Are you experiencing pain or burning sensations while urinating? Do you feel like reenacting The Exorcist every time you hit the bathroom stall? Is your toilet seat starting to become your new dentist chair, where excruciating things are bound to happen? If so, congratulations! You may have just acquired a urinary tract infection!
But wait - if you're pregnant, this is no laughing matter. UTIs during pregnancy can lead to some serious complications for both the mother and the baby. So let's dive into what causes these pesky infections, how to spot them early on, and more importantly - how to kick those bacteria in their bacterial butts!
What exactly is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) typically starts with bacteria entering through the urethra – which is the tube that brings pee out of your body when you pee (yes, we know it's weird calling it pee, deal with it).
What happens next depends on where the bacteria decides to set up camp. When they settle inside our bladder and start multiplying rapidly -- BOOM! You've got yourself a bladder infection.
If left untreated at this point, they'll keep moving along until they reach our upper urinary tract system -- helloooo kidney infection! Kidney infections can be way worse than just having lower ones; symptoms include nausea,vomiting,feverish chills, bad backaches - essentially making life worth living again.
How do UTIs occur during pregnancy?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy make women more susceptible to getting UTIs because your body produces low levels of estrogen, which will decrease vaginal acidity level – providing an ideal environment for harmful pathogen growth.
Not only does hormonal change increase risk factor for susceptible mothers-to-be but also increases blood flow towards urinary organs leading swelling of kidneys allowing passage conducive enough to allow bacteria to grow in masses. This makes it easier for any potential UTI causing bacteria to thrive inside your bladder.
Symptoms of a UTI during pregnancy
Itchy feelings while urinating is fairly common amongst expectant mothers however, it may not always indicate that you have a urinary tract infection. Be on the lookout for these symptoms besides burning sensation:
- Pungent odor
- Persistent urgency or frequency to pee
- Blood in urine
- Lower abdominal pain/cramping
If any of these flair up miraculously over time, book an appointment with the health care practitioner as soon as possible! Early detection and treatment are key here.
Potential complications from untreated UTIs during pregnancy
Ignoring such signs can result in some severe consequences not only toward mother but also for their little human who's now growing inside their tummy where one infected germ could bring disaster!
Untreated UTIs can lead to :
- Premature birth: If left untreated somehow leads towards premature delivery (delivering before reaching full terms)
- Low Birth Weight (LBW): Babies born prematurely or underweight may suffer from physical or mental developmental issues later along down their life.
- Postpartum Infection: Being anxious and excited about the arrival of new infant leads many moms-to-be often forgetting they require post-delivery care too; hence having developed pre-existing infections like UTI beforehand increase chances unforeseen risks down the road -otherwise avoidable entirely.
Don't let something small become bigger problems! Consider seeking medical attention right away if experiencing suspicious symptoms.
How do healthcare providers diagnose and treat pregnant women with UTIs?
One initial method utilized by most obstetricians is conducting regular fluids testing via clean-catch urine samples throughout prenatal visits due identifying even simplest forms confounding issues earlier allowing prompt intervention rather than complicating situation further enough diagnostic tests aren't required resulting extensive medical bills
Usually antibiotics can kill up to 90 percent of common UTI bacteria, but using a particular type and amount is necessary; various antibacterial agents may harm fetuses adversely, so health care provider should provide an antimicrobial agent that’s known proven safe to use during pregnancy.
It's critical for patient-compliancehere meaning every medicine prescribed must be taken regularly until the course ends or visit further extend/add any new medication. This ensures successful eradication off infection altogether.
While recovering from UTI
After addressing these potential symptoms and confirming with medical professionals starts here post-UTI treatment:
- Stay hydrated: Always keep your fluid intake optimum. Like mentioned earlier flushing bad bacteria out becomes more difficult due excess hormonal changes in body while pregnant.
- Resting: Gaining enough rest will reduce stress on other urinary organs allowing them time recover faster during healing process
- Avoid irritants: Maintaining bowel/catheter hygiene instead introducing things like bubble baths beyond recommended limits may induce further irritation making it hard bounce back from already imbalanced state after suffering through infection
By combining induced efforts with medically supported treatments toward reestablishing previous bodily equilibrium can open the doors towards a brighter prognosis!
How to prevent UTIs during Pregnancy
As we know “No prevention is better than cure” hence best way initially avoid risk factor events ensuring healthier life ahead! Below are some helpful tips everyone would appreciate following:
1.) Hydration Is Key – Consuming plenty of fluids assists elimination harmful toxins whilst keeping urinary tracts refreshed ultimately rendering bacterial hostility ineffective
2.) Wipe And Wash Appropriately - By help maintaining good hygiene habits especially since fecal matter commonly carries e-coli ( one most common bacterias leading up formation of extreme cases) easily passable via unsanitary urinating practices.
3.) Pee frequently! Try avoiding long waits between pee breaks ensure bladder empty well enough whenever possible retaining less urine inside tends to create multiple repeated trips to the bathroom leading continuously unbalance pH levels.
4.) Wear breathable pants – With temperatures increasing as we develop warmer weather bulky heavy things like tight jeans or leggings inadvertently promote bacterial growth by restricting airflow hindering chance for natural evaporation moisture leading irritation allowing better chances wherever they may be feeling trapped inside!
5.) Keep any vaginal lubricants free of risky chemicals such as glycerin, Nonoxynol-9 helps increases UTI risk. Avoid extra pressure down on lower abdominal through use restrictive clothes and sit comfortably without taking in pressure delivering perfect harmony is key
By following these simple steps alongside prescribed treatments by health care providers - pregnancy related UTIs can become a problem temporary nuisance instead long term battles being won before fight ever begun!
The excruciating pain of urinary tract infections during pregnancy can turn into a major issue if untreated but also manageable one with right changes early detection intervention from medical professionals alike! Hopefully after reading up tips shared above it'll be easier going about know exactly how handle symptoms avoid experiencing them entirely. Try taking attitude prevention rather than treat advocating good hygiene habits universal regular prenatal check-ups making sure everything's lining smoothly along journey way more comfortable!