Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common bacterial infection in adult women and the most common medical complication of pregnancy. This means that the question of how to treat a UTI naturally occurs commonly with expecting mothers.
The risk of an individual woman experiencing a UTI in her lifetime is 20%. When treated quickly and correctly, UTIs rarely lead to serious complications, but if left untreated, it can lead to kidney infections and even death in rare cases. A UTI occurs when bacteria enters through the urethra and causes an infection. Generally, bacteria are eradicated by urination, but certain circumstances can cause an increased risk of contracting a UTI.
These circumstances include:
- Sexual Intercourse
- Urinary obstruction
- Virulent nature of some bacteria
Some women with UTIs remain asymptomatic, but the most common symptoms reported include:
- Pain in the lower back
- High fever
- Shaking chills
- Burning sensation during urination
- Increased frequency of urination
How to diagnose a UTI during pregnancy
The doctor will collect a urine sample to diagnosis if you have a UTI. The text will examine whether there is an excess presence of bacteria in the urine. The procedure is called a urinalysis.
How to Treat a UTI naturally during pregnancy
Unfortunately, there are no natural treatments for UTIs. It is possible that the UTI may take care of itself. However, some conditions that warrant treatment without waiting to see if the body will rid the infection itself.
Pregnancy is a condition that warrants immediate attention if you are suspecting a urinary tract infection. Your healthcare provider will be prescribing antibiotics that are safe to take during pregnancy.
However, you can prevent UTIs naturally or at least reduce your risks of experiencing a urinary tract infection.
Here are several natural steps you can take to prevent a UTI:
- Cranberry Juice: Some evidence suggests that daily consumption of 100% pure cranberry juice with no added sugar may prevent UTIs because of a possible infection-fighting property contained in the juice. It is unclear how much and how often one should drink cranberry juice to prevent UTIs. You should not drink cranberry juice if you are taking the blood-thinning medication, warfarin, as it may lead to bleeding.
- Drinking plenty of water: This dilutes the urine and helps flush out bacteria that may be present.
- Avoiding drinks that may irritate the bladder: Coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks containing citrus juice or caffeine may irritate your bladder and perpetuate excessive urinating.
- Wiping from front to back: Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom prevents bacteria from the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
- Emptying your bladder soon after intercourse: It is important to try to flush out any bacteria that may have entered the urethra by drinking a full glass of water and urinating soon after sex.
- Avoiding the use of irritating feminine products: Using certain products such as deodorant sprays, douches, and powders can irritate the urethra and cause a UTI.
When treated correctly, UTIs rarely progress to something more serious (such as chronic renal disease); however, if you believe you may have a UTI, it is important to take proper steps to eradicate the infection as quickly as possible to prevent further complications.
Another Helpful Article:
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Mayo Clinic
2. Sweet, R., & Gibbs, R. (2002). Urinary Tract Infection. In Infectious Diseases of the Female Genital Tract (4th ed., pp. 411-442). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
3. Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). (1996). In D. Larson (Ed.), Mayo Clinic Family Health Book (2nd ed., pp. 841-842). New York, NY: William Morrow and Company.