When hearing the term "urinary tract infection," you probably immediately think about the infection in the bladder and the accompanying symptoms, such as frequent urge to urinate and a burning sensation when you do. The condition is also called cystitis, commonly experienced by women who are sexually active between the ages of 20 to 50 years, but not for the entire urinary tract infections.
You could be a urinary tract infection in any part of the urinary tract, which began in the kidney, where urine is produced, continue to tubes called ureters below the bladder, where urine is gathered until you urinate, and ends in the urethra, small channels that carry urine out of the body.
Causes of Urinary Tract InfectionUrinary tract infections are generally caused by bacteria from the skin, vagina, or rectum into the urethra and spread to other parts. Often, the bacteria suspended in the bladder and breed there, causing inflammation and trigger symptoms appear. But bacteria can also be spread from the bladder to the ureter, to infect one or two kidneys. Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) become a serious medical complications are most common during pregnancy. The infection can spread to the bloodstream and threaten your safety.
Effect of Urinary Tract Infection On FetusKidney infection also has an impact on your baby bladder, which increases the risk of premature birth, babies are born with low weight, and is also associated with an increased risk of stillbirth. You can have the bacteria in the urinary tract but did not show any symptoms, known as asymptomatic bacteriuria. When not in a state of pregnancy, asymptomatic bacteriuria usually does not cause problems and often goes away by itself. But during pregnancy, asymptomatic bacteriuria is left without treatment will increase the risk of kidney infection and premature birth, as well as the risk of low weight babies. It is one of the reasons your urine should be checked regularly during pregnancy.
It is not known for sure whether pregnancy increases your risk of cystitis or not. However, there are a number of studies that show that pregnancy does not lead to a higher risk of the emergence of asymptomatic bacteriuria, but pregnancy can increase your risk of kidney infection. The cause is the hormone progesterone level higher to lower muscle tone ureter (the tube between the kidney and bladder), resulting in dilation of the uterus and slow down the flow of urine. Plus, the enlarging uterus can press the ureter, making it more difficult urine flow quickly as usual.
Also, bladder changes during pregnancy. You will find it difficult to completely empty it, and your bladder becomes more prone to reflux, a condition in which urine flows back into the ureters to the kidneys. This change makes the urine takes longer to pass through the urinary tract, allowing the bacteria to proliferate, but also the bacteria will become easier to spread to the kidneys. Moreover, during pregnancy urine less acidic and contain more glucose, both of these things increase the potential for bacterial growth.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnant WomenSymptoms of urinary tract infection (cystitis) vary from each pregnant woman, but generally, symptoms may include:
- Discomfort in the pelvic region or pain in the lower abdomen.
- The pain, discomfort, or burning when urinating and possibly during sexual intercourse.
- The urge to urinate frequently or not controlled, although there is little urine in the bladder.
You can also find urine smelling unusual and looks dark. You can find blood in it too. You may also experience low-grade fever, but more often than not, your body temperature will remain normal. Actually, it is difficult to know for sure whether you have a urinary tract infection during pregnancy, especially if symptoms are mild. If you think you have an infection, be sure to contact your doctor so that your urine can be tested.
Handling Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnant WomenIf you show a sign of possible kidney infection, you need to get immediate medical attention. Symptoms are generally often occurring include:
- High fever with shaking and sweating.
- Pain in the lower back or side below the ribs, on one or both sides, and perhaps also on the belly.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- You have blood or pus in the urine and also experience some symptoms of cystitis.
As mentioned earlier, asymptomatic bacteriuria can cause premature birth and low birth weight. If left untreated, it is likely you are to experience kidney infections could increase to 40 percent. But with proper treatment, the risk can be decreased dramatically to between 1 to 4 percent.
To find out if there are bacteria in the urinary tract, the doctor will ask for a urine sample at the first prenatal visit and sent to the lab for examination, he also will ask if you are experiencing symptoms or not. If the result is negative, there is a small chance you experience a urinary tract infection at a later date. If the test result is positive, you will be treated with oral antibiotics is safe to drink during pregnancy. By eating whole antibiotics, usually for one week, will eliminate the infection.
After treatment, you will be tested again to make sure the infection is gone. If the infection has not gone well, you will be treated again with different kinds of antibiotics. Examination of urine culture should be performed at regular intervals during pregnancy to make sure you do not have an infection. If bacteriuria recurred, you will be treated again and may need to continue taking low-dose antibiotics for the remaining time of pregnancy to prevent recurrence.
If you experience urinary tract infections during pregnancy, the same treatment, even if you are given oral antibiotics for a shorter time. Antibiotics will cure the symptoms within a few days, but you still have to spend all drugs that doctors give to eradicate all bacteria in the urinary tract. You will be tested after treatment and periodically thereafter (also when symptoms come back) and re-treated if necessary. If you are suffering from a urinary tract infection, you need to take daily low-dose antibiotics as a precaution.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections During PregnancyPerform the following steps to minimize your chances of getting a urinary tract infection:
- Do not ignore the urge to urinate. Try clearing your overall bladder when you urinate.
- Drink lots of water, at least 8 glasses of water every day.
- After a bowel movement, wipe yourself from front to back to prevent bacteria in the dirt approaching the urethra.
- Keep the genital area with mild soap and water formula.
- Avoid cleaning products and soaps feminine area weight formula that can cause irritation of the urethra and your genital area.
- Clean the genital area and micturition before and after intercourse.