urinary-tract-infection-pregnancy

I’ve experienced my fair share of urinary tract infections (UTIs) over the years and were particularly prone to them for around 7 years, once I began my learning journey and how everything is interconnected I then began to work on the root cause of my issue. That was 6 years ago and I haven’t had a UTI since.

Pregnancy is a recipe for a UTI, increased susceptibility to infections, flow of urine from the bladder to the kidneys slows in addition to your expanding uterus placing pressure on your bladder, not allow for complete emptying of the bladder allowing stagnant urine to fester giving bacteria more time to grow.

So, what is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection is caused when bacteria namely E.coli attaches to the wall of your bladder, women are more prone to a UTI anatomical and around 50% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime.

Symptoms of a UTI

  • Pain and/or burning on urination
  • Uncontrollable urge to urinate
  • Slightly raised temperature
  • Change in the amount of urine passed (usually less)
  • Frequent urination
  • Cloudy urine

Signs your UTI has spread to your kidneys – you must see a doctor immediately. If your UTI has spread to your kidneys this puts you a risk for pre-term labour and low birth weight

  • Fever 38 degrees or above
  • Constant pain in your lower back
  • Shaking and shivering
  • Cold and hot sweats
  • Bloody coloured urine
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea

Treatment  During Pregnancy for a UTI?

First point of call is to get your urine tested to determine if you do in fact have a UTI

Supplements:

  • Floridis Ellura 1 capsule daily, ensuring you finish off the entire pack even if your symptoms subside
  • See “How to Boost Your Immune System” at the end of this article for other supplements

Other things to consider:

  • See “How Do I Prevent a UTI in the First Place” again at the end of this article this offers other tips on what you can do for a UTI

If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics below is a general guideline on what to do after the fact

Probiotics are a MUST!

An antibiotic in your digestive system is relative to an atomic bomb going off, it destroys everything in its path good and bad. Once you’ve finished off the antibiotics I recommend supplementing with a broad spectrum probiotic, like Orthoplex Multigen Probiotic or Bioceuticals UltraBiotic 5000 for a minimum of one month, two months is ideal. Then move onto a specific probiotic to suit your individual needs your naturopath should be able to point you in the right direction.

EAT PREBIOTICS

Prebiotics are fuel for your bacteria and help to nourish your delicate gut microbiome

Prebiotics are found in:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Beetroot
  • Green peas
  • Chick peas
  • Lentils

Boost Your Immune System

  • Vitamin C 500mg 3 x times daily is optimal
  • Zinc 20mg-50mg at night. I use Nutri Doc Zinc Picolinate. Citrate is another good form.

So how can I prevent a UTI during pregnancy in the first place?

Habitual Changes

  • Wipe from front to back
  • Always go to toilet soon after having sex
  • Avoid chemical soaps, washes that alter your delicate vaginal flora
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Empty your bladder frequently

Dietary Changes

  • Minimise processed carbohydrates and refined sugars all of which help to feed the bad bacteria in your gut

Supplements

  • Cranberry | Floridis Ellura is the only brand I’ve found which contains only cranberry and is safe to take during pregnancy. Take 1 capsule daily for at least a month. You may then just need to take it as required. This is great to take as a preventative!
  • Probiotics are imperative, and should be taken for the entire duration of your pregnancy and at least 3 months’ post-partum. Speak to your healthcare provider about which one to take.
  • Metagenics Ultra SB Dysbiosis especially if you’ve had antibiotics and/or are prone to thrush.
  • Metagenics Ultraflora LGG is also effective and addition, and has been shown to decrease the incidence of eczema. A systemic review conducted in the Journal Allergy Clinical Immunology demonstrated a decreased incidence of eczema if probiotics were taken in the last 3 months of pregnancy and 6 months’ post-partum1.

Lastly, keep your immune system strong with the supplements I recommended above.

In health,

 

Megan Maitland

BBioMedSci BClinSci

NATUROPATH | NUTRITIONIST | BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE

References

  1. Cuello-Garcia C et al. 2015. Probiotics for the prevention of allergy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Oct;136(4):952-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.04.031.

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