The risk of experiencing a UTI in her lifetime for a woman is around 20%. When treated on time and correctly, UTI is a rare reason for serious complications, but if left hanging, it may lead to serious infections and even death in a few cases. This infection occurs when bacteria enter through the urethra and causes an infection. Normally, bacteria are removed by urination, but in some cases, it can lie behind and may increase the risk of UTI.
Urinary tract infection in pregnancy is common, and the most common cause for the UTI during pregnancy is Escherichia Coli. This bacteria leads to the development of cystitis or pyelonephritis. All pregnant women should be tested for bacteria and much be treated with antibiotics to prevent future complications to themselves and the baby as well.
It is recently seen that use of ampicillin is avoided due to the high rates of resistance of these bacteria. So, yes, avoid it.
What are some common UTI symptoms during pregnancy?
Every pregnant woman’s body is totally different, thus inform your doctor about any pain or discomfort you are feeling promptly — particularly if you experience any of the following UTI symptoms:
- Burning sensation during urination
- More frequent visits to the toilet to urinate (though frequent urination alone may be a common — and harmless — a side effect of pregnancy).
- Intense urge to urinate while the amount of urine expelled is low.
- Cloudy, dark, bloody, or bad smelling pee.
- Low-grade fever.
- Lower-abdominal pain or discomfort.
- Pain that happens on one or both sides between the higher abdomen or on the back; this might indicate a kidney infection, that should be treated instantly.
- Shivering, vomiting, nausea, and/or high fever, which can be signs of a kidney infection.
How UTI is diagnosed during pregnancy?
Worried that you may have a UTI during pregnancy? The traditional way to diagnose one (during maternity or otherwise) is with a urine culture. Many doctors can invite a “clean catch” sample, wherever you pee into a cup while wiping your outer canal space.
If you’re diagnosed with a UTI, your doctor can probably provide a pregnancy-safe antibiotic for 7 to 14 days to get rid of all of the bacteria. Make sure to take the recommended full course, albeit you start to feel better midway through the treatment of urinary tract infection in pregnancy, and keep drinking plenty of water. If the infection has reached your kidneys, the doctor can suggest staying in the hospital, where you’ll receive IV antibiotics.
Keep in mind: Some pregnant women have a UTI with no symptoms anyhow. Result of untreated infection can affect kidneys and, potentially, an exaggerated risk of fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia and preterm birth — advise your doctor immediately if you have any UTI-like symptoms. Likewise, the urine tests at your prenatal visits are very important. (Have you scheduled your next appointment?)
How to prevent UTI in pregnancy?
While UTIs would possibly happen regardless of what precautions you take, some points will help reduce the chances you may suffer from a UTI throughout pregnancy:
- Stay hydrated. Keep drinking enough water; the rise in bathroom time helps flush bacteria out of the urethra.
- Use the toilet as much as you need. You may feel like you’re waddling to the toilet every 5 minutes, but it’s necessary to never hold in your pee. As soon as you get the urge to go, go! Make sure to completely expel your pee, too (try leaning forward while sitting on the toilet). Before sleeping at night, empty your bladder again.
- Wear cotton-crotch undergarment. This can keep that space dry, as microorganism thrives in wetness. Skip the underwear or keep the minimum use while you sleep to let the air in and out.
- Wipe from front to back. This goes for each lavatory visit.
- Avoid feminine hygiene products. Douches, powders, and perfumed products (shower gels, soaps, sprays, detergents and toilet paper) will cause irritation to an already vulnerable area.
- Eat well. Keep your immunity power right by eating a healthy pregnancy diet and staying active. Some doctors even suggest having yoghurt that contains active cultures or taking probiotics if you’re on antibiotics to help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria. Ask your doctor first, though, before popping any probiotic. While it was once thought that a compound in cranberry juice may help scale back UTI recurrence, experts now say the benefit, if any, is small. Feel free to sip on some of the red stuff if you love the taste — it’ll help with hydration — however, don’t chug, since most varieties are chock-full of sugar.
- Practice good hygiene. Keep your perineum meticulously clean and irritation-free by rinsing externally every time you shower (showers, by the way, are better than baths). It is also a decent plan to wash the area and empty your bladder before and after sex.
Best ways to prevent urinary tract infection in pregnancy is to have a lot of water, have a nutritious diet, maintain the immunity levels and avoid the use of unclean toilets. If you come across some unclean toilet where you cannot squat and pee, we would recommend you to use these revolutionary stand and pee devices from Pankh. Give it a try once.