How To Treat Uti In Pregnancy

What Are The Common Causes Of Utis


Your urinary tract is normally free of bacteria. If bacteria enter the tract and multiply, they can cause a UTI. There are several factors that increase the risk of developing an infection:

  • Infection with common bacteria in your gut, usually from faeces can contaminate your urinary tract
  • Being sexually active increases the risk of bacteria moving around the genital area and entering the urinary tract
  • If you have weak pelvic floor muscles your bladder might not empty completely, which can lead to an infection
  • Women with diabetes are at increased risk of developing a UTI since the sugar in their urine may cause bacteria to multiply

How Is Uti Diagnosed

When you discover UTI symptoms in females, its time to get them diagnosed. UTI is diagnosed with a urine routine test that looks at pus cells. After then the culture test is performed to confirm the type of bacteria responsible for UTI This is conducted during the trimester of pregnancy. Your doctor will ask for your urine sample and send it to the lab for a test. If the bacteria are found in the urine, it is further tested for antibiotic sensitivities in order to check which antibiotic or treatment will work most effectively. In a few cases, a Voiding Cystourethrogram imaging test is performed. It helps in determining the type of bacterial growth in women. Such types of infection need immediate attention. Although antibiotic medicines are available for treatment, the most effective treatment is Ayurvedic medicines.

Why Are Utis Common During Pregnancy

UTIs are common during pregnancy. Thats because the growing fetus can put pressure on the bladder and urinary tract. This traps bacteria or causes urine to leak.

There are also physical changes to consider. As early as six weeks gestation, almost all pregnant women experience ureteral dilation, when the urethra expands and continues to expand until delivery.

The larger urinary tract, along with increased bladder volume and decreased bladder tone, all cause the urine to become more still in the urethra. This allows bacteria to grow.

To make matters worse, a pregnant womans urine gets more concentrated. It also has certain types of hormones and sugar. These can encourage bacterial growth and lower your bodys ability to fight off bad bacteria trying to get in.

2 and 10 percent of pregnant women experience a UTI. Even more worrisome, UTIs tend to reoccur frequently during pregnancy.

Women whove had UTIs before are more prone to get them during pregnancy. The same goes for women whove had several children.

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Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnancy

, MD, PhD, University of Texas Health Medical School at Houston, McGovern Medical School

Urinary tract infection Introduction to Urinary Tract Infections Urinary tract infections can be divided into upper tract infections, which involve the kidneys , and lower tract infections, which involve the bladder , urethra… read more is common during pregnancy, apparently because of urinary stasis, which results from hormonal ureteral dilation, hormonal ureteral hypoperistalsis, and pressure of the expanding uterus against the ureters. Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs in about 15% of pregnancies and sometimes progresses to symptomatic cystitis Cystitis Bacterial urinary tract infections can involve the urethra, prostate, bladder, or kidneys. Symptoms may be absent or include urinary frequency, urgency, dysuria, lower abdominal pain… read more or pyelonephritis Acute pyelonephritis Bacterial urinary tract infections can involve the urethra, prostate, bladder, or kidneys. Symptoms may be absent or include urinary frequency, urgency, dysuria, lower abdominal pain… read more . Frank UTI is not always preceded by asymptomatic bacteriuria.

Asymptomatic bacteriuria, UTI, and pyelonephritis increase risk of

  • Nitrofurantoin

  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole

After treatment, proof-of-cure cultures are required.

Women who have pyelonephritis or have had more than one UTI may require suppressive therapy, usually with TMP/SMX or nitrofurantoin, for the rest of the pregnancy.

How To Treat A Uti During Pregnancy

UTI in Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes and more

Theres nothing quite like realizing you have a UTI. The burning sensation when you pee, running to the bathroom every other minute, turning to cranberry juice to relieve the pain you know the drill. Now imagine having a UTI while pregnant. Today, Stix is talking about UTIs during pregnancy, what causes them, and how to treat them.

