If you are a woman, you have high chances of getting a Urinary Tract Infection. Studies say that 1 in every 2 women will get UTI at least once in their lifetime. Pregnant women are much more prone to suffer from a UTI since a woman’s body undergoes many changes when pregnant. A Urinary Tract Infection is characterized by inflammation of the urinary tract which can be caused due to bacteria certain viruses or even fungi.
Let us understand the causes and symptoms of UTI and the best ways to cure this common problem.
Also read: 11 Ways To Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
Causes of Urinary Tract Infection
#1. Incomplete emptying of the bladder
During pregnancy, various changes occur in the urinary tract of a woman. The uterus is situated right on top of the bladder and as the uterus starts to grow, it exerts a lot of pressure on the bladder. This blocks the urine from getting drained from the bladder completely and microorganisms are able to flourish.This can lead to an infection.
#2. Frequent urine sensation
When you get frequent urine sensations and are able to pass just a few drops of urine, some drops get spilled on your underpants. When these wet underpants come in contact with your skin, it can lead to an infection.
#3. Using dirty toilets
Using dirty toilets at home or in public areas is one of the major reasons for a UTI. Most of the times, a public toilet is unsanitized as people do not use it wisely and so it has all kinds of germs on it. Use a toilet seat sanitizer, very commonly used and easily available in markets. A western toilet seat often has urine spilled on it and when a person sits on this, all the germs get transferred to their body. Sitting on a dirty western toilet seat is an open invitation to microbes.
Also read: Urinary Tract Infection: Causes & Symptoms
#4. Drinking less water
Drinking very less water is another cause of urinary tract infection. When you drink less water, all the toxins do not get removed from your body, thus causing inflammation and infection in the urinary tract.
What are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you are most probably suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection:
- Burning sensation during urination
- Pain while urinating
- Frequent urine sensation
- Pain while having sex
- Frequent visits to the washroom
- Presence of mucus or blood in urine
- Pain and/or cramps in the lower abdomen
- Foul-smelling and cloudy or dark-colored urine
- Too much or too little urine
- Fever and chills
- Leaking of urine
- Pain and tenderness in the bladder area
- Back pain, nausea, and vomiting
How can you detect a UTI?
If you’re experiencing the above symptoms, consult your gynecologist immediately so that he/she can get a urine culture and a urinalysis done in order to detect the infection and start the medication.
How does a UTI affect your growing baby?
If you do not get yourself treated for a urinary tract infection, it can lead to an acute kidney infection, which can lead to premature labor and low birth weight in the baby. A UTI must be treated timely and properly to save the unborn baby and the mother from any complications.
Also read: Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) – Causes, Symptoms, Cures and Remedies
Treating a UTI during Pregnancy
Most of the times a UTI can be treated with a course of antibiotics that are prescribed for a period of 3-7 days. Usually, the infection subsides in 3 days but that doesn’t happen, you can contact your doctor for further advice.
The antibiotics must be taken for the prescribed time even if the symptoms go away in order to prevent the infection from relapsing. Your gynecologist will only prescribe antibiotics that are considered to be safe during pregnancy. If you experience any side effects such as fever, chills, nausea or vomiting after taking the medicine, contact your doctor immediately.
How to prevent a UTI?
The likelihood of a UTI can be reduced by taking the following precautions:
#1. Use the washroom as soon as you have the urge
Do not hold on to urine. You must urinate as soon as you feel the need to urinate and try and empty your bladder completely in one go so that you don’t have to visit the washroom often.
#2. Avoid Diuretics to stay clean from urinary tract infection
Avoid foods which induce urine. These include coffee, tea, packaged juices, refined foods, and alcohol.
#3. Clean yourself before and after having sex
Make it a point to urinate and clean yourself before and after having sex.
#4. Say no to intercourse while on medication
If you’re being treated for a UTI, please refrain from having sex as it can aggravate the problem.
#5. Get your daily dose of Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps to build your immunity and increases your resistance to infections and diseases.
#6. Stay hydrated
Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated. Your body needs water to produce new blood and eliminate all the toxins and waste from the body. Our body also loses water in the form of sweat.
#7. Keep your vagina clean and dry
Use some toilet paper to blot dry yourself each time you urinate. The tissue will absorb all the extra drops of urine and keep your underpants and your skin dry. Do not use your regular soap or shampoo to clean the intimate area. Always use an intimate wash
to maintain the pH balance of your vagina.
Also read: Common Infections During Pregnancy And How To Avoid Them
#8. Avoid wearing tight-fitting bottoms
Tight fitting clothes give rise to sweat and sweat makes it easier for microbes to thrive.
Image source: WikiHow
#9. Wear cotton underpants
Cotton underpants allow your skin to breathe and you experience less sweat.
#10. Change your underwear every day
You must wear clean underpants every day as your underwear gets dirty due to urination and germs.
#11. Avoid douching
Douches can be harsh on your skin and cause a lot of irritation and lead to infection so avoid using them.
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