Urinary tract infections are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Even outside of pregnancy, they are extremely common in women and have many different causes. Immediate treatment for urinary tract infections, also called bladder infections, is essential. If not treated immediately, bladder infections can lead to kidney infections and other serious complications. Regular urinary tract infections can easily be caused by bacteria, especially for women who do not drink enough fluids or are diabetic. Urinary tract infections during pregnancy are even more common, because the uterus sits directly on top of the urethra. When the baby starts growing, the uterus might push down on the urethra and trap excess urine, which could lead to infection. Infection is even more serious for women who are pregnant, because kidney infections could lead to pregnancy complications such as low birth weight and preterm delivery.

When you are pregnant, you want to be sure that every type of medicine you take is safe for you and your baby. Therefore, the antibiotics you’ll need to treat your urinary tract infection might alarm you, and you might hesitate to take them. However, these antibiotics are essential to your recovery, and you really don’t have a choice. Luckily, a recent study determined that there are no negative side effects associated with the antibiotics used to treat a urinary tract infection. These studies did not show which type of antibiotic was preferable in treating infection, but they showed that all treatments were effective and complications were extremely rare. You should always check with your health care provider before starting any type of treatment regimen, but you can rest easy knowing that if you get a urinary tract infection during your pregnancy, treatment will be as quick and as harmless as when unassociated with pregnancy.

Urinary tract infections could cause numerous complications with your pregnancy. Unlike other medications, the antibiotics used to treat them will not interfere with your baby’s development and will not cause any further complications. If you get a urinary tract infection during your pregnancy, your symptoms will include pain or burning when urinating, an increased frequency and urgency in urination, blood in the urine, and incontinence. If it has turned into a kidney infection, you might also experience back pain, vomiting, fever and chills. Seek treatment right away and do not hesitate to take the antibiotics prescribed to you, as it is safe for you and your baby.

Source: Juan C Vazquez et al: Treatments for Symptomatic Urinary Tract Infections During Pregnancy. Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group January 2011