A UTI, with its many forms, is the most common pregnancy complication. Many women experience this as needing to go to the toilet more frequently, but it can also cause the urinary tract - the way in which urine is released from the bladder - to become blocked
Pregnancy - it’s
supposed to be one of the most magical experiences a woman can go through. The
reality might leave you feeling a little differently though!
pregnancy you may experience a wide variety of different complications,
symptoms, upsets, aches and pains as your body adapts to your growing baby and
the demands needed to keep them nice and healthy!
One such complication
you might experience is a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Not all women will
experience this but it is pretty common - one of the most common complaints
from pregnant women in fact!
What is a UTI?
A UTI can occur at any
time during your pregnancy, so it’s worth knowing what it is and why it
As mentioned, your
body will go through many changes as your body adapts to your baby.
Anatomically speaking, the uterus is located above the bladder in the body. As
your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows bigger, the uterus expands too
which compresses the bladder.
Many women experience
this as needing to go to the toilet more frequently, but it can also cause the
urinary tract - the way in which urine is released from the bladder - to become
If this happens, urine
can get stuck in the urinary tract, which can cause bacteria to build up. The
most common bacteria in this case is Escheria Coli (more commonly known as
E.Coli). If left untreated this can lead to an infection in the urinary tract.
What are the symptoms of a UTI?
It’s really important
to keep an eye out for the beginning symptoms of a UTI so you can make sure you
seek appropriate treatment early on. The longer the infection goes untreated,
the more problems it can cause for you and your baby.
A burning sensation when you urinate
Discomfort, or slight pain when you urinate
Feeling the need to urinate but being unable to when you do go to the toilet
Very dark coloured urine when you do urinate
A high fever or temperature
A pain or ache in the abdomen
Inability to go to the toilet,
even though you feel like you need to
Pain in the kidneys (located in
your lower back)
Signs of blood, or blood-like
fluid in your urine
Types of Urinary Tract Infections
table below summarizes the different types of UTIs in order of increasing
Types of UTIs
No signs or symptoms
Urgency to urinate, frequency, burning sensation
Very high fever, nausea/vomiting, severe pain, loss of
Found in routine lab tests showing raised levels of bacteria.
A urine culture shows raised levels of bacteria
A urine culture shows raised levels of bacteria.
Treated with oral antibiotics, prescribed by your doctor.
Treated with oralantibiotics, prescribed by your doctor
Requires hospital admission and treated with IV antibiotics,
hydration, tocolysis (to delay labour if needed), prescribed by your doctor.
What can I do help prevent UTIs?
A UTI can be very
uncomfortable if you do experience one, that’s why it’s so important to stay
aware about your body and look out for early symptoms.
Some of the ways you
can help to try and prevent a UTI include:
Drinking plenty of fresh, clean
Taking part in light exercise to
keep the body active and healthy
Always wipe from front to back
after going to the toilet
Don’t hold it when you do feel
like you need to go to the toilet
Is a UTI infectious?
A UTI is a bacterial
infection, not a virus, so it cannot be passed on to others, including your
baby and your partner.
If left untreated, the
infection can spread and even enter the bloodstream and this is when it can
start to cause real problems for you and your baby. Never ignore the symptoms
of a UTI - make sure you speak to your doctor who can advise of the best course
UTIs are also known to
be caused from sexual intercourse, for similar reasons to the above.
Intercourse can cause the uterus to push against the urinary tract and this can
cause a temporary blockage resulting in bacteria spreading.
What should I do if I have a UTI?
Make sure you speak to
your doctor immediately who can provide you with the best advice and guidance
to help clear the infection as quickly as possible.
You may be prescribed
anti-biotics and your doctor will be able to advise the best course for you to
make sure you and your baby remain completely safe.
Even if you are only
noticing the early signs of a UTI, it’s always worth mentioning it to your
doctor or midwife so they can help you and make sure it does not progress into
a more serious infection.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.