Is It Safe To Take Sulfa Antibiotics During Pregnancy
One exception to this is the use of sulfa antibiotics, commonly used for urinary or other infections in combination with another antibiotic, trimethoprim, in the drug Septra or Bactrim. While Septra does not cause congenital abnormalities and is safe for use early in pregnancy,
Penicillin, the most commonly used antibiotic during pregnancy, as well as other widely prescribed antibiotics, have not been found to be associated with increased risk for about 30 different birth defects, according to The National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
Can A Uti Affect My Pregnancy
If you have a kidney infection when you are pregnant, you can feel very weak. If left untreated, it may likewise cause problems such as early labour and/or a small baby.
A kidney infection is unusual but may develop as a complication from a bladder infection or from a urine infection. There may be no symptoms in the beginning .
Why Are Utis Common During Pregnancy
UTIs are common during pregnancy. Thats because the growing fetus can put pressure on the bladder and urinary tract. This traps bacteria or causes urine to leak.
There are also physical changes to consider. As early as six weeks gestation, almost all pregnant women experience ureteral dilation, when the urethra expands and continues to expand until delivery.
The larger urinary tract, along with increased bladder volume and decreased bladder tone, all cause the urine to become more still in the urethra. This allows bacteria to grow.
To make matters worse, a pregnant womans urine gets more concentrated. It also has certain types of hormones and sugar. These can encourage bacterial growth and lower your bodys ability to fight off bad bacteria trying to get in.
2 and 10 percent of pregnant women experience a UTI. Even more worrisome, UTIs tend to reoccur frequently during pregnancy.
Women whove had UTIs before are more prone to get them during pregnancy. The same goes for women whove had several children.
Taking Antibiotics While Pregnant: Is It Safe
“The umbrella term ‘antibiotic’ can be scary to pregnant women,” Dr. Bajaj says. “While it’s prudent to be cautious, antibiotics are an important part of our clinical practice.” If you do have a bacterial infection, your doctor will carefully choose what antibiotic should be prescribed, as all antibiotics are different, Dr. Bajaj says.
While many medications have been found to be completely safe to take during pregnancy, others can cause serious birth abnormalities. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration ‘s list of Pharmaceutical Pregnancy Categories help doctors know the prenatal safety of medications. The categories are A, B, C, D, and X. Drugs within Category A have been found to be safe for use in pregnant women, whereas drugs within Category X have been found to be harmful to fetuses and should not be used by pregnant women. If you are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, ask your doctor about the pregnancy categories of any prescribed medications. You can also find the pregnancy category designation of each medication on its package insert.
Birth defects associated with antibiotics defined within Category X include anencephaly , choanal atresia , transverse limb deficiency, diaphragmatic hernia, eye defects, congenital heart defects, and cleft palate.
Other Medications For The Treatment Of Uti During Pregnancy
Other medications may also be helpful in treating the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. In particular, phenazopyridine can be used to treat the pain and burning associated with a urinary tract infection. Although safe for use during pregnancy, it should not be taken for more than two days. Side effects include headache, stomach upset, and dark orange or red urine.
Urinary tract infectionâMedications. . University of Maryland Medical Center.
Lee, M., Bozzo, P., Einarson, A., & Koren, G. . Urinary tract infections in pregnancy. Canadian Family Physician. 54:853-854.
Delzell, J.E., & Lefevre, M.L. . Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy. Am Fam Physician. 61:713-720.
Strengths And Limitations Of Study
The strengths of this study lie mainly in the method used for data collection. The advantage of using an online forum to collect data was that it provided access to a wide range of participants across the UK. Online forum postings increase the perceived sense of anonymity in participants, which can increase disclosure compared to face-to-face interviews. Data was also immediately available for analysis and circumvented transcription errors arising from interviews.
Using an online forum, however, also contributed to the limitations of this study. Women used descriptive text and emoticons to express their feelings, but using an online forum could result in a loss of insight that facial expressions or verbal tone can offer to exploring perceptions. It was difficult to characterise the exact demographics of website users and only views of women who had access to the internet and had subscribed to the forum could be analysed. Different cultural groups in the UK may also have different norms of behaviour in pregnancy and the views of women from varying backgrounds may differ from what was captured from the forum. Therefore, the interpretation and transferability of the results should be made within this context and broad generalisations may not be appropriate.
