If you have ever had a urinary tract infection, you know how painful they can be. During pregnancy, the infection can feel even worse. A UTI is the last thing you want to be thinking of when you'd rather be considering baby names and decorations for the nursery. Think you feel that familiar urge to urinate and the pain that comes with it? Read this guide to ensure that your pregnancy remains a safe one.
Recognize the Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection
A UTI forms when bacteria enters the urethra and begin to grow, sometimes entering the kidney or bladder. The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:
- Frequent, increased desire to urinate
- Burning sensation in the urethra
- Pain during and after urination
- Cloudy or smelly urine
- Spots of blood in the urine
Prevent Further Instances of UTI
Tired of experiencing the pain of the infamous urinary tract infection? Try to avoid the common culprits, like these:
- Bad Hygiene - Wiping from front to back after you have a bowel movement is essential. Otherwise, bacteria from the anus can enter the urethra and wreak havoc.
- Not Urinating - Holding in your urine can cause bacteria to grow. This is especially the case if you fail to urinate soon after having sexual intercourse.
- Tight Clothing - Underwear that is tight against the crotch and not made of cotton can contribute to the cause of a UTI.
Unfortunately, there are some things you cannot avoid during pregnancy. The high progesterone levels you experience during pregnancy cause the urethra's muscles to relax and allow bacteria to come in. Additionally, the growth of your fetus puts pressure on the bladder, making it very difficult to urinate completely.
Seek Treatment Immediately
Once you recognize those telltale symptoms, you need to hit up urgent care quickly. There, an urgent care physician will take a urine sample and possibly put you on an antibiotic. If you fail to treat a UTI during pregnancy, the infection can quickly spread to the kidneys and the bloodstream. This can be life-threatening not only for you, but also for the child growing inside you. The result can be pre-term labor or the birth of a baby with low weight.
Prevent Urinary Tract Infections Now
As a pregnant women, you do not want to take any chances. Take the following steps to ensure that you do not face the consequences of a urinary tract infection during pregnancy:
- Drink lots of water, even though it may cause you to urinate more often. Hydration is the key to flushing out your system.
- Consider drinking cranberry juice (with no sugar added). This makes your urine more acidic, which helps to stop bacteria from growing.
- If you use a lubricant during sexual intercourse, ensure that it is waster-based.
- Don't bathe with bubbles or strong soap.
No matter how far along in your pregnancy you happen to be, urinary tract infections are no joke. Keep your little one (and yourself) safe by preventing and treating these infections as soon as you can.