Urinary tract infection during pregnancy

What If I Get a UTI While I’m Pregnant

The most common infection during pregnancy is a urinary tract system infection. UTIs during pregnancy is as a result of bacterial infection mostly by E.coli. This bacteria can be screen quantitatively by simple urinalysis test or qualitatively by urine culture method. Anyone can get UTIs infection, but they’re most common in women, and thus this arises as a concern if you’re pregnant. During pregnancy, this infection is mostly limited to the bladder and urethra. But, if the infection is not treated and cleared, sometimes it can lead to a kidney infection.

What impact does UTIs have during pregnancy?

If you think you might have a UTI, tell your doctor who can initiate treatment when UTIs are detected thus with proper care, you and your baby should be fine.
UTIs in pregnancy can prove dangerous for both maternal and infant health. Most pregnant women are tested for the presence of bacteria in their urine, even if there are no symptoms and treated with antibiotics when any bacteria that can course UTIs is detected to prevent the spread of infection. If you are pregnant and you wish to test yourself at the comfort of your home you can do so using urinalysis kit and when you detect any abnormality you can contact your doctor who can initiate treatment
When proper treatment is not initiated, UTIs during pregnancy may lead to preterm labor (giving birth too early before the gestation period is completed) and low birth weight of the newborn. 
Pregnant women may develop UTIs, and when one does occur, it is more likely to travel up to the kidneys and course pyelonephritis. Sometimes bacteria can localize on urethra and bladder and course urethritis and cystitis respectively.

What can I do to prevent UTIs Infection when am pregnant?

  • Drink plenty of water at least eight glasses of water in a day.
  • Wipe yourself from front to back when you go to the bathroom to prevent contact with bacteria from the anus that can get entry into the urethra and colonize the vagina.
  • Empty your bladder shortly before and after sex and  wash your genital area with warm water before and after sex
  • If you need a lubricant when you have sex, choose a water-based one.
  • Avoid strong feminine deodorants or soaps that cause irritation.
  • Wear cotton underwear and ensure they are clean.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Don’t wear pants that are too tight.
  • Screen yourself regularly at home using a simple urinalysis kit.
  • Whenever you wish to pee consider using female urination device to reduce chances of acquiring UTI 

What are some of the symptoms that can tell I have UTIs while am pregnant?

If you have a UTI, you may experience:

  • An urgent need to pee, or peeing more often
  • Trouble with peeing
  • A burning sensation or cramps in your lower back or lower belly
  • A burning feeling when you pee
  • Urine that looks cloudy or has an odor

Why are UTIs more common during pregnancy?

Hormones

In pregnancy, hormones play a major role in maintaining and supporting pregnancy. Production of the hormone during pregnancy causes changes in the urinary tract system and that makes women more likely to get infections.

Baby development

As your baby is growing in the uterus, the uterus presses on your bladder. This sometimes makes it hard for you to let out all the urine in your bladder and thus any bacteria present may not be washout from the urinary system. Urine leftover can also act as a breeding place of bacteria and thus be a source of infection.

Anatomy

Women are more likely to get UTIs because the tube that goes from the bladder to the outside (the urethra) is much shorter than in men. Because the urethral opening is closer to the anus in women, it’s easier for bacteria from stool to get into their vagina.

Diagnosis

You can test yourself to detect whether you are pregnant or not by using pregnancy test strips at the comfort of your. If you think you might have UTIs, you can frequently screen yourself using simple urinalysis methods at the comfort of your home. What you only need to diagnose yourself is get a urinalysis kit from your local pharmacy or from an online store such as amazon. You need to do a simple dipstick test into your urine using the reagent strip provided in the kit. If you detect any abnormalities from this test it always advisable to see your doctor who can initiate treatment. Your doctor will then further diagnosis by caring out urine culture to check and shows the exact kind of bacteria in your urine.

Medical Laboratory Scientist

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