Having a bladder infection during pregnancy is not uncommon.
A bladder infection – also called a UTI or Urinary Tract Infection – is difficult to diagnose during pregnancy because the symptoms can be an indication of many other things including venereal disease and kidney disease.
During pregnancy, a bladder infection can be asymptomatic – without symptoms. So be sure to get a diagnosis from your doctor or midwife. A diagnosis is easy to get with a painless urinalysis and a urine culture.
Bladder Infection During Pregnancy: UTI Symptoms
Symptoms are the same whether you are pregnant or not:
- Pain, burning, or discomfort when emptying your bladder
- The need to empty your bladder more often than usual
- A feeling of urgency when you urinate
- Blood or mucus in the urine
- Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain during love making
- Chills, fever, sweats, leaking of urine
- Change in amount of urine – either more or less
- Urine that looks cloudy, smells foul or unusually strong
- Pain, pressure, or tenderness in the area of the bladder
Note on Pregnancy and UTI: If bacteria spreads to the kidneys you may experience:
- Back pain
Bladder Infection During Pregnancy: Information
What is a bladder infection?
A bladder infection – or UTI – is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. As we have already said, a bladder infection during pregnancy is common – especially during week 6 through week 24.
You are probably wondering why a bladder infection during pregnancy is more common. This is due to different factors:
- It is due to the changes in your urinary tract, some of which are due to hormonal changes in your body.
- Another reason is that your uterus – full with baby – sits directly on top of your bladder. As your baby grows and therefore your uterus, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection.
- Lastly is that while pregnant, your blood volume increases by 50%. That is a good thing. However, your kidneys – which are responsible for cleaning your blood – are called upon to work harder than normal and therefore they are more vulnerable to stress and infection.
What Are The Dangers of a Bladder Infection During Pregnancy?
Well, the main danger of an untreated UTI during pregnancy is premature labor and therefore a premature baby.
How can this be?
What do pregnancy and UTI have to do with prematurity?
Well, if a bladder infection goes untreated, it may lead to a kidney infection and a kidney infection may cause preterm – early – labor.
If you treat a urinary tract infection early and properly, the bladder infection will not cause any harm to your baby.
Bladder Infection Prevention
Be aware that you could do everything right and still have a bladder infection during pregnancy. The cause of a bladder infection is not always clear. However, your behaviors can – and do – make a big difference.
- First of all, watch your diet. You must eat well in order to maintain proper physiology – proper body functions.
- Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day. It will help dilute your urine. Sorry to say, bacteria find urine a wonderful medium to grow in. A healthy intake of water will help flush your system.
- Eliminate sugar. Bacteria thrives on sugar.This includes:
- Refined foods i.e. white flour, etc.
- Fruit juices
- SugarAnd no……Artificial sweeteners are not a healthy alternative.This includes:
- Saccharine – Sweet-n-Low
- Aspartame – NutraSweet
- Avoid caffeine, this includes coffee, black teas, chocolate and last but certainly not least sodas!
- Avoiding alcohol is a no brainer and it is also full of fruit sugars.
- Develop a habit of emptying your bladder regularly as soon as you have the urge and empty it completely.
- Empty your bladder before and after lovemaking.
- Avoid lovemaking while you have a bladder infection.
- After emptying your bladder, make sure you wipe from front to back.
- Avoid using strong soaps, douches, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders – they do affect your vagina’s delicate tissues.
- Avoid pantyhose.
- Wear all cotton underwear. Synthetic materials do not allow your skin to breathe which makes bacteria very happy.
- Avoid bubble bath, bath oil and bath salts. Bacterial growth is aided by resulting change in normal acid/alkaline balance.
- Drink 5 to 10 cups of Nettles tea or infusion every week during the last trimester of pregnancy in order to strengthen your kidneys. A good pregnancy tea will contain Nettles
- Last but not least, rest. You are more susceptible to any infection when your body is run down. So adequate rest is a must.
