Thursday, March 27, 2014

Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy

During my pregnancy I had so many complications that it was truly one big doctor’s appointment.  One of the most difficult things that happened during my pregnancy was called pyelonephritis (kidney infection) and kidney stones.  So many wonderful and not so wonderful changes are happening to your body during pregnancy.  With all the hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy you are at higher risk of getting urinary tract infections or pyelonephritis.
A urinary tract infection is exactly how it infection in your urinary tract. Your urinary tract includes:
-Kidneys- 2 organs one on the right side, one on the left.  It filters wastes from the blood and makes urine
-Ureters- 2 tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder
-Bladder- Holds the urine
-Urethra- the tube that carries urine from the bladder and excretes the urine out
You can get a urinary tract infection in any part of the urinary tract.  If you have a urinary tract infection you make experience symptoms like frequent urination, burning during urination, blood in your urine, odor associated with urine, cloudy, dark urine, and possibly pelvic pain.  It is very possible that women who have urinary tract infections have no symptoms at all, which can make things tricky.  Urinary tract infections can become complicated when they travel and reach the kidney.  This is when the UTI turns to pyelonephritis.
Pyelonephritis is an infection in the kidney.  This is what I experienced during my pregnancy.  Sometimes if you don’t have symptoms of a UTI it can become pyelonephritis because it isn’t treated, simply because you didn’t know.  Some of the symptoms are similar to a UTI but you have added flank pain, which is pain in the right or left side of your back that wraps to the front, fever, nausea and vomiting.  Normally, you get pyelonephritis from some kind of obstruction that backs up the urine because it allows a place for added bacteria to form.
During pregnancy you are at greater risk for UTIs or pyelonephritis.  This is because of that awesome hormone progesterone...yet again.  The lack of muscle tone causes the ureters to dilate which slows the flow.  You may feel like you are running to the bathroom a million times a day, but you are not completely emptying the bladder, again because of the lack of muscle tone, thanks to progesterone.  This allows bacteria to form.  
Having a UTI or pyelonephritis during pregnancy can lead to preterm birth or low birth weight if not treated properly.  This is why at all your prenatal visits your doctor or midwife will do a urine test (among other reasons).  As said before, some women don’t get symptoms which can lead to more problems, especially during pregnancy if gone untreated.  Luckily, there are antibiotics which are proven safe for momma and baby during pregnancy that will treat your symptoms and bacteria.  If your infection has reached the kidneys most likely you will be in an extreme amount of pain.  When I had it, the nurses were all telling me that if I could handle the pain from this infection, I would have no problem with labor...yeah, okay.  Pyelonephritis is usually cured with some IV antibiotics due to the nausea and vomiting it may be hard to stomach any of the oral antibiotics, and they can also give IV nausea medication and fluids.  It is so important to stay hydrated for you and your baby.
Here are some ways you can decrease your chances of urinary tract infections.

  • Drink plenty of water
  • If you have to go...GO! Don’t hold it
  • Make sure you are wiping front to back.  I know it is hard with that big bump but do your best
  • Keep your genital area clean with water.  Be very careful about using soaps because they can throw off the PH balance
  • Clean your genital area and pee before and after sexual intercourse
  • Drink cranberry juice.  It is known to reduce the bacteria that will cause a UTI


  1. I'm in full on menopause and I been getting chronic urinary tract infections any solutions and is menopause definitely a factor in getting them chronic also what about stress and also I'm prediabetic too so what is the cause & the culprit please respond A.S.A.P Thanks much

  2. I'm curious to know the reason. & the culprit

  3. also This is Sandra again I am not pregnant I been in menopause for 2 to 3 Years but also I have a lot of stress & Prediabetes as well.
    So what can it be causing my chronic urinary tract infections

    When replying to me here .

  5. Or at when replying to my responses thanks lots.