Who Else Has A Higher Risk Of A Uti
There are a handful of other factors that can boost your odds of developing a UTI. They include:
- Uncontrolled or inadequately controlled diabetes
- Certain forms of birth control, such as diaphragms that put pressure on the urethra
- Being sexually active, particularly with a new partner
- Anatomical abnormalities or blockages along the urinary tract, such as kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
Because UTIs are so common, theyre also subject to a greater spread of misinformation than other conditions. Contrary to myth, you cannot get a UTI from using tampons or sanitary napkins, wearing tight clothing, riding a bike, or failing to urinate after intercourse.
How Are Utis Diagnosed
UTIs are diagnosed by taking a urine sample which is checked in a laboratory for bacteria. Your doctor may also perform a physical examination if they think you have an infection.
All pregnant women are offered a urine test, usually at their first antenatal visit or soon after. You may need to repeat the urine test if you have a history of UTIs have symptoms of a UTI have a contaminated sample or if your doctor thinks you are at high risk of developing a UTI. If you have frequent UTIs, you may also need additional tests such as an ultrasound of your kidneys.
Treatment For Complicated Utis
If your UTI is considered complicated due to extenuating circumstances, your doctor will likely still prescribe an antibiotic, but your course of treatment may be different. For example, while UTIs are common during pregnancy especially in the lower urinary tract pregnant women typically require a longer course of treatment, regardless of which type of antibiotic is used. The antibiotics prescribed vary according to which trimester the expectant mother is in, too. TMP, for instance, isnt used during the first trimester.
In short, if your UTI is informed by extenuating circumstances, expect your physician to take those into account as he or she determines what antibiotics may be the safest and most effective, as well as how long you need to take them.
Uti Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options During Pregnancy
While over half of women will experience a UTI at some point in their lifetime, UTI affects approximately 8% of women who are pregnant. 1
Asymptomatic bacteriuria is also very common in pregnancy. This is when there are bacteria in your urinary tract but you are not actually experiencing any symptoms or signs of a UTI.
But why is the risk of UTI higher during pregnancy? How do you tell the difference between cystitis symptoms and pregnancy symptoms? And is it safe to be using antibiotics?
Are Utis A Risk During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, many changes occur in your body that increase your risk of developing a UTI, including changes to the make-up of your urine and immune system. As your baby grows, there is also an increase in the pressure on your bladder, which can reduce the flow of your urine and lead to an infection.
UTIs can affect women whether they are pregnant or not. However, pregnant women are more likely to develop repeated or more severe infections. Up to 1 in 10 pregnant women will have a UTI but not have any symptoms at all.
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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.
Risks And Outlook For A Uti In Pregnancy
Because of growing concern for antibiotic resistance, researchers are looking for alternative treatments for UTIs.
While several methods show promise as effective treatments for UTIs in pregnant women, more research is needed, and antibiotics remain the most common and understood form of treatment.
It is important to seek medical attention if you are pregnant and think you may have a UTI. When not treated properly, UTIs can be harmful to you and your baby. Always consult with your doctor before trying a new home remedy.
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Uti Treatment: What To Expect
UTI treatments during pregnancy are safe and easy, usually involving a short course of oral antibiotics. There are two exceptions:
- If you continue to have UTIs after we treat the first one, we may recommend suppressive therapy. You will take a lower dose of antibiotics every day of your pregnancy instead of larger doses for just a few days.
- If you have pyelonephritis , you will need to receive antibiotics through an IV at a hospital.
For most patients, receiving antibiotic treatment is much safer than risking a kidney infection. We will discuss all your health conditions and pregnancy symptoms to determine the best type of antibiotic for you, depending on what will work effectively against the bacteria in your urine.
Conventional Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections In Children
UTI serves as one of the most common bacterial infections during childhood, such that 68% of children with urinary symptoms will be diagnosed with a UTI . The treatment of childhood UTIs should be recognized and treated during the early phase of the disease to provide rapid recovery from complaints, prevent related complications, and deter permanent renal parenchymal damage . Prescribed antimicrobial regimens are the current standard of treatment for acute and RUTIs in children. The causative bacterial pattern determines antimicrobial therapy and prophylaxis in pediatric patients. The most common causative organism in childhood UTIs is E. coli , followed by Klebsiella, Proteus, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Enterococcus .
Prescribed conventional drugs should be well tolerated by infants and children, highly effective against usual invading bacteria, and should be guided by regional bacteria resistant patterns such that only a minimal proportion of organisms are resistant . However, empiric therapy with a broad-spectrum antibiotic is reasonable until culture results are available if there is a high clinical suspicion of a UTI . Oral antibiotics should be given immediately in all toxic-appearing children who are pale, lethargic, or inconsolably irritable and in nontoxic children with a probable UTI, whereas other cases can delay antibiotic treatment until results from a urine culture are available .
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Conventional Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections In Pregnant Women
UTIs are common in pregnant women. Approximately 215% of pregnant women will experience asymptomatic bacteriuria or symptomatic UTIs . Untreated asymptomatic and symptomatic UTIs are associated with adverse outcomes for both mother and baby . This includes pyelonephritis, which can progress to sepsis, necrotizing infection, and acute renal failure in pregnant women . Pyelonephritis occurs in up to 30% of untreated cases of asymptomatic bacteriuria . For the baby, adverse outcomes include intrauterine inflammation and infection, premature rupture of membranes and delivery, and postpartum infection . Appropriate identification, treatment, and management of UTIs in pregnant women are integral to minimizing these outcomes.
