UTI or Urinary Tract Infection is a bladder infection that can occur in pregnant women and cause symptoms such as recurrent urge to pass urine or slight pain or burning sensation while passing urine, foul smelling urine, nausea and vomiting. Medically such a condition is called as cystitis, which is mostly known to affect women in the age group of 20—50. The urinary tract starts from the kidney and moves down to the tubes that carry the urine, till the end of the tract, which is called the urethra where the urine is passed outside the body.
Most commonly urinary infections occur due to infections in the vagina caused by fungi, bacteria present in the rectum or even due to inflammation or skin conditions. All the causes can trigger a UTI during pregnancy in a woman.
A UTI can get severe and unsafe for a pregnant woman if the bacteria travel from the bladder and transmit a disease to the kidney and mixes with the blood. This can be fatal for the foetus and could lead to a stillbirth or a preterm labour, which can leave the baby underdeveloped and malnourished. However, the good news is that it can be prevented with regular care, cleanliness and consultation from the doctor. One must opt for regular urine checkups during pregnancy and get it clinically tested.
Pregnancy can increase the chances of a urinary tract infection putting some pressure on the tubes due to the increased stomach structure. This often creates some pressure on the uterus making it difficult for the urine to pass easily.
Therefore, emptying the bladder becomes a problem for some pregnant women. So what causes the bacteria to grow in the tract? This change of pressure levels and the time taken to refill and empty the bladder helps the bacteria to multiply as the tract takes double the time to flush out the bacteria-layer being created in the tract. Apart from that, during pregnancy, urine carries substantial amount of glucose than other bodily acids that increases the affinity for the bacteria growth.
A pregnant woman who is suffering from UTI must practice kegel exercises every day. It is recommended that working up to three sets of 15 kegel exercises a day is beneficial in dealing with UTI.
Physical activity is necessary therefore your need to ask your health care provider about how to work out during pregnancy. Weight management can take pressure off your bladder during pregnancy.
You can cross your legs when you feel the need to cough or sneeze to prevent involuntary urine leakage. The same should be done when you're about to lift something heavy.
Behavioural methods such as timed voiding and bladder training help treating urinary incontinence during and after pregnancy. Train your bladder; set time to urinate and do so before you have the urge.
Try to keep constipation in check during pregnancy. It will make sure that your full bowel doesn't put added pressure on the bladder.
Make a habit of drinking at least eight glasses of fluids every day. If you cut back on water to control the peeing, it only makes you vulnerable to dehydration and urinary tract infections.
Avoid the foods and beverages that may irritate your bladder and make it difficult to control urinary leaks. These include coffee, citrus fruits, tomatoes, soft drinks and alcohol. In addition, you can use the pads that absorb leaking urine. However, you will also need to make sure that you only use pads that do not block the flow of urine.
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