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How Common Are Utis During Pregnancy

At least 5 percent of women can expect to develop at least one UTI during pregnancy those who develop one have a 1 in 3 chance of an encore later.

During pregnancy, the compression of your expanding uterus, the muscle-relaxing hormones flooding your body and the challenge of keeping your perineal area clean due to your baby bump make it even easier for intestinal bacteria to enter your urinary tract, leading to UTIs.

While bladder infections are more common among non-pregnant women, kidney infections are about twice as common in expecting women as bladder infections. That said, they’re still quite rare, occurring in only about 2 percent of pregnancies.

What Causes A Urine Infection

Most urine infections are caused by bacteria which come from your own bowel. They cause no harm in your bowel but can cause infection if they get into other parts of your body. Some bacteria lie around your back passage after you pass a stool . These bacteria can sometimes travel to your urethra and into your bladder. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause infection.

Women are more prone than men to urine infections, as their urethra is shorter and opens nearer the anus. Pregnant women are also more prone than non-pregnant women to urine infections. This is partly due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy which affect the urinary tract and tend to slow down the flow of urine. It also may be that the enlarged womb presses on the bladder and prevents it draining as well. If urine does not drain quickly from the bladder, germs are more able to multiply and cause an infection.

Less commonly there may be other causes of a urine infection. If you have to have a tube passed into your bladder, it is easier for germs to directly reach your bladder, and this may make urine infection more likely. Occasionally for people whose immune systems are not working well, the infection may spread through the bloodstream rather than up the urinary tubes.

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Can A Urine Infection Affect My Pregnancy

If you have a kidney infection when you are pregnant, you can feel very unwell. If left untreated, it may also cause problems such as early labour and/or a small baby. A kidney infection is uncommon but may develop as a complication from a bladder infection or from a urine infection. There may be no symptoms at first .

Uti Diagnosis And Treatment

Treat Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy

Think you may have a UTI? The standard way to diagnose one is a urine culture. Most doctors will ask for a clean catch sample, where you pee into a cup midstream after carefully wiping your outer vaginal area.

If you are diagnosed with a UTI, your doctor will likely provide a pregnancy-safe antibiotic for seven to 14 days to get rid of all of the bacteria. Be sure to take the recommended full course, even if you start to feel better midway through treatment, and drink plenty of water.

If the infection has reached your kidneys, your practitioner may suggest staying in the hospital, where you can receive IV antibiotics.

Keep in mind: Some women have a UTI with no symptoms at all. Because an untreated infection can lead to complications including kidney infection and, potentially, an increased risk of fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia and preterm birth notify your provider immediately if you have any UTI-like symptoms.

Likewise, the urine tests at your regular prenatal visits are really important.

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Causes Of Urine Infections

Women are more likely to get urine infections than men. In women, the tube that carries urine out of the bladder is shorter than in men. So it’s easier for germs to get into a womans bladder than a mans bladder.

Pregnant women are also more prone to getting urine infections due to:

  • hormonal changes
  • the pressure of your baby and womb on your bladder, which may prevent it from emptying properly when you pee

You can reduce your chances of getting a urine infection in pregnancy by:

  • wiping yourself from front to back after going to the toilet or when you are washing your genital area
  • emptying your bladder before and after sex
  • going to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to pee

Consulting Your Health Care Professional

  • 1Contact your doctor right away if you believe you might have a UTI. UTIs are more likely to develop into kidney infections in pregnant women than in women who aren’t pregnant. By treating your UTI right away with antibiotics you’ll reduce the risk of a more serious infection.XResearch source
  • 2Consult your doctor before using additional supplements. You may come across articles recommending UTI prevention regimens such as d-mannose, a kind of sugar related to glucose which may prevent certain kinds of bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Far less research has been done on the impact of these supplements upon pregnant women. Never begin a supplement regimen without asking your doctor about its potential risks and benefits for your health and the health of your child.XResearch source
  • 3Ask your doctor about vaccines. Although vaccines for UTI were in development stages in 2014, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan, among other institutions, are actively pursuing vaccine research. Scientists are confident vaccines will be a viable treatment approach in the future.XResearch sourceXTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source they are expected to be available in the next couple of years.Advertisement
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    Common Uti Symptoms In Pregnant Women

