UTI during pregnancy

UTI is urinary tract infection and is more common in women than in men. It is characterized by urine that is infested with bacteria. At least 2 in 10 pregnant women suffer from UTI. The main cause of UTI during pregnancy is the increase of progesterone hormone that keeps the bladder and urinary tract in a relaxed position. As a result the urine tends to stay in the bladder for longer period. For the bacteria this is the ideal breeding condition. They accumulate in the urinary tract and grow rapidly.

This is when UTI develops. The symptoms of UTI are burning sensation while peeing and an urge to urinate after every few minutes. The urge to pee is very string though you might not actually be able to do so. Also the color of the urine changes; it is more clouded in appearance and there is a foul smell. Some women may also experience physical discomfort like backache, abdominal pain, chills, high fever, nausea and pelvic contractions.
All pregnant women are tested for UTI. This test is carried out four times during the length of the pregnancy.

However, if a woman feels any discomfort related to UTI during any stage of pregnancy she should immediately seek help. UTI can cause kidney infection in some cases or if treatment is not given in time. Urinary tract infection increases the chances of premature delivery and also causes low birth weight in babies. In some cases, UTI may develop after delivery. The cause can be the catheter that is inserted inside the urinary tract post partum.

Urinary tract infection can be easily avoided by following a few healthy habits.Drink plenty of water, at least 8-10 glasses to keep the functioning of the urinary tract normal.Drinking cranberry juice drastically reduces the chances of developing UTI. Cranberry juice is known to act upon the bacteria in the urine tract by inhibiting their growth.

Avoid douching and don’t hold urine for long. Empty the bladder as soon as you feel the need to.While cleaning yourself always wipe front to back. This limits the bacteria in the rectum from spreading. Clean your genital area properly with a mild, non-perfume soap. Using scented products can upset the bacteria balance in the urethra.

Treatment for UTI involves a week long course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.

Anubha Pandey