract and that makes women more likely to get infections.

Signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection

There are a number of signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection. If you experience a urinary tract infection, you may notice one or more of these following symptoms:
– Pain or a burning sensation when urinating. This sign is considered as one of the most common and typical symptoms of this infection.
– A more frequent need to urinate than usual
– Feeling of urgency when you urinate
– Blood or mucus in the urine (sometimes appears in severe cases)
– Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
– Pain during sexual intercourse
– The presence of chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine (incontinence)
– Waking up from sleep to urinate
– Changing 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 spread to the kidneys you may experience back pain, chills, fevers, nausea, and vomiting. Most of these infections are limited to the bladder and urethra.
If left untreated, this condition may result in a kidney infection. As a result, kidney infections can cause early labor and low birth weight. Therefore, your doctor needs to treat the urinary tract infection early and properly in order to reduce harm to your baby.

Diagnosis and treatment

It is noticed that early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent another medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this condition.
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
If your doctor suspects that you may experience urinary tract infection, you’ll be required to take a urine test. Your doctor will test it for bacteria and red and white blood cells. A “urine culture” may also show what kind of bacteria are in the urine.
Urinary tract infection can be safely treated with antibiotics during pregnancy. Doctors often prescribe a 3-7 day course of antibiotics that is safe for you and the baby. Please call your doctor if you have a 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.

How to prevent urinary tract infection

Obviously, it is essential to prevent urinary tract infection during pregnancy. There are several tips that can help you to avoid this type of infection. You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also, wipe yourself from front to back. If you need a lubricant when you have sex, choose a water-based one. And remember do not douche. Take showers instead of baths as well as not wear pants that are too tight. In case you think you might have a urinary tract infection, tell your doctor. With proper care, you and your baby should be fine. But you need to make sure it doesn’t affect your kidneys.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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