3 reasons for UTIs while pregnant. Are they common & how to avoid them?

Urinary tract infections are the most common infections that women can develop during pregnancy. It is an infection of the urinary system and occurs in various parts of the urinary tract. It includes the kidneys and the bladder. 

In some cases, asymptomatic bacteriuria can occur when you might lack the symptoms of an infection. It happens when the UTI develops, and bacteria are detected in the urinary tract. Anyone can get a UTI, but they are more common in women than men. 

doctor checking pregnant woman

While you can develop this infection at any point in your life, young and elderly women are more likely to experience it. It manifests through a burning sensation when you use the bathroom. However, during pregnancy, UTIs are more common during pregnancy. 

See below, and let us show X reasons for UTIs while pregnant. We will discuss whether they are common or rare and give tips on avoiding them. 

Can you get a UTI while pregnant?

Studies show that at least 5% of women will develop UTIs during pregnancy. Due to the compression of the expanding uterus, the hormones that are flooding the body make it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Keeping the perineal area clean is also difficult with the baby bump, and all these factors lead to the development of UTIs.

Kidney and bladder infections are quite rare, and only 2% of pregnant women will experience them. Most of the time, bladder infections are more common and related to non-pregnant women. 

During pregnancy, the symptoms of a UTI are similar to those experienced by anyone else, including:

In the first stages of an infection, a faint sensation will be felt when you go to the toilet. Suppose this infection is at an advanced stage. In that case, you might experience a fever at a high temperature and even back pain or vomiting. 

UTI symptoms during pregnancy

happy pregnant family

Starting from the 6th week of pregnancy, women are at an increased risk of UTIs. These increased risks last until the 24th week, and it is due to changes in the urinary tract. 

As the uterus grows, its weight can block the drainage of urine because the uterus is situated right above the bladder. It can lead to a urinary tract infection during pregnancy, and you can expect the following symptoms:

  • Cloudy urine that smells unusually strong
  • Pain and pressure in the area of the bladder
  • Back pain, fever, and nausea suggest kidney disease.
  • Increased or decreased amount of urine
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to use the toilet
  • Leaking and discharge of urine
  • Cramps and pain in the lower abdomen
  • Blood in the urine
  • An urgent feeling to use the toilet
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Pain or burning sensation when peeing. 

Causes for UTIs during pregnancy

pregnant woman

You will experience UTIs during pregnancy for several reasons. Some of the causes may not be directly related to the problem. Several factors can lead to such infections, and they are:

  1. Bacteria from the bowel

The bacteria causing the infections can come from several places. The most common one is E Coli which comes from the bowel. The urethra is located close to the rectum, so the bacteria can easily be transported. A solution is to wipe from front to back instead of back to front, keeping the bacteria away from this area.

  1. Changes in the body

With changes in your hormones, the bacteria will have an easier opportunity to travel up the urinary tract and start an infection. Your bladder experiences increased pressure from the growing uterus, making it difficult to empty the urine completely.

  1. Group B Streptococcus

It is a type of bacteria that can cause UTIs during pregnancy, even if they are carried in the intestinal tract. In the late stage of your pregnancy, your doctor should test you for this infection and give you the necessary treatment. 

Many wonder if fake urine still works for a drug test in 2022. Check out this article to find out if this method is still used nowadays.

How to treat a UTI while pregnant without antibiotics

woman in pain

Many products are intended for pain relief and treating UTIs, but they mostly come as temporary solutions. It is important to check with a doctor and get diagnosed after running several tests. A professional can give you the necessary treatment for a fast recovery, which cannot be achieved with temporary over-the-counter solutions.

AZO Urinary Pain Relief Maximum Strength

24 tablets are fast and effective in relieving UTI symptoms and pain. After taking this medication, you will start feeling better in 20 minutes or less. This product contains an essential ingredient that doctors often prescribe for urinary pain relief in both men and women.

It is directly focused on the area of discomfort, and you will experience relief in a short time. General pain relievers are less effective, but you should check with a doctor if the symptoms won’t go away after 2 days of taking this medication.

A dose of two tablets a day is recommended after having a meal. Swallow them with a full glass of water, as you also get hydrated. You can take them at any time of day, and there are no special morning or evening conditions. 

Native Remedies UTI-Clear for Urinary Tract and Bladder Health

This solution is made of a special selection of herbs that support the health of your urinary tract. Among the ingredients, you can find lemon balm, yarrow, and even certified organic oatstraw. 

It was specially designed by a team of experts in natural health to promote bladder health and the comfort of the urinary tract. Toxin elimination and systematic flushing are easier now, with natural water balance that addresses bloating and bladder pressure.

This concentrated formula is easy to use, and you only need to add a couple of drops to your water or juice. The ingredients are of the highest quality, and a team of experts tests this solution. 

A distinct manufacturing process guarantee reliability and consistency, and this product is one of the best temporary solutions for relieving your UTI symptoms. 

Are UTIs common in early pregnancy?

woman about to pee

Although pregnant women have an increased chance of getting UTIs, the infection can appear at any time. However, it is best if treated in the first trimester or as soon as possible. If left untreated, the infection can develop complications that will put your health at risk.

Hormones are one of the reasons why you develop a UTI during pregnancy. They will cause significant changes in the urinary tract and can also lead to a condition where your pee flows back up to your kidneys.

