Urinary tract infections in pregnancy

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Urinary tract infections in pregnancy

When you are talking about urinary tract infections bladder infections, such as cystitis, and those affecting the kidneys, the pyelonephritis, generally caused by the proliferation of bacteria in the urinary tract. It is a disorder that mainly affects women due to the proximity of the urethral orifice to the anus and the shorter length of the urethra, two factors that favor the passage of bacteria in the urinary tract. Let's see what risks can be involved urinary tract infections in pregnancy and how they are treated.





Escherichia coli in pregnancy, risks for the fetus

About the the goal of the adult female population suffered from urinary tract infections (IVU) at least once in a lifetime. During the pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, a woman is more exposed to the risk of contracting such pathologies. This is due in particular to the fact that the fetus, growing in weight and size, causes a compression of the genitourinary system where urine stagnation often occurs in which colonies of infecting bacteria proliferate.



Statistics show that in 15% of pregnancies there is an asymptomatic urinary infection, the bacteriuria, which can sometimes progress to more acute infections of the bladder and kidneys.

In 80% of cases, the germ responsible for the infection is theescherichia coli, one of the most common microbes in stool that can cause cystitis, an infection that usually clears up with antibiotic therapy.

Risks to the fetus are mainly associated with preterm births and to the increased probability of premature rupture of membranes. This is why it is important to fight and treat urinary tract infections even before the onset of symptoms and for this reason a monthly urine test is done to avoid complications at the end of pregnancy.

Cystitis in pregnancy

I symptoms more common than UTIs and cystitis in pregnancy I'm:



  • frequent need to urinate;
  • pain or burning when urinating;
  • blood in the urine;
  • discomfort in the middle of the lower abdomen (suprapubic pain).

During the nine months also the fever it can be a symptom of a urinary tract infection (especially in the case of pyelonephritis) to which the expectant mother, as already mentioned, is much more exposed. In pregnant women the presence of these or other urinary tract infections is investigated through a urine culture that allows identification of the bacteria that cause the disorder.

Read also: Infections in pregnancy: what are the risks and how to prevent them

Urinary tract infection in pregnancy, remedies

L'urine culture it is the test used to diagnose urinary tract diseases and the bacterium responsible. Through theechography the general anatomical picture of the woman can also be evaluated and then proceed with specific therapy.

A urinary tract infection contracted within nine months still needs a aggressive treatment even in the absence of symptoms to avoid a high-risk pregnancy.

Obviously the therapy will be carried out through drugs (generally antibiotics), which are well tolerated in pregnancy and reduce the symptoms that cause pain. Two weeks after the end of treatment, a further urine culture is often done to ensure that the infection has disappeared and in case of recurrence it will be necessary to repeat the therapy.

It will also be advisable to periodically undergo some urinocolture check to be sure of healing. Experts have differing opinions on the measures to be taken to prevent UTIs.

Cystitis in pregnancy, natural remedies

Some doctors advise you to drink a lot, at least one and a half liters of water a day, to favor the elimination of bacteria from the bladder and also to counteract constipation, a factor that can favor the onset of a urinary tract infection. Others, on the contrary, believe that increasing the fluids in the body dilutes the concentration of antibiotic in the bladder making the therapy less effective but to date there is no study or research that supports this hypothesis.

When you have cystitis it is advisable to wear clothes in natural fibers, comfortable and light, which do not tighten too much, and cotton underwear, which must be changed very often.

It is important to follow the nucleoside which the gynecologist prescribed to avoid the risk of complications that could compromise the pregnancy.

Urinary tract infections dangerous for the fetus

It is important to diagnose the cystitis and in general the urinary tract infections in pregnancy because they can cause serious complications for mother and baby:

  • for mom: Cystitis can cause a kidney infection that is called pyelonephritis, linked to the ascent of the pathogenic microorganisms responsible for cystitis up to the kidneys. Pyelophritis can cause kidney failure;
  • for the baby: Cystitis can promote a kidney infection in the mother and cause an increased risk of premature birth and miscarriage.
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