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How to identify and treat UTI in pregnancy

It is normal to have at least one episode of UTI during pregnancy, because of the changes that occur in the woman's body during this period favoring the development of bacteria in the urinary tract.

Although it may seem scary, a urinary tract infection does not harm the baby and can be easily treated with antibiotics such as cephalexin. However, if the woman does not start treatment, the infection can continue to worsen and cause some risks for the baby, such as preterm labor or abortion, for example.

Therefore, whenever signs of urinary discomfort arise, it is very important that pregnant woman see an obstetrician or gynecologist to do a urinalysis and start treatment if necessary.

How to identify and treat UTI in pregnancy

Possible symptoms of UTI

During pregnancy, a urinary tract infection can be a little more difficult to identify, so select the symptoms you are experiencing and do the test below to see if you may have a urinary tract infection:

  1. 1. Pain or burning sensation when urinating
    Yes
    No
  2. 2. Frequent and sudden urge to urinate in small quantities
    Yes
    No
  3. 3. Feeling of not being able to empty the bladder
    Yes
    No
  4. 4. Heavy sensation or discomfort in the bladder area
    Yes
    No
  5. 5. Cloudy urine or with the presence of blood
    Yes
    No
  6. 6. Persistent low fever (between 37.5º and 38º)
    Yes
    No
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Some of these symptoms, such as a frequent urge to urinate or feeling a heavy sensation in the bladder, are very common during gestation and therefore can be disguised. That way, whenever you identify any changes or discomfort, she should see an obstetrician or gynecologist for a urinalysis and evaluate if an infection may be occurring.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of urinary tract infection during pregnancy is done by examining normal urine whenever there are warning signs. However, the doctor should also order 1 urinalysis every trimester to identify and treat a possible urinary tract infection early, even if there are no symptoms.

In addition, you can also buy a home urine test at the pharmacy.

How is treatment done

Treatment of a urinary tract infection during pregnancy is usually done with the use of antibiotics such as cephalexin for a period of 7 to 14 days. It is also important to drink plenty of water, not to hold the urine, and to empty the bladder completely each time you urinate.

In cases where the infection has worsened is reached in the kidneys, the pregnant woman may need to be admitted to the hospital to take antibiotics directly into the vein.

Risks of infection for the baby

If a urinary tract infection is not treated correctly during pregnancy, there may be complications for the mother and baby, such as:

  • Premature birth;
  • Decreased intrauterine growth;
  • Low weight at birth;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Asthma in childhood;
  • Spontaneous abortion.

In addition, urinary tract infection during pregnancy also increases the risk of the baby's death after giving birth. Therefore, the best way to avoid all these risks is to be alert to the symptoms of a urinary tract infection and to do the treatment indicated by the doctor as soon as the disease is diagnosed.

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