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A urinary tract infection(uti) happens in the body’s urinary system, which includes your; bladder, kidney , Urethra and Ureters. If your are a woman, the chance of getting an UTI are higher and more concerning when Pregnant, hence our topic for today on UTIs and pregnancy.
If you think you might have a UTI, visit a health centre and talk to a doctor. With proper care, you and your baby should be fine.

UTIs are a key reason we’re often told to wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. That’s because the urethra — the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body — is located close to the anus. Bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, are in the perfect position to escape the anus and invade the urethra.

From there, they can travel up to the bladder, and if the infection isn’t treated, continue on to infect the kidneys. Women may be especially prone to UTIs because they have shorter urethras, which allow bacteria quick access to the bladder. Having sex can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, too.

Symptoms of UTIs

To identify a UTI, look out  for the following symptoms:

  • A burning feeling when you urinate
  • A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do
  • Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine
  • Feeling tired or shaky
  • Fever or chills (a sign the infection may have reached your kidneys)

Why Are UTIs More Common During Pregnancy?

Hormones are one reason. In pregnancy, they cause changes in the urinary tract, and that makes women more likely to get infections. Also, your growing uterus presses on your bladder. That makes it hard for you to let out all the urine in your bladder. Leftover urine can be a source of infection.

Related: Expectant Mother Hospital Bag Check List

Diagnosis

You’ll take a urine test. Your doctor will test it for bacteria and red and white blood cells. A urine culture may also be checked. It shows what kind of bacteria are in the urine.

Many common antibiotics — amoxicillin, erythromycin, and penicillin, for example — are considered safe for pregnant women. Your doctor wouldn’t prescribe others, such as sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, that can affect your baby’s development.

NOTE: Any medication during pregnancy should be on the prescription of a doctor or a qualified health worker.

How to Avoid UTIs

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  • Wipe yourself from front to back when you go to the bathroom.
  • Empty your bladder shortly before and after sex.
  • If you need a lubricant when you have sex, choose a water-based one.
  • Don’t douche.
  • Avoid strong feminine deodorants or soaps that cause irritation.
  • Wash your genital area with warm water before sex.
  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Don’t wear pants that are too tight.

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