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Urinary Tract Infection in Pregnancy
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by bacteria that get inside your urinary tract. The urinary tract includes your kidneys and bladder. UTIs are common in women, especially during pregnancy. This is because of changes in your immune system, hormones, and uterus. As your uterus grows, your bladder may not completely empty. Bacteria can grow in the urine left in your bladder and cause a UTI. UTIs during pregnancy can increase your risk for a kidney infection and preterm labor.
Seek care immediately if:
- You are urinating very little or not at all.
- You have severe pain.
- You have a fever and chills.
Call your doctor or obstetrician if:
- You have pain in the sides of your back.
- You do not feel better after 2 days of treatment.
- You are vomiting.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics help fight a bacterial infection.
- Medicines may be given to decrease pain and burning when you urinate. They will also help decrease the feeling that you need to urinate often. These medicines will make your urine orange or red.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Prevent another UTI:
- Urinate when you feel the urge. Do not hold your urine. Urinate as soon as needed. Always urinate after you have sex. This helps flush out bacteria passed during sex.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to drink more fluids than usual to help flush bacteria out of your urinary tract. Do not drink caffeine or carbonated liquids. These drinks can irritate your bladder. Your healthcare provider may recommend cranberry juice to help prevent a UTI.
- Wipe from front to back after you urinate or have a bowel movement. This will help prevent germs from getting into your urinary tract through your urethra.
- Do pelvic muscle exercises often. Pelvic muscle exercises may help you start and stop urinating. Strong pelvic muscles may help you empty your bladder easier. Squeeze these muscles tightly for 5 seconds like you are trying to hold back urine. Then relax for 5 seconds. Gradually work up to squeezing for 10 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions a day, or as directed.
Follow up with your doctor or obstetrician as directed:
You may need to return for more urine tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Learn more about Urinary Tract Infection in Pregnancy (Discharge Care)
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