Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy

Did you know that women are 30 times more likely than men to develop urinary tract infections (UTI)?UTI is caused by bacteria and can infect the kidneys, bladder or urethra, the most common being infection of the bladder.

Women have a higher risk of developing UTI due to the short size of the urethra, which is only one and half inches long when compared to the eight inches in men. As a result, faecal bacteria are more easily conveyed to the urethra and into your bladder. The bacteria then multiply quickly causing infections.

UTI and Pregnancy

UTI is most common during a woman’s reproductive years and if you are pregnant, then you are more prone to develop urine related infections. This is due to hormonal changes that affect your urinary tract slowing down the flow of urine.

When, a pregnant woman develops UTI, the risk of developing a full-blown kidney infection also increases.This, in turn, can cause early labor or adversely affect the birth weight of your baby. So it is important to treat UTI immediately before it hurts your baby.

Even though all pregnant women should be tested for UTI, certain others with high risk conditions like diabetes, several pregnancies, history of childhood UTIs, etc, should be screened more regularly.If you have had UTI during pregnancy, you may also develop the same sometime after delivery.

Symptoms

If you have an UTI, then you may feel a burning sensation when you urinate or you may feel the need to urinate more often, sometimes right after you have just urinated. You may also find that your urine leaves a strong odor and blood spots.

Asymptomatic bacteriuria infection is something to look out for as you probably will not feel any of the symptoms. Asymptomatic bacteriurias are germs that grow in the urinary tract and if you are pregnant, then this condition should be treated immediately to prevent complications.

Treatment

Your doctor will prescribe a safe antibiotic and you can do your bit by drinking lots of water to flush out the germs in the bladder. Urinate regularly, especially after sexual intercourse to prevent another infection. Always remember to wipe from front to back after you urinate. This prevents the spread of bacteria. Perform a urine test after your treatment to check if your urine is clear of bacteria.



Anupama