Uti Symptoms And Prevention
A urinary tract infection , also called bladder infection, is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women are at increased risk for UTIs starting in week 6 through week 24 because of changes in the urinary tract. The uterus sits directly on top of the bladder. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing a urinary tract infection during pregnancy.
Prevention Of Uti During Pregnancy
Although there is very little scientific evidence to support behavioural recommendations around UTI prevention, some people find the following helpful:
- Always wipe front to back after urinating
- Urinate as soon as possible after having intercourse
- Wear cotton underwear and avoid thong underwear
- Do not use douches, scented feminine hygiene products, toilet paper or bath additives
- Eat a healthy, whole foods diet with lots of fruits and vegetables
- Take probiotics or eat foods high in probiotics
Is There Any Other Way To Prevent A Uti
While theres no foolproof way to ensure you never have a UTI, there are strategies and behaviors that may lower your risk:
- Stay hydrated.
- Women should wipe from front to back to stop the spread of bacteria.
- Avoid using douches, powders, sprays or other materials in the genital area.
Some physicians have begun recommending that patients add probiotics to their diet such as kefir, yogurt, various fermented foods, etc. as a form of prevention. No evidence indicates that probiotics can prevent a UTI on their own, but they do promote the growth of helpful bacteria in the vagina and bowels, which is beneficial for your overall health and may lower your risk of infection.
UTIs are commonplace so commonplace, in fact, that theyre one of the most frequently treated issues by telehealth professionals. If youre experiencing symptoms consistent with a UTI, dont wait until your schedule clears up to make an appointment with a physician. Dont wait for your doctors next in-office opening six weeks from now, either.
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Risks Of Taking Antibiotics While Pregnant
Antibiotics are important for helping your body fight bacterial infections. Some types of antibiotics might be unsafe during pregnancy, including:
- Losing consciousness
- Difficulty breathing
If you have symptoms from taking antibiotics such as an allergic reaction, you should talk to your doctor. Tightness in the throat, swelling, and having a hard time breathing are signs of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction and you should go to your nearest hospital right away.
Antibiotic resistance. Overusing antibiotics or not taking them the way your doctor recommends can cause bacteria to become resistant to the medicine. This means that the antibiotics might not work as well as they should, which can make your infection harder to treat.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, your doctor wonât give you antibiotics for a virus like the common cold. This is because antibiotics only treat infections from bacteria and using them for a virus can lead to superbugs. Your doctor also might not give you an antibiotic for minor infections like a chest infection, ear infection, or a sore throat unless it becomes serious.
Treatment Length For All Utis
No matter what kind of bacterial infection you have and where its located, the best antibiotic treatment for UTI is generally the shortest one. This is to lower your odds of developing antibiotic resistance and to decrease your risk of a yeast infection or infectious diarrhea.
Still, its imperative that you take all the antibiotics prescribed, even after symptoms subside. Most UTIs resolve within three to 10 days. Stopping your antibiotics early, before the drugs eliminate all bacteria, can create a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, too.
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What Causes A Urine Infection
Most urine infections are caused by bacteria which come from your own bowel. They cause no harm in your bowel but can cause infection if they get into other parts of your body. Some bacteria lie around your back passage after you pass a stool . These bacteria can sometimes travel to your urethra and into your bladder. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause infection.
Women are more prone than men to urine infections, as their urethra is shorter and opens nearer the anus. Pregnant women are also more prone than non-pregnant women to urine infections. This is partly due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy which affect the urinary tract and tend to slow down the flow of urine. It also may be that the enlarged womb presses on the bladder and prevents it draining as well. If urine does not drain quickly from the bladder, germs are more able to multiply and cause an infection.
Less commonly there may be other causes of a urine infection. If you have to have a tube passed into your bladder, it is easier for germs to directly reach your bladder, and this may make urine infection more likely. Occasionally for people whose immune systems are not working well, the infection may spread through the bloodstream rather than up the urinary tubes.
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Antibiotic Treatments For Urinary Tract Infections Are Commonly Prescribed To Pregnant Women
Some antibiotic treatments for urinary tract infections , such as nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, have been linked to birth defects. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends avoiding these antibiotic treatments in early pregnancy if possible. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found thatabout 4 in 10 women with UTIs during early pregnancy filled a prescription for nitrofurantoin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Healthcare providers of various specialties should be familiar with ACOGs recommendations about prescribing specific antibiotics to pregnant women and consider the possibility of early pregnancy when treating women of reproductive age. To help determine treatment options, women should inform all of their healthcare providers if they are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.
