UTI During Pregnancy
Yup, you're more prone to urinary tract infections during pregnancy (sorry!). So how can you safely treat one -- and prevent more in the future? We've got all the info you want to know about UTIs during pregnancy.
What is a urinary tract infection (UTI) during pregnancy?
A urinary tract infection is inflammation in your urinary tract caused by bacteria. (UTIs are also called bladder infections.) We hate to break it to you, but you’re more prone to UTIs during pregnancy. That’s because as baby grows, he puts plenty of pressure on your bladder and can prevent it from draining normally. Any bacteria that gets trapped in there can cause an infection.
What are the signs of a UTI during pregnancy?
You might have pain or discomfort when you pee, or you might have to pee more often than usual. You should also check the toilet bowl. A UTI could cause your urine to have blood or mucus in it or to be very cloudy (it might smell strong too). You could also have pain during sex or what feel like cramps. A particularly serious UTI will include back pain, fever and nausea.
Are there any tests for UTIs during pregnancy?
“We usually do a urine culture to detect a UTI,” says Lara Simondi, a certified nurse-midwife at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. You’ll have to pee in a cup, and your urine will likely get sent to a lab for analysis. “When you get all your blood work done at the beginning of pregnancy, your health care provider will probably check for UTIs since sometimes there are no obvious symptoms,” says Simondi.
How common is a UTI during pregnancy?
They’re pretty darn common, especially after week six of pregnancy.
How did I get a UTI during pregnancy?
It’s hard to say what may have caused your UTI, but know that it’s completely normal to have had one during pregnancy. Sometimes germs can enter the urethra during sex or when you go to the bathroom.
How will my UTI affect my baby?
As long as you get it treated right away, it won’t. But if you don’t, it could turn into a kidney infection, which can trigger preterm labor and cause low birth weight (see next page for treatments).