Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are infections in the urinary tract that all people can develop, but are common in pregnant women and can be harmful if left untreated.
What causes UTIs?
UTIs happen when one of several different types of bacteria gets into your urinary tract, and causes infection. Your womb rests directly on top of your bladder, so when you’re pregnant, your growing womb and baby may put some extra pressure on your bladder, causing a blockage in the draining system and allowing a UTI to develop.
What are some symptoms of UTIs?
The most common symptom of UTIs is a burning sensation when trying to pee. Others include:
- Strong need to go
- Painful sex
- Bloody urine
- Pain in the bladder or lower abdomen
- Changes in amount or smell of urine
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to call your healthcare provider and get it checked out, as a UTI can be very dangerous for both you and Baby if left untreated.
How can UTIs affect a baby?
If left untreated, UTIs can turn into kidney infections. As is so often the case whenever a mom’s general health is in question, a kidney infection can result in a baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight. It’s very important that you contact your healthcare provider right away so he or she can treat it.
How can I treat UTIs?
UTIs are usually treatable by a 3-7 day regimen of antibiotics, even during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be able to figure out which antibiotic would work best in your particular case.
Can UTIs be prevented?
UTIs can’t completely be prevented, but there are definitely some ways to help:
- Drink plenty of water
- Always pee before and after sex
- Wipe from front to back when you use the bathroom
- If approved by your healthcare provider, adding a little extra vitamin C to your diet can help, as it has strong properties that fight disease and infection
UTIs can be a nuisance, but they don’t have to be dangerous. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if you notice any symptoms!
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Urinary tract infection (UTI).” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 7/23/2015. Web.
- John E. Delzelln Jr., MD., Michael L. LeFevre, MD, MSPH. “Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnnacy.” American Family Physician. 61(3):713-720. Web. Feburary 1 2000.
- “Urinary tract infection fact sheet.” Womenshealth.gov. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 12/23/2014. Web.