There are a few things that can make pregnant women more susceptible to UTIs, like higher levels of progesterone (which can slow the flow of urine), loss of bladder muscle tone, and changes in hormones and pH levels. Also, pregnant women have shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel up to the bladder. And finally, pregnant women often have difficulty with hygiene because of their changing bodies and increased bathroom trips.
Pregnant women are more susceptible to urinary infections for a number of reasons. First, their urine is less acidic and contains higher levels of glucose, which promotes the growth of bacteria. Second, pregnant women are considered immune-compromised and thus more prone to infection. Finally, the physiological changes during pregnancy increase the risk of complications.
Some of the most common bacterial infections that can occur during pregnancy include urinary tract infections (UTIs), asymptomatic bacteriuria, acute cystitis, and acute pyelonephritis. Any of these conditions can put the mother and fetus at risk for serious complications. Some of these conditions can lead to preterm birth, increased prenatal mortality, and low birth weight in infants.
Urinary infections can cause discomfort, acute misery, and even serious health problems if not treated on time. Most of these illnesses are limited to the urethra and bladder but occasionally, if left untreated, can spread to the kidneys. The hormones released in the body during pregnancy make women more predisposed to developing this condition.
Pregnant women should take extra care to maintain good hygiene habits and if they develop an infection, they should seek treatment right away to prevent any complications. Some common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a burning sensation during urination, needing to urinate more often than usual, difficulty urinating, cramps or burning in the lower abdomen or back, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, etc.
If asymptomatic bacteriuria is diagnosed in a pregnant woman, it could result in a low birth weight baby or preterm labor. This may also lead to the development of a kidney infection. Pregnant women can get themselves tested by providing urine samples. Oral antibiotics are usually the best treatments for this condition.
Doctors suggest the use of antibiotics for treating bacterial infections during pregnancy. A full course of antibiotics should take care of the infection within a week. Regular testing and urine cultures help to monitor the condition and prevent it from recurring during the pregnancy.
To help prevent urinary infections during pregnancy, drink plenty of water and unsweetened cranberry juice. Cranberry juice can be especially helpful in preventing infections. Check the color of your urine often to make sure it’s not dark or straw-colored. When you feel the urge to urinate, go right away. Holding it in can cause infections.
Remember to wipe from the front to the back after you use the restroom, and clean the genital area well after sex. Wearing breathable, cotton fabrics provides good air circulation and helps avoid the breeding of bacteria. Showering instead of taking long baths is also helpful. Good hygiene during pregnancy is important to avoid complications.