Women go through lots of health issues during pregnancy mostly because of the hormonal changes which take place during this period. Urinary tract infections are some of the issues many women will have to face during pregnancy. They are bacterial infections which can occur at any part of the urinary tract leaving you in pain and a lot of discomfort hence the need to ensure that you are treating the infection as soon as it shows up.
The UTIs can attack the kidneys, the ureters which are responsible in carrying urine to the bladder from the kidneys, the bladder or even the urethra. They are all essential parts of the urinary tract and if left untreated, the infections can lead to serious damage. The UTIs are common in pregnancy as a result of pressure that the stretching uterus causes. This makes it harder for the urine to be expelled from the body and this delay creates a perfect thriving ground for the bacteria which cause the infections.
The hormone progesterone is also to blame for the urinary tract infections in pregnancy. This is because it has a relaxing effect on the ureters muscles which in turn also slow the process of getting rid of the waste thus creating that perfect thriving ground for the bacteria as well. The uterus will pummel the bladder as it grows and this is a situation that only gets worse as the baby continues to grow. It makes it possible got the bacteria to multiply fast and also enter the urinary tract from other parts of the body including the skin.
Women are more prone to the urinary tract infections compared to men basically because of their biological design of the genitals making it easier for bacteria to find its way into the tract from different other areas. The sooner they are identified, the better it will be to treat before they develop into serious issues. Some of the symptoms of urinary tract infections to look out for during pregnancy include frequent and urgent urination, pain and burning sensation during urination, pains and cramps on the lower abdomen and cloudy smelly urine.
As soon as you suspect that you have an infection of the urinary tract, your doctor will ask for a urine sample which he will use to read the results to determine the presence of the bacteria and will therefore manage to recommend a most suitable treatment. Antibiotics are prescribed in most cases after the urine is analyzed in the lab. They are safe during pregnancy but you need to ensure that you are taking only those which are prescribed by the doctor.
There are several things that you can do to avoid urinary tract infections during pregnancy;
- Drink water in plenty
- Observe your urine in terms of color and the smell since this can easily help you identify the infection early
- Avoid holding the urine for long and when you finally urinate ensure that you completely empty the bladder
- After using the bathroom, ensure that you wipe from front to back to avoid bringing bacteria to the urethra