You wake up to relieve yourself in the morning, and it seems unbearable to empty your bladder. Panic sets in, and you start to wonder what’s wrong.
Why does it hurt to pee? It is especially disconcerting if you are pregnant.
A UTI during pregnancy may be the cause of the discomfort you are feeling. Let’s take a look at all the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, and why women who are pregnant get them more often than others.
UTI During Pregnancy
While just about anyone on the planet can get a urinary tract infection, they are most common in pregnant women.
Pregnant women have different hormones that cause changes in the urinary tract. Not only do the hormones have cause changes to expectant mothers, but the growing uterus presses against the bladder, which can lead to an incomplete voiding of the bladder.
Does it Matter if I Cannot Empty My Bladder All the Way?
Often, with busy work and home life schedules, they just wait until the next time they need to go to the restroom in the hopes that it will empty then.
If you want to avoid a UTI during pregnancy, this is not the tactic to go with.
You need to make sure you are emptying your bladder completely during the time you pee.
You may even have to stand up and attempt to manually adjust the position of your uterus on the bladder. Then you can attempt to void your bladder again.
Many expectant mothers find that this step is helpful in getting the much-needed relief of a truly empty bladder.
Symptoms of UTI During Pregnancy
These are some of the most common symptoms of UTI when you are pregnant. Do you recognize some?
- Urinary Frequency: you feel like you need to pee all the time. Peeing multiple times in an hour may indicate that you have a urinary tract infection.
- Urine is Cloudy: if your urine is cloudy, or smells particularly strong it can be time to check if you have a UTI.
- Difficulty Urinating: if you are having a hard time going to the bathroom, your urine stream starts and stops, or you cannot empty your bladder all the way, these may be signs of a more intense problem.
- Burns When Voiding: one of the more common symptoms of a urinary tract infection is a burning sensation when peeing. If it burns or you get cramps in the low back while you are voiding your bladder, schedule a visit with your OB.
How Serious Is It?
Urinary tract infections on their own are considered a mild health concern. They only become a problem if they lead to kidney infection.
The kidneys are part of the urinary tract, and an unchecked bladder (or urethral infection) can spread into the kidneys. Kidney infections have been linked to preterm labor in some cases.
Other complications of UTI during pregnancy are that low birth rates have been reported.
What to Do if You Think You Have a UTI
If you even suspect that you have a UTI while pregnant, it is time to get a visit with your physician. Most UTIs require antibiotic treatment, and will not clear up on their own.
Because of the risks to the baby, make sure you seek medical attention for UTI during pregnancy.
Can I Prevent a UTI?
There are a few things that you can do to prevent a UTI during your pregnancy:
- Stay Hydrated: Drink at least 64 oz of water daily.
- Practice Good Hygiene
- Wipe front to back
- Don’t Douche
- Don’t use Feminine Deodorants
- Change pads often
- Wash your genitals before sex
- Empty the bladder after sex
- Wear Cotton Underwear: cotton underwear will allow your private area to breathe, and lessen the chance of infection. You should also avoid tight clothing to allow breath-ability.
- Take Showers Instead of Baths
It is important to be comfortable and healthy during your pregnancy. If you even suspect that you have a UTI, you should see a doctor.
It will make your pregnancy much more comfortable, and will be better for your baby in the long run.