Urinary tract infection is a universal problem faced by men as well as women. However, it affects women more than men. Pregnant women are even more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTI) due to a number of conducive factors. The most common factor leading to UTI in pregnancy is the fact that pregnant women undergo a number of physical changes that push their bladder closer to the opening if the vagina.
This makes way for easy entry of bacteria into a pregnant woman’s bladder. Pregnant women also find it difficult to expel urine as effectively as they used to before. This results in urine getting accumulated in the bladder and leading to bacterial infection. Gestational diabetes is another factor that leads to UTI in pregnant women. The presence of excess sugar in the body helps in the multiplication of bacteria inside the bladder of a pregnant woman.
While UTI in itself is not a threatening infection, when pregnant, there are many risk factors associated with it. Urinary tract infection during pregnancy can lead to kidney infection if left untreated and can also result in high blood pressure and premature labour. If you suspect a UTI during pregnancy, it is very important to visit the doctor and undergo medical treatment to prevent complications. Urinary tract infection normally presents itself with a burning sensation while urinating, pain in the lower abdominal area and frequent and low amounts of urine.
Sever cases may present itself with fever, chills and blood in urine. Urine would turn very cloudy and would have a foul smell to it when you have urinary tract infection. The good news is that there are many home remedies for preventing as well as treating urinary tract infections. During pregnancy, preventing is more important than treating and hence one must strive to do what one can in order to prevent urinary tract infections.
Home Remedies for urinary tract infections during pregnancy
Cranberry Juice for UTI during pregnancy
Cranberry juice is known to be one of the best natural treatment methods for urinary tract infections. Since this is a purely natural juice, pregnant women can take it without having to worry about side effects and risks. Cranberry juice can prevent as well as retract urinary tract infections to a great extent. For infections, intake of seven ounces of pure cranberry juice is sufficient for complete cure.
Cranberry juice must be consumed without any sweetening agents. Cocktails too are not recommended as they reduce the amount of cranberry juice required for recovery. It is a good practice to drink a glass of cranberry juice every day to avoid urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C for UTI during pregnancy
Consumption of vitamin C will immediately reduce the symptoms associated with urinary tract infection. Vitamin C increases the acidity of the urine. Bacteria associated with urinary infection cannot thrive well in acidic conditions and hence one gets immediate relief and cure with Vitamin C. Talk to the doctor about the adequate amount of vitamin C that can be consumed safely during pregnancy. You may add plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin C in order to combat urinary tract infections during pregnancy.
Importance of drinking fluids to prevent UTI
Pregnancy is the time when you need to keep a toxin free body to ensure the health and well being of your foetus. For this drinking plenty of water is a must. Drinking water will also keep urinary tract infections at bay. If you have fallen prey to urinary tract infections, make sure that you drink 3-4 litres of water to flush out the bacteria that have planted themselves inside the bladder. Drinking water will also prevent the multiplication of bacteria in the bladder.
Importance of Urination to prevent UTI
Most pregnant women get urinary tract infection as they try to control the urge to urinate. This will result in build up of bacteria in the bladder and resultant UTI. Pregnant women especially should not suppress the urge to urinate as their body is a great breeding ground for bacteria due to the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. You must respond to every urge to urinate in order to keep the bladder empty and prevent bacteria from multiplying.
Importance of personal hygiene during pregnancy
Personal hygiene is advisable at all times. During pregnancy it takes on a whole new meaning. You are responsible for your life as well as the life of the baby. While bathing, it is a good practice to avoid bath tubs as they allow easy passage of bacteria into the bladder through the water that is filled inside the tub. Showers are better and hygienic during the pregnant months.
Pregnant women must also avoid using public toilets which are again treasure houses of all kinds of bacteria. Always ensure that you clean your genitals after urination. Keep them dry and clean to prevent bacterial infections of all kinds. It is also important to wipe your genitals from the front to the back to prevent bacteria from the anal region from spreading into the perineum and subsequently into the vagina and urinary bladder.
Importance of wearing cotton clothes to prevent UTI
During pregnancy, women feel increasingly hot that would lead them to sweat more than usual. So wearing cotton clothes that can absorb the sweat well is a must in order to prevent infections. Loose fitting clothes will ensure good air circulation that will keep your genital areas free from bacterial and fungal infections.
Antibiotic treatment for UTI during pregnancy
In spite of all precautions, you could still be prone to urinary tract infections. If the infection persists after basic home remedies have been administered, you must immediately consult the doctor for advice. There are many safe antibiotics that can be taken during pregnancy. Your doctor may prescribe a course depending on the severity of the infection.
Urine culture and blood test would also be conducted to rule out kidney infections and to check the response towards various antibiotic medicines. Urinary tract infection during pregnancy is a very common occurrence. There is no need to stress yourselves out if you have contracted the infection. With a little care and effort, things can very well be set right and brought under control.
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