Urinary tract infection is one of the most frequent complications during pregnancy that can lead to complications for both the mother and the growing fetus. This blog is created to clarify doubts for future moms and thus generate a greater understanding of the need for certain changes during pregnancy to avoid this disease.
What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
A urinary tract infection is when there is the presence of bacteria associated with urinary symptoms such as frequency (urinating many times slowly), urgency (incomplete feeling of evacuation), dysuria (burning sensation when urinating), pelvic abdominal pain and changes in urine. Few or all of these symptoms may be found. This infection is 14 times more common in women than in men.
What is asymptomatic bacteriuria?
It is the presence of bacteria in the urine, associated with the absence of urinary symptoms, it can be found in 1-9% of adults (men and women). It does not require treatment unless surgery is to be performed or the person is pregnant.
What is the problem with asymptomatic bacteriuria during pregnancy?
The changes caused by pregnancy associated with the presence of bacteria in the urine allow pregnant women to present urinary infections more frequently than in non-pregnant women. That is why during pregnancy your family doctor should look for the presence of bacteria in the urine even if there are no symptoms and give it treatment to avoid future complications.
What are the risk factors for getting a UTI during pregnancy?
The presence of urinary catheters
High frequency of sexual intercourse
Use of spermicides
Low socioeconomic status
History of previous urinary infections
Other diseases like Diabetes mellitus
New sexual partner in the last 12 months
What is pyelonephritis?
It happens when the infection has reached the kidneys, it is more frequent on the right side due to the anatomical location of the kidney, but it can be bilateral in 25% of cases. It can present with the symptoms already mentioned plus fever, chills, malaise, nausea and vomiting.
What are the risks for the mother and baby if there is a UTI in pregnancy?
For the mother:
Increased risk of pre-eclampsia (High blood pressure during pregnancy)
Preterm labor (birth before 38 weeks)
Respiratory distress syndrome
For the baby:
Intrauterine growth restriction.
Low birth weight
The measures that are recommended to reduce the risk of urinary tract infection during pregnancy are:
Cleaning after urination should be done from front to back.
Wash hands before and after using the toilet.
Using hand soap to prevent bar soap colonization of bacteria
Washing the genital and urinary area during bathing
Do not use douches, perfumed oils, deodorants in genital area.
Adequate water consumption 1 to 2 liters per day
Consumption of blueberries
Empty the bladder completely when urinating
Urinate before and after sexual intercourse, adequate lubrication during intercourse
Wear cotton underwear, not tight.
Rahiman, f. o. m., balasubramanian, t., shejina, m., & musambil, m. (2015). a review on urinary tract infection in pregnancy. international journal of pharma research & review, feb, 4(2), 26-33.
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michelim, l., bosi, g. r., & comparsi, e. (2016). urinary tract infection in pregnancy: review of clinical management. j clin nephrol res, 3(1), 1030
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