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Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy or UTI infection is a condition that affects the urinary tract which is caused by a bacterial infection and could afflict men and women.It is also referred to as a bladder infection, which is not an alarming condition but one that could be treated.
Early detection of Urinary Tract Infection is imperative whether it is a man or woman ensuring it does not aggravate into something more serious and like anything else in life “a stitch in time saves nine”. When a man or woman detects the symptoms listed below she or he should immediately take action and consult a doctor and take the appropriate medication.
Pregnant women are more vulnerable of contracting UTI infection hence they would need to keep a close watch on themselves discuss issues with their health care provider or doctor and apprise them of the relevant changes that occur regularly.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is common during pregnancy:
Extensive studies have indicated that Urinary Tract Infection is common in pregnant women and that they are more likely to be infected than men and normal women. The reason for pregnant women to contract UTI infection more often than not is due to the changes that take place in their bodies during the period of the pregnancy.
The urinary tract undergoes certain inevitable changes during the pregnancy and this is what causes UTI infection in pregnant women. The uterus or the womb is placed just above the urinary tract in the bodies of women as men may not have the uterus. When the fetus grows the uterus or the womb grows too and this causes it to sit on the urinary tract thus placing pressure on it by the increasing weight of the womb or uterus.
When the womb sits on the urinary tract the latter could get blocked thus causing Urinary Tract Infection especially in pregnant women who are vulnerable to this inevitable and unavoidable condition.
The symptoms of UTI:
Those who would have contracted Urinary Tract Infection would experience one or more of the following conditions;
- When passing urine experiencing a burning sensation or even excruciating pain
- An urge to pass urine more often than not
- Wanting to pass urine as soon as possible due to the uneasy feeling experienced.
- Passing mucus or blood along with the urine
- Experiencing sudden pains or cramps in the lower abdomen
- Painful vaginal intercourse
- Fever, chills and sweating coupled with the unintentional passing of urine
- Frequently waking up at night to urinate
- Inconsistent quantum change in passed urine
- Strong smelling urine
- Urine that looks cloudy
- When the Urine Tract Infection reaches the kidneys, severe back pain, nausea, fever, and other uncomfortable feelings would envelop the body
If any of the above symptoms are observed it is imperative that a doctor is consulted especially if a woman is pregnant as it could get aggravated and reach the kidneys causing more complications.
UTI and the baby:
If UTI infection is not treated forthwith especially in pregnant women the bacteria affecting the urinary tract could move up into the kidneys. When the kidneys are infected it could cause low birth weight in the baby or even premature delivery. If a pregnant woman keeps a close look at herself during her pregnancy, and detects the changes in her body and is treated immediately by a doctor especially when she contracts Urinary Tract Infection it will not have any adverse effects on her baby.
During pregnancy women undergo many tests to ensure that they are in good health and if there are any complications for the issues to be treated. Two of the regular tests conducted would be a urinalysis and urine culture which would indicate early before it aggravates that there is a possibility that Urinary Tract Infection could occur.
Regular testing is advisable which would be advised by the health care provider and if there are any traces of UTI infection it would need to be treated even before it gets out of control.
Treating UTI during pregnancy:
Urinary Tract Infection in pregnant women is generally treated by doctors with the administration of a course of antibiotics which would be safe for the mother as well as for the baby. Doctors know well and would prescribe only mild or permissible antibiotics during pregnancy.
Antibiotics should be avoided during pregnancy but if issues like UTI infection occur it needs to be treated immediately as it could lead to other more serious complications like a kidney infection.
Whilst a pregnant woman is on antibiotics due to a Urinary Tract Infection it would be advisable to follow some of the home remedies which have been tried and tested to be effective in treating such conditions. A two-pronged initiative with the latter natural and safe the UTI infection could be cured sooner rather than later. The following home remedies could be followed.
- Drinking plenty of water
- Consuming cranberries in any form, such as juice, dried or even as supplements.
- Pass urine as much as possible and as often as needed
- Increased intake of Vitamin C, by way of oranges and other fruits with the high content of vitamin C
As mentioned above, when a woman gets pregnant many changes occur in her body hence doing everything possible to keep issues at bay may be difficult and one of them would be UTI infection. Following a strict discipline would do well rather than waiting for the inevitable.
The following home remedies could help in either preventing or reducing the risk of UTI infection in pregnant women.
- Drink as much water as possible
- Drink a glass or two of cranberry juice daily
- Refrain from consuming alcohol, fruit juices with preservatives, coffee, tea, and excess sugar
- Take in Vitamin C, Beta-Carotene, and Zinc to prevent infections. Information on the dosage could be obtained from your health care provider.
- Empty bladder completely when urinating
- Avoid vaginal intercourse when on UTI infection treatment
- Clear the bladder before and after vaginal intercourse
- Keep genital areas clean by washing with mild soap
- Change underwear often, which would be cotton at best