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Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy

Anne Sommers, Licensed Midwife


Q I am 21 weeks pregnant. I've had recurrent Urinary Tract Infections for the past 7 years, some have gone away by themselves and others with antibiotic treatment. I've been told that untreated Urinary Tract Infections may cause kidney infection and premature labor. I've never had a kidney infection. Are kidney infections easier to contract during pregnancy? Is there another drug-free alternative in getting rid of Urinary Tract Infections?

A Kidney infections can result from an untreated Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Bacteria travels. That is why early detection and treatment of a UTI can reduce the incidence of pyelonephitis by 70-80%. Kidney infections are easier to contract in pregnancy and it is one of the most common complications of pregnancy according to "Ambulatory Obstetrics." In fact, the occurrence is 1-2.5% in the pregnant population.

Many factors predispose a pregnant woman to the development of kidney infections - anatomical and hormonal changes in pregnancy, and the increase of glucose in the urine.

I suggest you get treatment (antibiotics) if you have a UTI. But you can reduce your chances of getting a UTI by drinking unsweetened cranberry juice, eliminating sugar from your diet, and drinking lots of water, more than ten glasses a day.

Some physicians put women with chronic UTIs on suppressive antibiotics for the remainder of their pregnancy. However, bacteria becomes resistant to drug therapy and stronger antibiotics are then needed. An alternative would be the evaluation of urine cultures every 2-4 weeks and then antibiotics as needed.

Because you have had many UTIs over the years, you may have an anatomical abnormality (narrow ureter(s), an obstruction, or endometriosis, that predisposes you to this infection. This can be ruled out by tests and maybe treated after your baby is born.

Best wishes

Anne Sommers

Click here to Ask Anne your pregnancy questions

Anne Sommers, LM is a Licensed Midwife in Southern California and founder of Agape Perinatal Consultation & Birthing Services. Anne has attended and personally delivered hundreds of beautiful bouncing babies in some very wonderful and natural settings -- like in the water! She has appeared on various Southern California radio and cable television shows, talked to birth organizations, was editor for several child birth publications and was the owner, editor and publisher of "Mom" Magazine, a quarterly publication in circulation for over seven years. She completed Seattle Midwifery School's Challenge Process and the NARM exam (supervised by the California Medical Board) qualifying her for midwifery licensure. Anne actually made history as noted in the Orange County Register for being one of Southern California's first Licensed Midwives. She is also the mother of two children, born at home, with the attendance of midwives. The Baby Corner The Baby Corner - The Magazine for Expecting & New Parents

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