Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) During Pregnancy
Urinary tract infection(UTI) can occur at any age but urinary tract infection (UTI) during pregnancy is more a matter of concern.The pregnant women are more vulnerable to the infection as the urinary tract undergoes changes during pregnancy can cause preterm labour.
Pregnancy is a life changing moment for a woman. A number of emotional and physical changes occur during the nine months of pregnancy and women need to take greater care of themselves. As a woman’s body undergoes significant transformations during pregnancy, she is also vulnerable to certain infections such as UTI.
Consequence of Urinary Tract Infection during pregnancy –
Any infection can lead to rupture of membranes and preterm labour.If a pregnant woman is exposed to infectious agents during pregnancy, the consequences to the foetus can be life threatening. Intrauterine infections get to the baby through the mother’s blood and across the placenta.
The ascent of a bacteria or virus through the vagina will ultimately infect the amniotic sac and fluid. Rupture of the sac and premature labor and delivery follow.
When it comes to bacterial vaginosis (BV),having the infection upsets the balance of bacteria in the vagina. It can cause following symptoms –
1• Vaginal itching
2• Vaginal discharge
3• Unusual smell
4• Burning sensation during urination.
UTIs are generally painful. Common symptoms include-
1• Persistent urge to urinate
2• Cloudy or red urine
3• Strong smelling urine
4• Burning sensation during urination
5• Pelvic pain
If you have a kidney infection, you may have-
4• Upper back pain, often on just one side
1.UTI is an inflammation in the urinary system. UTI can occur in your kidneys, bladder, ureters or urethra, but they most commonly affect the bladder and urethra.
2.Serious infections can also enter the uterus through the vagina through a vaginal infection or a urinary tract infection (UTI).Vaginal infections (bacterial vaginosis or BV) and UTI can lead to infections within a pregnant uterus. These are commonly E. coli, Group B Streptococcus, or other bacteria.
3.Hormonal changes creates changes in the urinary tract which leads to Vesicoureteral reflux.It is a condition in which your pee flows back up from your bladder to your kidneys and causes UTI.
4.Pregnant women have an increased risk for UTI, generally between weeks 6-24 of pregnancy. The increasing weight of the uterus, as it grows during pregnancy.It can block drainage of urine to the bladder.This can cause a UTI.
5.Sexual activity with fingers, your partner’s penis or devices can move bacteria near your vagina into your urethra and causes UTI.
Pyelonephritis is a UTI that affects the kidneys. If you’re pregnant it can cause –
1• Preterm labor
2• Severe infection
4• Adult respiratory distress syndrome
5• Long term infection
You doctor will advise you for urine test to check the status of bacteria and Red and White blood cells.
A urine culture may also be checked. It shows what kind of bacteria are in the urine.
Generally, your physician will prescribe antibiotics for a course of 3-7 days depending on the cause of UTI.The symptoms usually go away in 3 days but the complete medication course must be taken to avoid recurrence of the infection.
Many common antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, erythromycin, penicillin are considered safe for pregnant women.
Ciprofloxacin, Sulfamethoxa- zole, tetracycline, trimethoprim would not be prescribed for UTI as they affect baby’s development
1• Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
2• Don’t douche
3• Avoid strong feminine deodorants or soaps
4• Wear cotton underwear
5• Take showers instead of baths
6• Don’t wear tight pants
7• Urinate often
8• Wipe yourself from front to back when you go to bathroom
9• Empty your bladder shortly before and after sex
10• Avoid alcohol, citrus juices, spicy food and caffeinated drinks, Which can irritate your bladder.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
In Ayurveda, it is believed that there are three energies Vata, pitta and kapha in the body which are responsible for the good health. UTI is due to the imbalance of pitta dosha.
Beneficial Herbs –
1• Badi elaichi – It is known to provide relief against a burning sensation and also helps in preventing repetitive UTI occurences.
2• Coriander – It has coolant and anti inflammatory properties.
3• Amla – It creates an acidic environment in urinary tract, which hinders the growth of harmful bacteria that causes UTI.
4• Blueberries – It has antioxidant and bacteria inhibitory properties.
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