Pregnancy and UTI, why you should make sure you get frequent urine tests.
If you’ve been pregnant before you most likely already know that your chances of getting a UTI (urinary tract infection) while pregnant are pretty high. There is a few reasons why pregnant women are so prone to them which unfortunately means you need to be on the look out. Those lovely hormones that have been messing with you are also to blame for UTIs–that mixed with the extra pressure on your uterus. Pairs those along with even though you may be visiting the restroom every 5 minutes you aren’t always able to fully empty your bladder.
If this is your first pregnancy then you may be how I am. Reading every book, blog, pamphlet and flyer; wanting to make sure you’re doing everything correctly to protect yourself and the little life growing inside of you. (If this is your second you may already know all of this but feel free to read along and add any helpful comments or tips to other soon to be mommies) In several of my readings I noticed urine tests being mentioned as something that should happen throughout your doctor visits to help make sure you don’t have a UTI, as well as looking for other common issues that pregnant women tend to get. (Thanks Hormones!) I personally don’t recall ever having a UTI while growing up, if I did I must have been young enough that my memory of it faded over the years. None the less, I was excited to see that on my first visit they did everything that I had read about. The drew blood, did an exam, collected a urine sample and of course the best part confirm I was 100% pregnant. Everything came back normal and I was good to go.
Fast forward to a little over 25 weeks. We had just finished at the doctors office and we were told that I was doing great. My weight gain was on track, our little guy was still stretching as much out of me as he could and kicking up a storm. We were both exhausted from a bad nights sleep but other than that we were and still are happy parents to be. Then it happened, I went to use the restroom and discovered blood. Thankfully I had done a lot of reading to not panic and realize that this was blood in my urine and not me spotting or bleeding; however that still doesn’t help you not want to throw up from nerves. I called my doctors office and left a message explaining what I had just discovered. They told me to drink LOTS of water and cranberry juice and come in the next morning for a urine test.
When you’re pregnant its really easy for you to get a UTI and not know it. Most of the signs and symptoms are the same as what you feel while pregnant which is why the recommend getting a urine test every now and then while pregnant to make sure you and your baby are doing okay. Like I said I felt great. No pain, no burning while using the restroom etc. Yes I was visiting the restroom a lot but if you are or have been pregnant you know that by the time you reach your second trimester that’s this is nothing new. Other signs can be nausea, dizziness and headaches. This again doesn’t help much since all those fun pregnancy hormones cause the exact same thing. The dizziness and headaches occur more during your second trimester since your little creation is growing and they are requiring more blood flow to get to them.
Since my pregnancy was going so smoothly (minus the all day sickness the first month) my eating habits where still fairly healthy, however I took full advantage of the holiday season this year. It never dawned on me to ask, and my doctor never mentioned I should have regular urine tests. So I went in and filled up a cup for them and waited on my results. They said the labs take about a week but they had called in some antibiotics to fight a UTI. I explained that I wanted to wait until I had a for sure answer that I had a UTI and then I would begin take the meds. Yes, my doctor was a little upset with this decision, but I didn’t want to add stuff into my body if it was not needed. The good news–I didn’t have one!! However, I was on the verge of getting one; but with a full day of pushing liquids and drinking cranberry juice through me I beat it. I now drink one glass of cranberry juice every morning to be safe and still drink water and coconut water as much as I can.
I’m very happy that I was able to avoid taking any medicine (if you do get a UTI, do what your doctor advises you to do, I was lucky enough to flush mine out naturally) and I love the taste of cranberry juice. So drink your water!! Seriously drink more! and make sure that you do frequent urine tests. Better safe than sorry, right?