Treating a Bladder Infection
A doctor – or even some midwives – will treat a UTI with antibiotics. Antibiotics while effective and better than a preterm infant are not risk free. Doctors will say that drugs are risk free and very safe. They also said that about x-rays and DES.
However, a drug per definition must be toxic or it cannot be labeled as a drug.
Granted, if your bladder infection is very advanced and you are in premature labor, then medication is the lesser of two evils. In this case the benefits do outweigh the risks.
However, if you have time, there are safe natural alternatives. Yes, there are natural cures for a bladder infection.
Comments about Bladder Infection During Pregnancy
- Excitement for nothing by Sadnewsbears (MT)
I’m an 40 weeks pregnant and the other night I starting having pains. I thought they were contractions because they were coming and going every so often.
I wasn’t too sure if they were or not considering this is my first pregnancy.
I called my cousin to tell her about what I was experiencing and we both thought I was in labor.
We called the family and they all got up and left. They all live at least four hours away.
The pains slowly started going away and then when I went to sleep they got even worse.
When I got up the next morning they were gone.
I called my doctor to tell her what was going on and she told me that my pain was most likely from my bladder infection.
I was so disappointed that it I wasn’t going into labor and sad that my family drove through really bad weather in the middle of the night to try and make what didn’t even happen.
They all headed home and are going to have to drive back when it’s really time for baby to come out.
- Went to the hospital last night by Sheena (Ca)
I called my dr, and told him the pain and symptoms I was experiencing, including, pressure on my pelvic area, cramping, & much more.
Was told after 5 hours I have a bladder infection.
But get this, the dr didn’t even tell me that could lead to preterm birth. But he did tell me, that if I went into labor…there was NOTHING They could do to stop it beings I am 19 weeks, 20 weeks in two days.
Wow! Gotta love drs!
- Kidney infection 35 weeks pregnant by Jodie (Reading England)
i’m currently 35 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child the pregnancy has gone really well and iv been fine throughout.
with my 1st child my waters broke at 25 weeks at 34 weeks i had a kidney infection and it bring on premature labour i had my son at 35 weeks and i was in so much pain with being in labour and the pain from my kidneys.
i have been to the doctors today which have confirmed i have kidney infection yet again im slightly worried as my partner works nights and i’m always in much more pain at night the doctor has giving me antibiotics which i have started to take immediately. ‘im just worried is this going too end up the same as my 1st and have a early baby?
- Huh? by Anonymous
In the list it says empty your bladder after lovemaking but the next line says avoid lovemaking while pregnant. I’m confused.
Answer: LOL, did not mean to confuse you…
Avoid lovemaking IF you have a UTI….to prevent a UTI, pee after lovemaking.
- I am 40 weeks by Denise (Laurens S.C.)
I have a bladder infection, am on Nitrofurantoin 100 mg. 2x’s a day, and I am planning on nursing after I have my baby…… When I read the warnings it says do not take between 38 and 42 weeks of preg., do not nurse while taking this med, and other bad side effects…. What should I do? I could go at anytime and I am going to nurse so should I quit using this med and try something else or what? I have called my doctor but no one has called back yet.
- 6 weeks pregnant ..Finding out in the Emergency Room by Denise (Los Angeles ,Ca )
I’m 6 weeks pregnant . Just found out 2 days ago in the emergency room. When for a lower abdominal pain n spotting. Finding out I’m pregnant. They told me I had a urine infection. So wondering why if it doesn’t burn while using it how can that be. Plus I been having fever at night pain gets worst at night also .then having weird smell down.. so I come and in the internet what I what and its a bladder infection so now wondering if thus will work . Bit scare hoping it will help.
My mother put letuce wet in alchol and placed it in my middle center stomach during at night . Cover it on top with napping .or ect. It help to release a bit the fever . U could leave that in for 20 to 30 minutes , you’ll be surprise of how it looks after .