Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) During Pregnancy

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Women become more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) during pregnancy. These occur when bacteria gets into the urinary system and can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms.

If you’re a mother-to-be and think you may be suffering from a UTI, it’s recommended that you speak to a doctor, since the condition can become serious if left untreated.

Our GPs can discuss your symptoms, identify whether you’ve got a UTI and if needed, prescribe medication to clear it up that’s safe for both you and your baby.

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What Causes UTIs During Pregnancy?

Your body goes through a range of changes when you become pregnant. Elevated hormone levels cause part of your urinary system to relax, slowing down the passage of fluid and giving more time for bacteria to develop before being flushed out.

UTIs that occur in the bladder area are known as ‘lower UTIs’ or cystitis. However, bacteria can spread to the kidneys, causing more serious ‘upper UTIs’.

Lower UTIs are much more common than upper UTIs and their symptoms commonly include: 
  •        Feeling like you constantly need to go to the toilet
  •        Pain in the lower stomach and abdomen
  •        Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
  •        Traces of blood in your pee
  •        Feeling generally under the weather

Upper UTIs can be much more serious, particularly for pregnant women and typically involve:

  •        A consistently high temperature
  •        Prolonged pain in the lower back, side or pelvic area
  •        Shivering and shaking
  •        Feelings of sickness and vomiting
  •        Diarrhoea
  •        Headache

While UTIs won’t usually cause any serious problems, it’s important to get them treated quickly – especially during pregnancy. UTIs that are left untreated have been linked to both low birth weight and premature birth.

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Treating UTIs During Pregnancy

UTIs are commonly treated with a course of antibiotics, which lasts for a week or so. If you often get UTIs, you’ll usually be offered a urine test and prescribed antibiotics if required.

While pregnancy leaves you vulnerable to developing UTIs, there are several steps you can take to prevent them cropping up.

These include going to the toilet whenever you feel the need, cleaning between your legs every day using a mild cleansing product and drinking plenty of water.

If you’re expecting and think you may have a UTI, don’t delay – speak to a doctor today.

Our GPs can discuss your symptoms, diagnose whether you have a UTI and get you the medication you need to remedy it.

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