Your pee also has more sugar and protein when pregnant, increasing the risk of a UTI. The uterus presses on your bladder, making it hard for you to let out all of the urine, which can also be a source of infection. 

Difference between UTI and pregnancy symptoms

There are various symptoms both for UTIs and pregnancies, and below we will list some of them separately. This way, you can see the differences between UTI and pregnancy symptoms.

Some of the pregnancy signs include:

Nausea

It often appears as early as 4 weeks into the pregnancy and will cause motion sickness, which is a common effect. This symptom gets easier over time for some people, but others can experience it throughout their pregnancy. 

Frequent urination

urine sample

It occurs early in the pregnancy and results from the uterus expanding or hormonal changes. Increased blood volume and kidney size can also be responsible for this symptom. 

Fatigue

Another common early pregnancy symptom is fatigue, which might be the most intense one in the first 12 weeks. The body produces more hormones to aid the pregnancy, which may increase fatigue.

Signs of UTIs are:

  • Fever
  • Cloudy urine
  • Burning sensation when using the toilet
  • The feeling of a full bladder
  • Smelly urine

Pregnancy affects your entire body, whereas a UTI mostly affects your bladder and kidneys. You can differentiate between these two effects if you get specific with the symptoms. 

Is a UTI a sign of pregnancy?

toilet

As these two are not strongly related, an urinary tract infection is not a sign of pregnancy. Engaging in unprotected intercourse might cause some infections that are similar to symptoms experienced during pregnancy. 

After suspecting that, you might want to do a pregnancy test. These tests are designed to detect a specific hormone that is produced by the placenta after a fertilized egg has been implanted on the uterine wall. 

No infection can cause the body to produce this hormone, so these pregnancy tests are highly accurate. A positive pregnancy test is always right whether you have a UTI or not. 

I thought I had a UTI, but I was pregnant.

If you felt like you had a bladder infection and experienced some of its symptoms, it might be surprising to find out that you are pregnant. Many women will feel like they have a UTI in the early stages of pregnancy.

The frequent urge to pee and the pain in the lower abdomen are similar to the symptoms experienced from a urinary tract infection. However, early pregnancy can also trigger some UTIs as there is a change in the urinary tract. 

But because they are not strongly related, a UTI is not a sign of pregnancy. You should get tested for both, and you can find out which one you have. A doctor will run several tests and diagnose you if you have an infection. In contrast, a simple pregnancy test can tell you if you are pregnant or not. 

Can a UTI cause miscarriage?

When pregnant, you need to take your health seriously and care for yourself and the baby. Infections such as UTIs can affect your baby, so it is essential to get specialized medical attention. 

While a mild infection will not cause a miscarriage, treating it as soon as possible is important. Contact your doctor and share your symptoms with them. A check-up might be required where they will diagnose and give you a treatment. 

If you do not treat these infections, they can worsen over time and result in complications for the baby. In some extreme cases, UTIs left untreated can lead to miscarriages. 

If you suspect you have white blood cells in your urine, check out this article where we show you X possible reasons for leukocytes.

How to prevent UTIs during pregnancy

luxurious toilet

Preventing UTIs during pregnancy is essential for your health. Luckily it is not complicated, and you can slowly incorporate these solutions into your daily life. This way, you will protect yourself and the baby from unwanted infections that can complicate the pregnancy.

Some of these solutions are:

  • drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated
  • avoiding strong soaps in the genital area
  • avoiding sprays and perfumes
  • wearing cotton underwear
  • emptying your bladder more frequently

FAQ

Can you take azo while pregnant, and is it safe?

If you are pregnant, you should not take this medication unless a doctor recommends you. Avoid this medicine during the last 20 weeks of your pregnancy. The unborn baby might develop serious heart or kidney problems.

Your pregnancy will also lead to complications, so it is important to ask a doctor before using this medicine. They will recommend you the best alternative if necessary. 

Can a UTI go away on its own while pregnant?

UTIs are common both in pregnant and non-pregnant women, and their treatment is the same in both cases. These infections won’t go away independently, requiring specific medication to clear them out.

If left untreated, UTIs can progress into serious issues for pregnant women. Do not leave such a problem untreated, and follow your doctor’s advice.

How long does a UTI last without antibiotics while pregnant?

Depending on whether the infection is minor or not, it can usually go away within a week. But it will never go away on its own, and some treatment is still required. Some home remedies will relieve you from the pain during recovery, but make sure to seek a doctor’s help if your health worsens.

Some home remedies include drinking plenty of liquids that are not limited to water. Tea is essential for your recovery, and cranberry juice is also effective because it helps relieve symptoms. Increasing vitamin C and probiotics is also a good way to fight off the infection.

When it comes to essential oils, many people see positive results. From oregano oil to clove oil and cinnamon oil, they all can accelerate the healing process. But some of these oils also have health risks, so it is important to inform your doctor about using them. 

In most cases, you shouldn’t expect the infection to go away on its own. Left untreated, it can develop into a serious health problem that will harm you and your baby. 

What can you take for a UTI while pregnant?

Amoxicillin is usually the first choice of antibiotic taken by pregnant women that have a UTI. But not all medication is safe to take while you are pregnant. You should ask the doctor about treatment and medicine recommendations.