UTI During pregnancy: Can it be prevented?

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Here's all you need to know about the symptoms, treatment and prevention of Urinary tract infection (UTI) during pregnancy

Urinary tract infections are more common in women and they are also just as common once a woman gets pregnant. About 2 to 10 percent of pregnant women will experience this condition. Those who have had the infection before or have given birth multiple times are also especially at risk.

A UTI during pregnancy happens when external bacteria finds its way into the urethra or urinary tract. Because of the anatomy of a woman's urinary system, they are more prone to this condition.

As a fetus grows, so too does the pressure it places on the bladder and urinary tract of a mom-to-be. This increase in pressure can cause the trapping of bacteria or the leakage of urine.

What's more, a pregnant woman's urine changes in concentration and accumulates hormones and sugar. This can be conducive to bacterial growth. It can also weaken the body's capability to ward off bacteria.

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What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection during pregnancy?

If you're a mom-to-be and you experience some or all of the following, contact your doctor immediately:

  • a burning sensation or painful urination
  • cloudy urine
  • blood-tinged urine
  • pelvic pain or lower back pain
  • frequent urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting

How can a UTI during pregnancy be prevented?

Though UTIs are easily treated, it is still an infection. Acquiring any type of infection while pregnant poses certain risks to you and your baby, such as premature labor. So it's important to let your doctor know if you suspect you have the condition, for early intervention.

Here are ways to prevent UTI during pregnancy.

  • urinate often, particularly before and after intercourse
  • refrain from wearing tight underwear that's not cotton-based
  • don't wear underwear at all or wear loose underwear at night
  • refrain from douching or vaginal sprays that are too strong
  • Hydrate! Drink lots of water
  • Do not wash genitals with harsh, perfumed soaps

For the longest time, it's been said that drinking cranberry juice can cure and prevent this condition. But recent research are disproving these claims.

If you suspect you have a UTI, call your doctor to know for sure and so you can be given the best course of treatment. Early intervention as well as future prevention can help ensure that you will have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

sources: Healthline, Baby Center

READ: Edema and shortness of breath during the third trimester: What moms-to-be should know

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