According to Medical News Today, Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are fairly common, and it's not rare that women can often experience them even while pregnant. However, if left untreated, a UTI can pose a serious health risk to pregnant women and their developing fetus.
A UTI is an infection that occurs in any part of the urinary system which includes the bladder and kidneys. Research also suggests that it is common for expecting mothers to get UTIs. According to one study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8% of pregnant women experience a UTI before giving birth.
What are some of the causes? During a woman's pregnancy, the uterus expands as it makes room for the growing fetus. When this happens the expansion puts pressure on the bladder and the ureters. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys straight to the bladder. Did you know that when you are pregnant your urine is less acidic and contains more proteins, sugars, and hormones during pregnancy? All of these combinations are factors that increase the risk of having a UTI.
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Women can also have UTIs during and after giving birth. When women are in labour, there is an increased risk of bacteria entering the urinary tract. After a woman gives birth, a woman may experience bladder sensitivity and swelling, which can make a UTI more likely to occur.
Think you might have a UTI? Here are some of the common symptoms:
• Urgent or frequent need to urinate• Burning sensation when urinating• Cloudy or strong-smelling urine• Blood in the urine• Pain in the lower back, abdomen, and sides
You should tell their doctor if they have blood in your urine, as this can be a sign of another condition.
There are cases that the bacterial infection causing a UTI can spread to the kidneys. A person who has a kidney infection may experience the following symptoms:
•Fever•Chills•Nausea and vomiting
If you are pregnant and experience any of these symptoms consult your doctor. Without proper treatment, a UTI can cause and lead to more serious complications. Once you consult your doctor and are given the proper medications you can increase your water and drink cranberry juice to flush out the bacteria.