How Common Are Utis During Pregnancy
At least 5 percent of women can expect to develop at least one UTI during pregnancy those who develop one have a 1 in 3 chance of an encore later.
During pregnancy, the compression of your expanding uterus, the muscle-relaxing hormones flooding your body and the challenge of keeping your perineal area clean due to your baby bump make it even easier for intestinal bacteria to enter your urinary tract, leading to UTIs.
While bladder infections are more common among non-pregnant women, kidney infections are about twice as common in expecting women as bladder infections. That said, they’re still quite rare, occurring in only about 2 percent of pregnancies.
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Symptoms Of A Uti In Pregnancy
A UTI is an infection that occurs within the structures that pass urine as it is being eliminated from your body. These structures include the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.
During pregnancy, changes in the mothers body and urinary tract increase their risk of infection. Dilation of the ureters and other structures occur as the baby grows within the uterus. Hormonal changes can during this time can also make women more prone to UTIs.
Typical UTI symptoms include:
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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Things To Keep In Mind When Taking Antibiotics During Pregnancy
The majority of safe antibiotics during pregnancy can be taken with food, which is good news since the most often reported side effect of antibiotics is gastrointestinal distress.
A common reason why women have difficulty taking antibiotics in pregnancy is nausea and vomiting, says Dr. Arbuah-Aning, so do not take antibiotics on an empty stomachtake with food or milk instead.
If youre really struggling, Dr. Arbuah-Aning says your provider can prescribe anti-nausea medication to be taken 30 minutes before taking your antibiotics. In the meantime, you should continue taking your prenatal vitamins and make sure you complete the full course of antibiotics to decrease your risk of prolonged infection and antibiotic resistance.
And remember that if you have any concerns, always feel free to reach out to your prenatal provider.
If youre going to an urgent care doctor or PCP and theyre not sure , check with your OB-GYN, Dr. Ruiz says. Call, send an email, leave a message with the on-call doctordo whatever you need to do.
How To Safely Take Antibiotics In Pregnancy
The best way to take your antibiotics is to follow your doctors instructions. Because antibiotics have been used too much in the past, your doctor might be careful about what they give you.
Your doctor will choose the best type for you. They might think about other factors before giving you antibiotics. These might include:
- Avoiding antibiotics in the first trimester
- Testing to confirm the type of infection
- Giving the smallest dose possible
- Giving antibiotics for the shortest time possible
- Using only one type of antibiotic
- Only giving antibiotics when necessary
Antibiotics can interact with other medications or over-the-counter drugs. Your doctor might tell you not to take antibiotics with any other medicine.
Take as directed. Sometimes when you take antibiotics you start to feel better right away. Its important to take your medicine until its finished and the way your doctor says. This might help stop the bacteria from becoming resistant to the medicine.
Use other safe remedies. If you have a common cold or other minor conditions, your doctor likely wont give you antibiotics. Instead, ask about other over-the-counter medicine that is safe for you to take when you’re pregnant. Other self-care practices for the common cold might be helpful, including:
- Hot shower
- Saline nasal spray
- Warm salt water gargle
If you dont get better or you have new symptoms, make sure to talk to your doctor to rule out more serious conditions.
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Uti In Pregnancy Treatment How D Mannose Works
D Mannose is the most amazingly gentle cure for UTI, it completely changed my life. It doesnt kill the bacteria like antibiotics do, so its not at all aggressive to your body and therefore protects your baby. This amazing remedy I use tricks the bacteria by looking like the cells on the inside of your bladder, which they cling to and destroy . When the bacteria clings to the D Mannose instead, your bladder simply flushes it out next time you pee. Its so simple and safe, that you can take this cure as a preventative measure whenever you feel you might need it, and also before sex . You can even give it to small babies and children if they need bladder or kidney support.
Heres another testimonial from a couple who didnt want to use antibiotics on their baby and found D Mannose to be the best alternative:
Are Antibiotics Safe For Me And My Unborn Baby
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed during pregnancy, but the specific type of medication should be chosen carefully.
Antibiotics are generally safe for mom and baby, Dr. Baldwin said. There are certain antibiotics that arent given during pregnancy due to risks of birth defects, so its always best to check with your provider whether certain ones are safe to use before taking anything.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administrations list of pharmaceutical pregnancy categorieshelp doctors know the prenatal safety of medications.
