Urinary Tract infections also commonly known as UTIs are dreaded by every woman. If that wasn’t enough, did you know pregnancy increases the chances of getting UTI during the nine-month journey?
5% of all pregnant women are known to develop a UTI during pregnancy. Adding furthermore concern to this, are the chances of recurrence being true for 1 in 3 cases (during pregnancy itself)
Contrary to general UTI infections, during pregnancy one may not develop any ‘visible’ symptoms at all. Therefore, in many cases, the infection goes unnoticed until a routine urine test is conducted when requested by the healthcare provider.
These silent UTI episodes can prove to be risky as they can cause further complications in the pregnancy that include: kidney infections, preeclampsia, increase chances of intrauterine growth restrictions and even preterm birth.
Reasons For An Increased Risk Of UTI During Pregnancy Include:
- The growing uterus results in a gradual increase of pressure on the bladder. This pressure often causes the bladder to retain some urine and not empty completely- one of the biggest causes of UTI during pregnancy.
- Hormonal fluctuations and changes make it easier for bacteria to travel up the urinary tract and lodge itself there, further increasing the chances of infection.
- Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: This form of diabetes is known to occur for the first time during pregnancy. Commonly known as GDM, its prevalence is known to increase the risks of UTI during pregnancy.
- A bacterial infection of the Group B streptococcus category is often diagnosed in late pregnancy. This bacterium is commonly present in the intestinal tract and can be a risk factor for developing UTI during pregnancy.
Generally, UTIs are routinely treated with the help of antibiotics. However, during pregnancy use of antibiotics is often restricted and not easily recommended. UTI during the first trimester can prove to be rather tricky as many medical practitioners’ advise against antibiotic use before the pregnancy has reached 12 weeks.
Simple Hacks To Prevent UTI In Pregnancy:
- Stay well hydrated: Try increasing fluid levels to approximately 3 litres a day to help flush out bacteria from the urethral tract.
- Practice wiping- front to back to prevent bacteria from entering the urethral opening.
- Look at wearing garments that are light and airy around the crotch area and cotton garments prevent bacteria from thriving.
- Probiotic supplements are proven to be beneficial during UTI prevention and management as it helps combat the ‘bad bacteria’ using the ‘good bacteria’ of the gut.
- Vitamin C supplementation on a regular basis is known to help strengthen immunity and helps acidify urine to prevent UTI.
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: 1tbsp in water before meals, up to thrice a day has shown to help against UTI.
- Avoid sugar, caffeine, refined white carbohydrates as these are known to exaggerate UTI.
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