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Are Pregnant Women More Prone To UTIs?

Among the many parts of the body that change while pregnant is the urinary tract. As the womb, which is positioned on top of the bladder, continues to get bigger, it puts pressure on the bladder and can prevent urine from draining effectively.

If urine is not released fully it blocks up, which can result in an infection.

One type of UTI that expectant mothers are particularly prone to is cystitis, specifically affecting the bladder itself. This is because as the urinary tract relaxes and expands during pregnancy, there is a greater risk of bacteria entering, and this could lead to infection.

 

– When is this likely to occur?

Changes to your body occur very early on in pregnancy, so women as early as six weeks pregnant could experience a UTI of some sort, as their urinary tract is already altering.

There is a greater risk of infection up until week 24, after which hormone changes tend to settle down more.

 

– What symptoms to look out for

UTI symptoms in pregnancy are much the same as for non-expectant women. You might first notice the need to pass urine more often than normal or having a feeling of urgency when you have to go.

Some people experience cramps in their lower back or stomach; tenderness or pressure in their bladder; or pain during sex.

Typically, sufferers identify it by experiencing a burning sensation when they wee, and passing water that is cloudy or strong smelling.

Pregnant women might be alarmed by seeing blood or mucus in their urine, thinking it has something to do with the baby. However, this is also a typical symptom of a UTI.

 

– Will it affect the baby?

Expectant mothers who think they have a UTI should treat it at the earliest opportunity to reduce the impact it might have on the unborn baby. If it is treated quickly and effectively, it will not harm the infant.

However, UTIs that are left untreated could lead to a bigger infection in the kidney. These have been known to cause pre-term labour and low birth weights, which can be dangerous for young babies.

 

– The best ways to avoid a UTI while pregnant

Women trying to avoid a UTI while pregnant should limit the opportunity for bacteria to enter their urinary tract.

Wiping from front to back when going to the bathroom is one of the most effective preventions of UTIs, as well as not using feminine deodorants, not wearing pants that are too tight or not cotton, and not having frequent long baths if you tend to have one every day.

It is also important to drink six to eight glasses of water daily, pass water as soon as you need to and empty your bladder completely, as well as urinate before and after sexual intercourse.

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