Urinary tract infection or UTI is an infection or inflammation in the urinary tract, sometimes also affecting the bladder. Women are most probable to suffer from urinary tract infection during pregnancy. Lower urinary tract or upper urinary tract or both can be affected with variation in type of infections. Infection in the lower urinary tract can cause burning sensation and the frequent urge to urinate in most of the individuals. Bladder can also be affected if the lower urinary tract is infected.
Other problems like kidney stones, pain in the hip flexors, urethritis, bladder cancer, menopause, gonorrhea is sometimes related with urinary tract infection during pregnancy. Most of the times, this infection can be defined more precisely as the infection that spreads all around the kidneys, bladder, the urethras and the overall tract. When the upper part of the urinary tract gets infected, also known as pyelonephritis, it can be considered as a more severe case of urinary tract infection causing kidney problems and requires a professional medical treatment.
Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy
Women mostly are infected in comparison with men. Various causes like menopause, gonorrhea, unsafe sexual behaviors and pregnancy leads to urinary tract infection in women. In case of women, most of the times, this tract infection is seen active during pregnancy. Because of the change in size of uterus, the bladder gets pressurized and results in incomplete passage of urine. The leftovers simply cause infection in the bladder, kidney and the urinary tract.
Moreover, the production of progesterone slows down the discharge of urine from the urinary tract which allows bacteria to increase in number and cause kidney as well as urinary tract infection.
Are urinary tract infections contagious?
The most popular myth related with urinary tract infection during pregnancy is that it can be contagious. Hope you noticed the word “myth”. No! Urinary tract infections are not at all contagious. However, during a sexual intercourse the bacteria your partner contains can transfer into your body. But this process primarily is not the cause of urinary tract infection. Contamination of your own bacteria can infect your kidneys as well as your bladder because of unhealthy sexual intercourse.
Also, urinary tract infection during pregnancy being most common, women confuse the cause of infection as the sexual intercourse occurred during their pregnancy period.
After sexual intercourse women are likely to suffer from urinary tract infections. And this is where all this misconception develops. Most of the times, women get infected because of unsafe sex and having multiple sex partners which causes irritation in the urethra causing urinary tract infection. Not because Urinary Tract Infection is contagious.
Symptoms of urinary tract infections
Common symptoms given by urinary tract infection can match with other infections in the kidneys and also urethritis. Also, the symptoms given can vary as of which part of your urinary tract is infected. If your lower part is infected, you may be experiencing one or more of these following symptoms.
• Burning urination or pain after or during the urinating process.
• Frequent and unbearable urge to urinate.
• Change in color of urine: either pale or light blood.
• Pain in the hip flexors and lower back.
• Cramps in the lower abdomen.
• Urine with foul smell.
The infection in the upper part of the urinary tract being more fatal, medical treatment can be considered in the first place. The symptoms given by this infection can be as fatal as the disease. Some of the symptoms include:
• Fatigue and pain in overall body, especially around the abdomen, upper and lower back and hip.
• High fever.
• Nausea along with vomiting.
• Discomfort while urinating.
There is nothing much you can do about the UTI yourself. You will need a medical assistance to treat both the types. You may have to try antibiotics for a week or so, as prescribed by the professional. Though there are some natural remedies for treating UTI.
If you are pregnant or if you see any of the symptoms given by urinary tract infection, preventions works wonder. With these simple preventive measures, you will almost never get infected. Pregnant women are more likely to suffer, so preventive measures can be very helpful.
• Drinking water is the key. Water works like a potion for any problem related to urinary tract. Never leave yourself dehydrated.
• When you feel like urinating, don’t just stop. And try to empty your bladder completely if possible.
• Try to urinate shortly after sexual intercourse.
• Stay hygienic. Especially around the genital area.
• Wear clean and comfortable undergarments as well as uniforms.
• Avoid acidic foods, alcohol, caffeine, junk foods and excess sugar.