What is Asymptomatic Bacteriuria?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 17, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • People with kidney stones are at risk of asymptomatic bacteriuria.
  • Between 2 to 9 percent of pregnant women can have the disease.
  • It triggers the need to frequently urinate.
  • Urine is a good growth medium for bacteria.

Asymptomatic bacteriuria is quite a common disease whose frequency varies among different populations. This depends mostly on the age, sex and the underlying disorders pre-existing in the person.

The disease asymptomatic bacteriuria is the significant number of bacteria in the urine which occurs without the usual symptoms such as burning while urination or frequent urination. You have to understand that urine is a good growth medium for bacteria to enter your bladder. This asymptomatic bacteriuria could be defined as specified quantitative count of the bacteria present in the urine after it has been collected in a urine specimen from an individual without any symptoms or signs of urinary tract infection.

asymptomatic bacteriuria

Risk Factors

The asymptomatic bacteriuria usually happens to occur in a small number of healthy individuals, and affects more women than men. The reason for this is still not understood due to the dearth in symptoms. Patients suffering from asymptomatic bacteriuria do not actually need any treatment because the bacteria are not harming the individual in any way. It is a known fact that those suffering from a urinary tract infection would tend to have bacteriuria, but will not really have any symptoms for the same. People who tend to develop symptomatic bacteriuria run the risk of kidney infections. There are a few diseases that can increase your risk, and these are:

•    Diabetics
•    People who have kidney stones
•    People who have gone through kidney transplant
•    Old people
•    Pregnant women

Studies have shown that the occurrence of asymptomatic bacteriuria in women occurs in the following manner:
•    Less than 2 percent in preschool girls
•    Between 2 to 9 percent of pregnant women
•    Between 18 to 43 percent of women who are aged 65-80 years
•    Between 18 to 43 percent of women who are older than 80 years


In pregnant women the frequency of asymptomatic bacteriuria is about 2-9.5 percent in the first trimester. Also, a urinary tract infection that had happened earlier, and a lower socioeconomic status have been associated with higher frequency of asymptomatic bacteriuria.  The prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria is pretty significant, and this is because about 20 to 30 percent of the untreated cases tend to progress to acute acute pyelonephritis. This happens at the end of the second trimester or at the early stages of the third trimester.

It could be necessary for you to consultant a doctor at the earliest, so that further complications do not arise. Pregnant women could be given antibiotics for treatment.


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