Early pregnancy symptoms can be confusing, especially for new moms, and they can often mimic the symptoms of other common issues, such as a UTI.
Is it possible to be pregnant and mistake it for a UTI?
In the first trimester of pregnancy, you may have symptoms that can easily be mistaken for a UTI, including frequent urination, fatigue, nausea and lower back pain.
Continue reading if you want to learn more about pregnancy and a UTI.
What is a UTI?
A UTI is a common infection which occurs when bacteria from the skin or the rectum enter the urethra, causing an infection in the urinary tract. A UTI can present as a bladder or kidney infection, though these are less common.
Difference Between UTI And Pregnancy Symptoms
What Are the Symptoms of a UTI?
The symtoms of a UTI inlcude:
- Frequent urination
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Feeling the need to urinate with an empty bladder
- Pressure in the lower abdomen
- Bloody urine
- Lower back pain
What are the Symptoms of Early Pregnancy?
Symptoms of early pregnancy are:
- Tender breasts
- A missed period
- Increased urination
- Altered mood
- Light Spotting
- Nasal Congestion
- Food Aversions
UTIs During Pregnancy
Because women have a shorter urethra, they have a higher chance of getting a UTI. This risk increases even more during pregnancy due to changes in the immune system and the urinary tract.
The uterus expands as your baby grows, putting pressure on the bladder and the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidney. Because of this pressure, the urinary tract can become blocked and unable to drain urine.
The hormones in pregnancy can also relax the bladder muscles, causing urine retention. This causes bacteria to grow in the urinary tract, usually leading to infection.
Is a UTI During Pregnancy a Risk to My Baby?
There are a few risks to be aware of if you have a UTI while pregnant. A UTI can increase your risk of high blood pressure, compromising pregnancy and your baby’s birth weight.
The bacteria from a UTI can release a substance called endotoxins, and these can lead to uterine contractions and anaemia. In some cases, if a mother has an untreated UTI during pregnancy, the baby can experience delays in mental development.
In very rare cases, an untreated UTI can cause miscarriage or infant mortality.
How is a UTI Diagnosed?
UTIs are usually diagnosed with a simple urine sample that checks for bacteria. Your doctor may also perform a physical exam.
Routine urine tests are common in all trimesters of pregnancy, so it’s simple for your doctor to recheck for a UTI. She may recheck if you have symptoms of a UTI, are experiencing symptoms or are at a higher risk of developing one.
In some cases, an ultrasound may be taken to check the health of your kidneys.
How is a UTI Treated in Pregnancy?
If you are diagnosed with a UTI during pregnancy or any other time, you will need to drink plenty of water to flush out the urinary tract. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics that are safe to take during pregnancy.
Because a UTI can cause considerable risk to you during pregnancy if left untreated, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as you think you may have one.
How Can I Lower My Risk of Getting a UTI During Pregnancy?
There are several things you can do to lower your risk of a UTI during pregnancy.
- Try to avoid constipation
- Drink plenty of water
- Treat any vaginal infections right away
- Urinate as soon as you need to
- Urinate after sexual intercourse
- After using the toilet, wipe from front to back
- Wear cotton underwear
Pregnancy can be a time of excitement and anticipation, but it can also be riddled with confusion and uncertainty. One common source of confusion for pregnant women is whether their symptoms are caused by pregnancy or something else.
Pregnancy is a time of many changes for women, and sometimes the signs can be difficult to interpret. It can be especially confusing when the symptoms mimic those of a urinary tract infection (UTI).
It can be a shock to find out that you’re pregnant after having certain symptoms, such as abdominal pain and frequent urination. But, it’s possible that you could be pregnant and have UTI symptoms, best to take a test and put your mind at rest.