UTI and pregnancy: How to spot it and what to do

A Urinary Tract Infection is a medical condition where your urinary system gets infected with bacteria. This could infect the kidney or the bladder. A UTI is more common in pregnant women due to the various changes occurring in the urinary tract. Progesterone hormone has relaxed the muscles of the ureter which connect the kidney and the bladder slowing down the passage of the urine. Also the uterus is expanding and exerting pressure causing some retention of urine. All these are conducive for the growth of bacteria.A UTI is usually spotted by the following symptoms:
  • Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine
  • Urge to urinate more often than usual or very urgently
  • Blood or mucous in the urine
  • Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
It could be even more serious if you experience fever, shaking, shivering, nausea, diarrhoea, etc. In case of any of these symptoms talk to your gynaecologist who might prescribe a urine test to confirm the UTI. In any case it is essential to get the UTI treated. Untreated UTI could lead to an infection in the kidney which may lead to pre-term delivery or low birth weight babies. If treated properly and at the early stages, it should have no effect on the baby. You will be prescribed medications post which another urine test will be conducted to confirm that the UTI has been cured. You could try the following to reduce your risks of a UTI:
  • Don’t hold on to your urine, go immediately
  • After urination, wipe yourself front to back
  • Use a mild cleanser to wash the vaginal area after urination and sex
  • Drink a lot of fluids