Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)- Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies
By : Priyanka Verma
Although women of any age can get a UTI, pregnant women are more prone to suffer from a UTI or Urinary Tract Infection since a woman’s body undergoes various changes in pregnancy. A Urinary Tract Infection is characterized by inflammation in the urinary tract which is caused due to bacteria. At times, it might also be caused due to certain viruses or fungi.
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 provides favorable conditions for microorganisms to grow. This is turn, leads to an infection.
2. Frequent urine sensation
When you get a frequent urine sensation and are able to pass just a few drops of urine, some drops also get spilled on your underpants and when these wet underpants come in contact with your skin, it leads to an infection.
3. Using dirty toilets
Using dirty toilets at home or in public areas is one of the major reasons of a UTI. Most of the times, a public toilet is unclean as people do not use it wisely and has urine and all kinds of germs on it. 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.
Click below to see a woman’s review of Public Toilets
4. Drinking less water
Drinking very less water is another cause of a 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 a UTI?
If you experience any or all 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 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.
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:
- 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.
- Avoid Diuretics – Avoid foods which induce urine. These include coffee, tea, packaged juices, refined foods, and alcohol.
- Clean yourself before and after having sex – Make it a point to urinate and clean yourself before and after having sex.
- 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.
- Take your daily dose of Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps to build your immunity and increases your resistance to infections and diseases.
- Stay hydrated – Drink at least 6-8 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.
- 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.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting bottoms – Tight fitting clothes give rise to sweat and sweat makes it easier for microbes to thrive.
- Wear cotton underpants – Cotton underpants allow your skin to breathe and you experience less sweat.
- Change your underwear every day – You must wear clean underpants every day as your underwear gets dirty due to urination and germs.
- Avoid using feminine washes and douches – Feminine washes and douches can be harsh on your skin and cause a lot of irritation and lead to infection.
How to prevent UTI when going out?
While you’re at home, you can prevent a UTI by taking care of yourselves in the above-mentioned ways, but you need to be extra careful while you’re out. You cannot avoid going out for the entire course of your pregnancy. When you go out, the use of a public toilet is inevitable. You have no choice but to use a public toilet, whatever be its condition! So when you go out and have to use a public washroom, we recommend you make use of PeeBuddy. This revolutionary product for women will allow you to stand and pee. You no longer have to sit on that dirty toilet seat. No part of that seat will have to touch your body.
You don’t need to hold on to urine till you get back home. Just carry PeeBuddy with you and pee whenever you need to. This is the best way to maintain hygiene even when you’re in a public place. PeeBuddy is made from waterproof paper and it is a single-use product.
The Peebuddy disposable portable urination device is really easy to use. You can simply carry it in your bag wherever you go and use it in any public washroom. Just open the device and place the open end of the funnel between your legs. Tilt your hips to ensure that the flow is downwards and dispose of after use. It’s that simple!
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