A few factors like higher levels of progesterone, slow flow of urine, loss of bladder muscle tone, hormonal and medical changes, difficulty with hygiene, short urethra in women, can cause frequent bacterial infections to the urinary tract during pregnancy. In addition, the urine in pregnant women is less acidic, as it contains higher levels of glucose. This medium promotes the growth of bacteria. Pregnant women are considered immune-compromised and thus prone to urinary infection. The physiological changes during pregnancy increase the risk of susceptibility to infections and other complications. Some of common bacterial infections include infection to the urinary tract, including the bladder, urethra and the kidneys, asymptomatic bacteriuria, acute cystitis and acute pyelonephritis. Any of these conditions can cause risk to the fetus and the mother. Some of these conditions can result in preterm birth, increased rate of prenatal mortality and low birth weight of the infants.
Urinary infection can cause a lot of discomfort and acute misery. But, they are not causes of serious health problems. Most of these illnesses are limited to the urethra and bladder. Occasionally, if not treated on time, it may spread to the kidneys. The hormones released in the body during pregnancy can make women predisposed to this condition. To prevent complications, pregnant women should be extra cautious about their hygiene and if infected, should get treated immediately. Some of the common symptoms are burning sensation during the process of urination, frequent and urgent need to urinate, facing difficulty to urinate, cramps or burning sensation in the lower abdomen or back, cloudy or odor-filled urine, etc.
If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with asymptomatic bacteriuria, it might 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 testing their urine samples. Oral antibiotics usually are the best treatments for this condition. Doctors suggest the use of antibiotics that are safe for usage during pregnancy. A full course should take care of the infection within a week’s time. Regular testing and urine cultures make sure that this condition is not repeated during the pregnancy.
One of the best bets is to prevent the occurrence of urinary infection during pregnancy. Drinking plenty of cranberry juice and water can help in the prevention of this condition. Drink cranberry juice without sugar for better effect. Keep checking the colour of urine often. Make sure that it is not dark or straw-colored. As soon as you feel the urge to urinate, you should let it out. Holding it in can cause infections. Always remember to wipe from the front to back after you use the restroom. Clean the genital area well after sex. Wearing breathable and cotton fabrics provide good air circulation and avoids the breeding of bacteria. Also take showers instead of long baths. Take good care of your hygiene during pregnancy and avoid unnecessary complications.