Read the full scientific article.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
If you have ever experienced the frequent urge to go the bathroom with painful and burning urination, you have probably experienced a urinary tract infection . UTIs are one of the most common types of infections, accounting for over 10 million visits to health care providers each year. Roughly 40% of women experience a UTI at some time, and in women, it is the most common infection. Healthcare costs related to UTIs exceed $1.6 billion per year.
A urinary tract infection can happen anywhere along your urinary tract, which includes the kidneys , the ureters , the bladder , or the urethra . Most UTIs occur in the bladder and urethra. Common symptoms include frequent need to urinate, burning while urinating, and pain in lower abdomen area.
There are different types of UTIs based on where the bacteria goes. A lower urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra and is deposited up into the bladder — this is called cystitis. Infections that get past the bladder and up into the kidneys are called pyelonephritis.
Urinary tract infection symptoms may include:
- Pain or burning upon urination
- A frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Blood in the urine or or pink-stained urine
- Urines that looks cloudy
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pain, cramping in the pelvis or pubic bone area, especially in women
Upper UTIs which include the kidney may also present with symptoms of fever, chills, back or side pain, and nausea or vomiting.
Factors That May Contribute To Uti During Pregnancy
When determining why some women get more UTIs, we need to consider both systemic issues, and issues localized to the bladder that may increase the risk of UTI.
Systemic issues may include:
- Fluid intake
- Sexual activity
Local issues include the balance of the vaginal and bladder microbiomes at the time of conception, the presence of biofilms in the urinary tract, differences in anatomy and history of UTI.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Utis
If you have a urinary tract infection, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain or burning when urinating
- The need to urinate more often than usual
- A feeling of urgency when you urinate
- Blood or mucus in the urine
- Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine
- Waking up from sleep to urinate
- Change in the amount of urine, either more or less
- Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong
- Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder
- When bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
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Will I Need An Intravenous Antibiotic For A Uti
If you are pregnant, have a high fever, or cannot keep food and fluids down, your doctor may admit you to the hospital so you can have treatment with intravenous antibiotics for a complicated UTI. You may return home and continue with oral antibiotics when your infection starts to improve.
In areas with fluoroquinolone resistance exceeding 10%, in patients with more severe pyelonephritis, those with a complicated UTI who have allergies to fluoroquinolones, or are unable to tolerate the drug class, intravenous therapy with an agent such as ceftriaxone, or an aminoglycoside, such as gentamicin or tobramycin, may be appropriate. Your ongoing treatment should be based on susceptibility data received from the laboratory.
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Which Antibiotics Are Safe In The First Trimester Of Pregnancy
By Rebecca H. Allen, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Women and Infants Hospital, Providence, RI
Dr. Allen reports she is a Nexplanon trainer for Merck.
SYNOPSIS:A total of 7.2% of pregnant women were diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, and of these, 69% filled an antibiotic prescription. The most common antibiotics prescribed in the first trimester were nitrofurantoin, ciprofloxacin, cephalexin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
Ailes EC, Summers AD, Tran EL, et al. Antibiotics dispensed to privately insured pregnant women with urinary tract infections United States, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 67:18-22.
The researchers identified 482,917 pregnant women who met the study criteria. Among these, 34,864 were diagnosed with UTIs, 41% in the first trimester, 22% in the second trimester, and 11.8% in the third trimester. Overall, 69% of women diagnosed with UTIs filled prescriptions within seven days of the outpatient visit. The antibiotics most commonly prescribed in pregnancy were nitrofurantoin, cephalosporins, and penicillins. The most frequently dispensed medications in the first trimester were nitrofurantoin , ciprofloxacin , cephalexin , and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole .
What If I Take Antibiotics Before Realizing Im Pregnant
While many antibiotics are considered safe during pregnancy, Dr. Salinger cautions that a few, in particular, are associated with an increased miscarriage if taken before 20 weeks. A 2017 study found that azithromycin , Cipro, and Bactrim increased the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester. That said, the risk is said to be very low.
If you took one of these antibiotics before realizing you were pregnant, try not to panicafter all, you didn’t know! The best thing you can do is make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss the next steps and ensure all is well with baby.
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What Antibiotics Are Safe During Pregnancy
Up to 80% of medications prescribed during pregnancy are antibiotics. Since theyre so common, its important to know which ones can be used safely. Keep in mind that the following are just the most commonly used antibiotics. There are other safe options that arent discussed here. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider if youre unsure whether an antibiotic is safe during pregnancy.
