Urinary Tract Infection in Pregnancy: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Female urinary system

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is an infection of the bladder and other urinary structures. Most UTIs occur in the bladder. They often cause pain or burning when you urinate. UTI is the most common bacterial infection in pregnancy. If untreated, a UTI could lead to problems such as a kidney infection or preterm labour.

Most UTIs can be cured with antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that is safe during pregnancy. Be sure to finish your medicine so that the infection does not spread to your kidneys.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Drink extra water and other fluids for the next day or two. This will help wash out the bacteria causing the infection. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Urinate often. Try to empty your bladder each time.

Preventing UTIs

  • Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. This helps you urinate often, which clears bacteria from your system. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • Urinate when you first have the urge.
  • Urinate right after you have sex. This is the best way for women to avoid UTIs.
  • When going to the washroom, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from entering the vagina or urethra.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting get worse or appear for the first time.
  • You have new pain in your back just below your rib cage. This is called flank pain.
  • There is new blood or pus in your urine.
  • You have any problems with your antibiotic medicine.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You are not getting better after 1 day (24 hours).
  • You have new symptoms, such as blood in your urine.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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