Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) Pregnancy : Distress, anxiety & remedies
31 Aug 2015
1. How common are urinary tract infections during pregnancy?
Pregnancy hormones cause changes in the urinary tract which make infections more likely.
In addition, as the uterus grows it presses on the bladder and cause incomplete emptying of urine and hence infection.
Untreated, these infections may lead to kidney infections.
Urinary tract infections in pregnant women should be treated very urgently to prevent complications such as the infection spreading to the kidneys and causing premature labour.
2. How do I know if I have a urinary tract infection?
Urinary tract infection symptoms include:
Having a burning feeling during urination.
Feeling an urgent need to urinate or frequent urination.
Having difficulty or pain during urinating.
Having a burning sensation or cramps in the lower back or lower abdomen.
Urine that looks cloudy or has an odour.
In pregnancy there may be no symptoms from bacteria in the urine.
3. If I think I may have a urinary tract infection, what should I do?
If you think you have a urinary tract infection, seek medical advice urgently.
A doctor can test a small sample of urine for bacteria and red and white blood cells.
The urine may also be tested to see what kind of bacteria are in the urine (called a urine culture).
If your infection is causing discomfort, you will probably be given treatment anyway before the urine test results come back.
4. How are urinary tract infections treated?
Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics.
You will need to take the medicine for 3 to 5 days, depending on the antibiotic used or as determined by your doctor and if severe may need admission in hospital for intravenous antibiottics.
5. How soon does the medicine work for urinary tract infections?
The symptoms should go away in three days, but, unless instructed by your doctor, it’s important to complete your full course of medication, even if the symptoms go away.
The important fact is that urinary tract infections start due to inadequate water and fluid intake. Make sure that you drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water and empty your bladder at regular intervals.
Please note ladies that using a washroom may not increase your chance of getting a UTI as much as not using one throughout the day.
How to Prevent UTI
Drink 6-8 glasses of water each day
Eliminate refined foods, fruit juices, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
Develop a habit of urinating as soon as the need is felt and try to empty your bladder completely when you urinate.
Urinate before and after intercourse.
Avoid intercourse while you are being treated for an UTI.
After urinating, blot dry (do not rub), and keep your genital area clean. Make sure you wipe from the front toward the back.
Avoid using strong soaps, douches, antiseptic creams, feminine hygiene sprays, and powders.
Change underwear and pantyhose every day.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting pants.
Wear all cotton or cotton-crotch underwear and pantyhose.
Don’t soak in the bathtub longer than 30 minutes or more than twice a day.
PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF UTI
While the physical impact is very well known to most of us, seldom do people talk about the psychological impact of UTIs. UTIs don’t only restrict themselves to only to physical symptoms, but come with a whole lot of psychological and emotional troubles as well. Frequent or prolonged UTI, often impacts one’s self efficacy and thereby their over all self confidence. In some severe cases, individuals especially women may also be prone to depression. Other common feelings associated with UTI include: Feeling of insecurity, anger, apathy, dependence, guilt, indignity, feeling of abandonment, shame, embarrassment, as well as denial.
Though the above mentioned are some of the other common issues men or women with UTI deal with, other more severe issues include:
Fear Of using Public Toilets
Fear Of Pain and the urge to control Urination
Sexual relationship anxiety
1. Fear Of using Public Toilets: Adding to the already existent worries, excessive concerns about personal hygiene make the situation worse. There is a high probability of individuals with UTI to develop a fear of using Public Toilets. They make become overly obsessive about hygiene and may become overly cautious of using toilets in the public even in situations when they are needed to. Some people with severe and prolonged UTI even may become to particular about the toilets they use at home, restricting themselves to use only one toilet and limiting others, even their spouse to use the same toilet. Others, who are required to be out all day in jobs, hospitals or schools may carry disposable toilet seats, seat sanitizer or excessive tissues to clean the seats with them. This fear primarily arises from the fact that UTI is in most cases a result of bacteria, which may be present in public toilets or toilets with multiple users.
2. Fear Of Pain and the urge to control Urination: Another common psychological impact that UTI generates is the fear of anticipated pain caused due to controlling of Urination. Controlling of any urge causes discomfort and urination being a natural process makes it more difficult to control. People who suffer with UTI have a frequent need or urge to urinate and often when that need is not met, they experience discomfort or pain in some cases. As a result simply the anticipation or thought of having to control their baldder makes one uneasy. As a result, sufferers may give up or restrict certain household chores, church/temple/holy-places attendance, shopping, traveling, vacations, physical recreation, entertainment events outside the home, and hobbies. They may even avoid activities outside the home if they are unsure of restroom locations.
and sexual difficulties are common. Women especially tend to get socially disengaged and socially isolated. Most women tend to get very particular about hygiene, especially bathroom hygiene, which may compel them to take some drastic steps such as move around with a toilet seat cover, sanitizer to clean the toilet seat, not share toilet with others (even spouse) or fear of using public toilets.
3. Sexual relationship anxiety: Multiple sexual partners, intense sex or not cleaning of genitals post sex are amongst the most common reasons for UTI. People specially women with UTI, often develop sexual relationship anxiety. This is mainly caused since suffers anticipate more discomfort while having sex during a UTI. They may also fear the urge of urination while having an intercourse and hence avoid having an intercourse to a large extent. Further, for individuals who become very hygiene conscious may avoid sex fearing an exposure to some foreign bacteria leading to avoidance of sex.
How to manage stress because of UTI
Any kind of infection during pregnancy can cause stress in an expecting mother, the major concern in the stress is whether the infection will affect the child, if the UTI gets untreated it can reach the kidney which can cause early labor and low birth weight. to reduce the stress, Its important to treat UTI as earliest as possible, its also essential for the mother to keep the preventive measures in mind, and to be regular with her doctors visits.
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