    While mildly painful urination during pregnancy can often mean a yeast infection, not a UTI, its always best to see your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms, says Heather Bartos, MD, an ob-gyn in Cross Roads, Texas. After all, research suggests that about 18 percent of UTIs that occur during pregnancy are symptomatic UTIs, meaning the telltale UTI signs and symptoms are present:

    • Strong and frequent urge to use the bathroom
    • Burning while urinating
    • Foul-smelling urine
    • Pelvic pain, usually in the center of the pelvis

    In pregnancy, women are also more susceptible to asymptomatic UTIs, meaning you have significant bacteria in your urine but your urinary tract is free of signs and symptoms. Experiencing no symptoms, however, does not mean that asymptomatic UTIs are benign. An asymptomatic UTI can lead to a symptomatic UTI or even a kidney infection, says Dr. Bartos. In fact, research shows that if asymptomatic UTIs are left untreated, 30 percent of pregnant women will go on to develop a symptomatic UTI, and half of those women will eventually be diagnosed with acute pyelonephritis . Up to 23 percent will have a kidney infection recurrence during the same pregnancy. Its important to note that classic UTI signs, like frequent and painful urination, may or may not occur with a kidney infection. Here, some signs to look out for:

    Cranberry Juice Or Extract

    Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnancy: Know Causes ...

    Cranberry can help prevent E. coli from attaching to the urinary tract lining and creating a biofilm, so its also good for use as a preventative. It does not however prevent E. coli from replicating.

    Cranberry also inhibits the growth of gram positive bacteria from Staphylococcus aureus, though it doesnt get rid of existing biofilm. Cranberry juice can also be used, but it should be unsweetened. However, it can be a little too tart for most taste buds.

    Where to buy? Most local grocery stores will have organic, unsweetened cranberry juice. You can also use this concentrate form. Shoot for 16-32 ounces of juice per day.

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    Treatments For A Uti During Pregnancy

    Staying hydrated

    When you are pregnant, staying hydrated is important to the health and development of your baby.

    Beyond prenatal health benefits, drinking water consistently can also provide benefits to your urinary tract health.

    Studies show that drinking water and staying hydrated can help flush out bacteria and infection from the urinary tract.

    Drinking cranberry juice

    Cranberry can be consumed in the form of unsweetened juice or convenient supplement pills.

    Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is a popular remedy for treating UTIs. A few studies suggest that cranberry juice may help prevent UTIs, but no research supports the idea that cranberry juice can cure or treat a UTI beyond easing some of the uncomfortable symptoms.

    One study shows the ingredients in cranberry juice may help prevent infection-causing E. coli bacteria from collecting on the cells inside the walls of the bladder and urinary tract, which can reduce the risk of developing a UTI. Another study shows cranberry helps to stop bacteria from lingering in the urinary tract, which might help preventing infection, though more research is needed to confirm this holds true for people.

    Research shows that cranberry juice does not put the mother and baby at risk when consumed during pregnancy. Studies suggest promising results from using cranberry juice to manage UTIs while pregnant.

    Consuming ascorbic acid

    Risks And Outlook For A Uti In Pregnancy

    Because of growing concern for antibiotic resistance, researchers are looking for alternative treatments for UTIs.

    While several methods show promise as effective treatments for UTIs in pregnant women, more research is needed, and antibiotics remain the most common and understood form of treatment.

    It is important to seek medical attention if you are pregnant and think you may have a UTI. When not treated properly, UTIs can be harmful to you and your baby. Always consult with your doctor before trying a new home remedy.

