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 antibiotics.

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.