Benefits Of Antibiotics While Pregnant
Your immune system acts differently when youâre pregnant. It is common to get sick easily from infections. Infections during pregnancy can be serious and can cause your baby to have a life-threatening sickness. If an infection goes untreated, it can also cause early labor, stillbirth, newborn death, or problems with your babyâs organs.
Your doctor may give you antibiotics for an infection. It is important to take the medicine as instructed. These infections might include:
- Group B Streptococcus
Your doctor may give you other kinds of antibiotics if they’re needed or if your body doesn’t respond to treatment.
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What Are The Common Causes Of Utis
Your urinary tract is normally free of bacteria. If bacteria enter the tract and multiply, they can cause a UTI. There are several factors that increase the risk of developing an infection:
- Infection with common bacteria in your gut, usually from faeces can contaminate your urinary tract
- Being sexually active increases the risk of bacteria moving around the genital area and entering the urinary tract
- If you have weak pelvic floor muscles your bladder might not empty completely, which can lead to an infection
- Women with diabetes are at increased risk of developing a UTI since the sugar in their urine may cause bacteria to multiply
Is A Uti Dangerous During Pregnancy
Any infection during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous for you and your baby. Thats because infections increase the risk of premature labor.
I found out the hard way that an untreated UTI during pregnancy can also wreak havoc after you deliver. After I had my first daughter, I woke up a mere 24 hours after coming home with a fever approaching 105F .
I landed back in the hospital with a raging infection from an undiagnosed UTI, a condition called pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis can be a life-threatening illness for both mother and baby. It had spread to my kidneys, and they suffered permanent damage as a result.
Moral of the story? Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms of a UTI during pregnancy. If youre prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take every last pill to knock out that infection.
You can help prevent UTIs during your pregnancy by:
- emptying your bladder frequently, especially before and after sex
- wearing only cotton underwear
- avoiding douches, perfumes, or sprays
- drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
- avoiding any harsh soaps or body wash in the genital area
Most UTIs during pregnancy are treated with a course of antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that is pregnancy-safe but still effective in killing off bacteria in your body.
If your UTI has progressed to a kidney infection, you may need to take a stronger antibiotic or have an intravenous version administered.
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Prepare For Possible Postpartum Utis
In some cases, the risks of developing a UTI increase after you give birth.
Patients who have a C-section or receive an epidural during labor have a catheter inserted into their bladder. This ensures a safer delivery by keeping your bladder empty. But a catheter increases your risk of infection the longer it stays in your body, and its placement provides the perfect track for bacteria to enter your bladder.
To decrease your UTI risk, our goal is to remove your catheter no more than six to eight hours after surgery and even sooner after an epidural. An infection can take days to appear, so watch for symptoms after you leave the hospital and tell your doctor right away if you experience them. We dont perform routine UTI tests after delivery, so its important to alert us to abnormal pain or discomfort.
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With so many new tasks to complete and emotions to experience after bringing your newborn home, it can feel overwhelming to keep track of one more thing but your health remains a priority after the birth of your baby. The more you tell us about how you feel, the more we can do to help you stay healthy.
What Happens If I Take An Unsafe Antibiotic Before I Realize Im Pregnant
Sometimes you might not realize youre pregnant until further along into your pregnancy. In this case, its possible to have taken an unsafe antibiotic. As discussed above, unsafe antibiotics may have a higher chance of certain birth defects.
But its important to point out that about 1 out of every 33 babies born in the U.S. have some type of birth defect. Only a small portion of those are caused by medication use.
Untreated infections can cause birth defects as well. In some cases, they can be life-threatening or raise your risk of miscarriage. Treating an infection helps lower your risk of complications.
If you mistakenly took an unsafe antibiotic, contact your healthcare provider right away. You can talk with your healthcare provider about the concerns you have. They may recommend an ultrasound to look for any problems so you can make a plan together. Or, they might recommend supplementation with certain vitamins to lower the risk of complications.
If youre unable to reach your healthcare provider, you can visit the MotherToBaby website or call them toll-free at 1-866-626-6847. There, you can ask questions to an expert who specializes in medication use during pregnancy. They also have text, email, and live chat contact options.
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What Are Antibiotics
Antibiotics are medicines that fight infections caused by bacteria, which are germs that live in the environment as well as inside and outside our bodies. Most bacteria are harmless , but in some cases, they can cause infections. Darren Salinger, MD, OBGYN from KIDZ Medical Services in Florida, explains that the most common reasons antibiotics may be needed during pregnancy include:
- Acne treatment
- Gallbladder disease
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Antibiotics are not used to treat viral infections, such as the flu or the common cold. The most common side effects of antibiotics include rash, nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections.