Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Pregnancy, More Common Than You Think!

So, What is UTI?

A UTI or Urinary Tract Infection is an infection of any part of your urinary system – your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract – the bladder and urethra.

If you have the following symptoms you probably have UTI:

• Frequent need to urinate

• Urgency (an urgent need to urinate)

• Dysuria (burning sensation during urination)

• Hesitancy (trouble with initiating/maintaining a urine stream)

• Lower abdominal pain

• Urine that looks cloudy or has an odour

UTI in pregnancy, more common than you think!

10% of all pregnancies are complicated with a UTI and 2% of UTIs are due to infection of the kidney. This is due to previously untreated UTI, as some women may not experience any symptoms. UTIs are more common in pregnancy and are related to preterm labour.

Why is it common in pregnancy?

There are several factors as to why UTIs are more common among pregnant women:

Factor 1 –

  • During pregnancy, your body’s changes cause an increase in blood volume, hence more urine is filtered out. 
  • This in turn increases your bladder volume. As your bladder and urethral muscles are stretched more than before, it is weaker in tone. 
  • This causes urine to remain longer in the bladder, leading to UTI. 
  • Additionally, urine backflow from the bladder to the ureters and kidney can also occur, giving rise to UTI. 

Factor 2 –

  • Up to 70% of pregnant women develop excess sugar in the urine which can also promote bacterial growth in the urine.

Factor 3 –

  • An increase in pregnancy hormones such as progestins and oestrogens in the urine may lead to a decreased ability of the lower urinary tract to resist invading bacteria, thus promoting the growth of some strains of bacteria.

Here’s how you can prevent or treat UTI

  • Wear loose cotton underwear
  • Drink plenty of plain water
  • Avoid using soaps or body wash in the genital area
  • Using only water is enough
  • Avoid douching

And most importantly, get in touch with medical professionals for help

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