E. coli is the most common infecting organism in UTIs during pregnancy. Other frequent bacteria include Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Proteus, Pseudomonas, group B Streptococcus , and Enterococcus spp. . GBS is present in 210% of all asymptomatic bacteriuria and has been associated with significantly elevated rates of premature rupture of membranes, preterm labor, and neonatal infection . Therefore, criteria for GBS infection may have lower clinical criteria for infection determination than other microbes .
2.1.1 Standard of Care for Urinary Tract Infections in Pregnant Women
2.1.2 Antimicrobial Resistance Regarding Urinary Tract Infection Treatment in Pregnant Women
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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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.
Medications For The Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy
Antibiotic medications are frequently used to treat urinary tract infections in women who are pregnant. They are typically prescribed for three to 10 days, depending on the type of medication and the severity of the infection. Common antibiotics that have been approved for the treatment of urinary tract infections during pregnancy include:
- Penicillins: Penicillins, including amoxicillin, were once the principle treatment of choice for urinary tract infections, but are ineffective against E. coli-driven UTIs in up to 30 percent of cases. They are, however, useful against urinary tract infections caused by other bacteria, such as Staphylococcus saprophyticus or Enterococcus. Stubborn, drug-resistant infections may have to be addressed with Augmentin . Penicillins are typically prescribed for 10 days and are generally well tolerated by most patients. Side effects include diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and vaginal itching or discharge.
- Cephalosporins: Cephalosporins include medications such as cephalexin , cefuroxime and cefadrozil . These antibiotics are currently the most widely prescribed medications for UTIs, but can only be used in the first and second trimesters. Because of their potency, cephalosporins are usually prescribed for three to seven days and are well tolerated. Side effects of these medications include upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
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.
How To Prevent A Uti
One way to avoid the use of antibiotics is by preventing the development of an infection in the first place. There are a number a key steps you can take to prevent a urinary tract infection while you are pregnant 4:
- Wiping from front to back avoids the travel of bacteria from the gut to the vagina, and then the urinary tract
- Try as best you can to fully empty your bladder when you pee, to ensure that bacteria doesnt hang around in the urinary tract
- Keep hydrated so that any harmful bacteria are flushed out of your system
- Oldie but goodie – pee after sex! This also flushes away potentially harmful bacteria, which can enter the vagina and then urinary tract during sexual activity
- Dont wear clothing that is too tight – wear looser, more breathable clothing including cotton underwear
- Keep the area clean and dry, and avoid the use of soaps, vaginal lotions or bubble bath products. These can affect the functioning of good bacteria which is needed to counteract the bad
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Ingesting plenty of vitamins and minerals will help to balance your microbiome, and also prevent constipation, another risk factor for UTI.
For more information on general prevention strategies visit our UTI prevention blog, and for more tips on preventing cystitis with dietary changes, check out our Nutrition and Hydration blog.
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What About Antibiotic Resistance
Resistance rates for antibiotics are always variable based on local patterns in the community and specific risk factors for patients, such as recent antibiotic use, hospital stay or travel. If you have taken an antibiotic in the last 3 months or traveled internationally, be sure to tell your doctor.
High rates of antibiotic resistance are being seen with both ampicillin and amoxicillin for cystitis , although amoxicillin/clavulanate may still be an option. Other oral treatments with reported increasing rates of resistance include sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim and the fluoroquinolones. Resistance rates for the oral cephalosporins and amoxicillin/clavulanate are still usually less than 10 percent.
Always finish taking your entire course of antibiotic unless your doctor tells you to stop. Keep taking your antibiotic even if you feel better and you think you don’t need your antibiotic anymore.
If you stop your treatment early, your infection may return quickly and you can develop resistance to the antibiotic you were using previously. Your antibiotic may not work as well the next time you use it.
Why Might I Need An Antibiotic During Pregnancy
Although not every ache and pain will require medications or antibiotics, if you have an infection caused by bacteria, youll want to get it treated. Thats because if your infection is left untreated, it could lead to a host of problems and complications for you and your baby.
Antibiotics work to rid our bodies of bacteria that may not normally be present, Dr. Baldwin said. During pregnancy, certain conditions like urinary tract infections and vaginal infections may need to be treated with antibiotics. There are also conditions during pregnancy where antibiotics are given to decrease the risk of the fetus getting an infection, such as group B strep.
How Can I Prevent A Bladder Infection
You may do everything right and still experience a urinary tract infection during pregnancy, but you can reduce the likelihood by doing the following:
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day and unsweetened cranberry juice regularly.
- Eliminate refined foods, fruit juices, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
- Take Vitamin C , Beta-carotene and Zinc to help fight infection.
- Develop a habit of urinating as soon as the need is felt and empty your bladder completely when you urinate.
- Urinate before and after intercourse.
- Avoid intercourse while you are being treated for a UTI.
- After urinating, blot dry , and keep your genital area clean. Make sure you wipe from the front toward the back.
- Avoid using strong soaps, douches, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders.
- Change underwear and pantyhose every day.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants.
- Wear all-cotton or cotton-crotch underwear and pantyhose.
- Dont soak in the bathtub longer than 30 minutes or more than twice a day.
Want to Know More?
Do Utis Differ By Trimester
At week 6, UTI risk starts to go up, with two-fifths of UTIs occurring during the first trimester. Because of the likelihood of getting a UTI during the first trimester, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that pregnant women have a urinalysis and urine culture at their first prenatal visit whether they have UTI symptoms or not. In the second trimester, about half as many pregnant women are diagnosed with a UTI as in the first trimester, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that number is almost halved again for the third trimester. However, 80 to 90 percent of acute kidney infections in pregnancy occur in the second and third trimesters, according to data published in the Archives of Medical Science, so pregnant women should have a repeat urine culture during the third trimester.
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