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    Physiological Changes Of Pregnancy And Its Association With Urinary Tract Infections

    Pregnancy increases the risk of UTIs. At around 6th week of pregnancy, due to the physiological changes of pregnancy the ureters begin to dilate. This is also known as hydronephrosis of pregnancy, which peaks at 22-26 weeks and continues to persist until delivery. Both progesterone and estrogens levels increase during pregnancy and these will lead to decreased ureteral and bladder tone. Increased plasma volume during pregnancy leads to decrease urine concentration and increased bladder volume. The combination of all these factors lead to urinary stasis and uretero-vesical reflux. Glycosuria in pregnancy is also another well-known factor which predisposes mothers to UTI.

    Utis During Pregnancy Are Common And Treatable

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    As you adjust to new changes in your body during pregnancy, it can be easy to overlook symptoms of everyday health conditions, such as urinary tract infections . UTIs are equally common in pregnant and non-pregnant patients and usually require medication to clear the infection.

    But if left untreated during pregnancy, a UTI can progress to s serious infection that can lead to preterm labor, premature delivery, or even fetal loss.

    UTIs occur when bacteria enter and grow in the urinary tract. During pregnancy, your bladder which is in the lower part of your urinary tract is less likely to empty entirely when you urinate, thanks to pressure from your expanding uterus and an increase in hormones that relax the muscles in your uterus. The longer urine stays in your body, the higher the chances that youll grow too much bacteria.

    We watch for three types of UTIs during pregnancy:

    Because UTIs are prevalent during pregnancy, we request a urine sample to conduct a culture test as part of your prenatal care. The test looks for specific types of bacteria in your urine that can cause an infection.

    We will likely test your urine multiple times throughout your pregnancy. But dont assume were looking for a UTI every time this is a common misconception. Its important to talk with your doctor if you experience UTI symptoms to make sure you get the right test. The earlier we diagnose a UTI, the sooner we can treat you and prevent a more dangerous condition.

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    How Is Uti Diagnosed During Pregnancy

    UTI diagnosis is routinely carried out during all prenatal visits using urine samples of expectant mothers. The sample is then examined for white blood cells or bacteria . Further, a urine culture and antibiotic susceptibility test identify the type of bacteria and response to antibiotics. Based on the tests, you may be prescribed a course of antibiotics.

    The following diagnostic imaging tests are used to understand the extent of infection and damage caused by the UTI during pregnancy :

    • Ultrasound: It uses sound waves to generate a two-dimensional map of the body part. It helps the doctor better understand the urinary tract blockage and perform differential diagnoses.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging : MRI is a non-invasive method of imaging using non-ionizing radiation and is safe to use during pregnancy. It generates clear images of the infected region.
    • Computerized tomography : It generates a 3D scan of the urinary tract to identify blocks or stones. Although a CT scan is not the method of choice during pregnancy, a doctor may evaluate its risk-to-benefit ratio and take a call.

    How To Treat Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy

    This article was co-authored by Robert Dhir, MD. Dr. Robert Dhir is a board certified Urologist, Urological Surgeon, and the Founder of HTX Urology in Houston, Texas. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Dhirs expertise includes minimally-invasive treatments for enlarged prostate , kidney stone disease, surgical management of urological cancers, and mens health . His practice has been named a Center of Excellence for the UroLift procedure, and is a pioneer in non-surgical procedures for ED using his patented Wave Therapy. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and was awarded honors in pre-medical studies, urology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Dr. Dhir served as chief resident during his urological surgical residency at University of Texas at Houston / MD Anderson Cancer Center in addition to completing his internship in general surgery. Dr. Dhir was voted Top Doctor in Urology for 2018 to 2019, one of the top three Best Rated Urologists in 2019 & 2020 for Houston Texas, and Texas Monthly has named him to the 2019 & 2020 Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars list.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 13,037 times.

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