- Common antibiotics reported to be used in pregnancy include cephalosporins like cephalexin, penicillin like amoxicillin and certain erythromycins, azithromycin and clindamycin.
- Other antibiotics, such as Bactrim, tetracycline and sulfonamides, are believed to pose risks during pregnancy and should generally be avoided.
If an antibiotic is the best way to treat a condition, your doctor will always prescribe the safest one, Dr. Baldwin reassured. You can always ask your doctor for the pregnant category designation of any medication you may be prescribed.
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Talk To Your Health Care Provider
Just because some antibiotics arent recommended during pregnancy, doesnt mean they are unsafe. If you have any questions or concerns about the medications you are prescribed during pregnancy, talk to your doctor or a Banner Health provider. You should also make your doctor aware of any other medications you may be taking and any allergies or health conditions.
If your pregnant brain has you up at night with concerns, dont hesitate to call Banner Healths Nurses Now for help at 888-747-7990. Our experienced nursing staff offers health care advice 24/7.
For other pregnancy-related articles, check out:
Which Antibiotics Are Harmful To Your Baby
Some of the antibiotics that are generally considered safe during pregnancy include penicillin, cephalosporins, erythromycin, and clindamycin. However, tetracyclines are a type of antibiotic that may not be safe. Tetracyclines arent recommended for use after the 15th week of pregnancy because they can discolor a developing babys teeth.
Certain antibiotics can be linked to harmful effects on a fetus. For example, sulfonamide antibiotics like Bactrim have been associated with a higher risk of a child being born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Specific antibiotics considered unsafe to take during pregnancy can also include ciprofloxacin, Macrobid, and Septra, although this list isnt exhaustive.
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What Causes A Uti During Pregnancy
Several factors can lead to a UTI during pregnancy, including:
- Changes in your body. All women are at risk for UTIs . But pregnant women may be more prone: Changes in hormones may give bacteria an easier opportunity to travel up the urinary tract and cause an infection. Your growing uterus also puts added pressure on your bladder, making it more difficult to completely empty it of urine .
- Bacteria from the bowel. UTI-causing bacteria can come from several places. By far the most common bacterial invader, E. coli, comes from the bowel. Because the urethra is located close to the rectum, these bacteria can be transported up the urethra. Wiping from front to back every time you use the bathroom can help keep bacteria away from this area.
- Intercourse. Sex during pregnancy is perfectly healthy but there is a downside: It also has the potential to lead to a UTI, as bacteria near the vagina may be pushed into the urethra during intercourse. It may not be romantic, but its important to urinate before and after sex to move that bacteria along.
- Group B streptococcus. This type of bacteria, commonly carried in the intestinal tract, can also cause UTIs during pregnancy. Late in your pregnancy, your doctor will test you for this infection and treat you with antibiotics if necessary.
There are also some less avoidable risk factors. If any of these apply to you, be sure to discuss them with your doctor so you can be closely monitored for signs of an infection:
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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Uti Treatment During Pregnancy
Youâll take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days or as your doctor recommends. If your infection makes you feel uncomfortable, your doctor will probably start your treatment before you get your urine test results.
Your symptoms should go away in 3 days. Take all of your medication on schedule anyway. Donât stop it early, even if your symptoms fade.
Many common antibiotics — amoxicillin, erythromycin, and penicillin, for example — are considered safe for pregnant women. Your doctor wouldnât prescribe others, such as ciprofloxacin , sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, or trimethoprim , that can affect your babyâs development.
Why You Might Need To Take Antibiotics During Pregnancy
Youre doing everything you can to stay healthy during your pregnancy, but the reality is that pregnant women are more susceptible to both viral and bacterial infections. You may find that a run-of-the-mill cold turns into bronchitis or sinusitis, requiring an antibiotic to fully clear the illness.
Even more likely is the occurrence of certain types of infections that are known to plague all women but especially pregnant women.
Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are more common in pregnancy, says Rochelle Arbuah-Aning, MD, an OB-GYN at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can disrupt the normal pH balance of the vagina.
Meanwhile, the likelihood of having a bladder or urinary tract infection during pregnancymay be as high as 8%, according to the CDC. Some pregnant women may not even notice symptoms of a UTI, which is one of the conditions screened for during prenatal visits.
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