Pregnant women are at increased risk for Urinary Tract Infection ( UTI), especially during week 6 through week 24. The most common reason is changes in the urinary tract during pregnancy. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of UTI are:
• Pain or burning (discomfort) when urinating
• The need to urinate more often than usual
• A feeling of urgency when you urinate
• Blood or mucus in the urine
• Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
• Pain during sexual intercourse
• Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine
• Waking up from sleep to urinate
• Change in amount of urine, either more or less
• Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong
• Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder
Pregnant women may do everything right but still get an infection. So, here are some tips to reduce the likelihood of getting a Urinary Infection:
• Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. It might be a bit difficult initially but try to drink minimum 8 glasses. You can try fruit infused (cucumber, lime, lemon) water to make it easier to drink. Unsweetened cranberry juice is also known to help with UTI.
• Try and reduce use of caffeine, alcohol, fruit juices and sugar.
• Develop a habit of passing urine as soon as the need is felt. Always empty your bladder completely.
• After passing urine, pat dry and keep the genital area clean and dry. Make sure you wipe from front to back while drying.
• Urinate before and after intercourse
• Avoid sex while being treated for Urinary Infection
• Avoid using strong soaps, powders and sprays in the genital area.
• Change your underwear everyday
• Wear Cotton underwear and avoid synthetic material
• Avoid wearing tight fitting pants.
• Keep your immunity high by eating healthy food and staying active (exercise regularly) during pregnancy.
If you experience any of the signs and symptoms of UTI, you should consult your doctor or care provider. Urinary Tract infection during pregnancy is usually treated with antibiotics, which are safe to use during this time. It is very important to get appropriate treatment as if left untreated, can lead to kidney infection which can be harmful to the mother and the growing baby.