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UTI in Pregnancy Treatment | Can You Use Antibiotics?

A UTI in pregnancy is caused by bacteria that get inside a pregnant woman’s urethra, or the urinary tract, and results in infection, which requires treatment.

In general, women are more prone to get Urinary Tract Infection than men. This is mainly due to female body anatomy which makes it easier for bacteria to get inside the urinary tract due to the proximity of the anal/rectal area.

UTI In Pregnancy Treatment

UTI in pregnant is one of the common conditions experienced by pregnant women. The reason is that there is pressure by the growing fetus which presses on the bladder and as well as urinary tract. This, in turn, keeps bacteria trapped and results in leaking urine.

Certain physical changes also contribute to the development of UTI during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you are more likely to experience ureteral dilation as early as 6 weeks gestation and the urethra expands until delivery. Larger urinary tract, reduced bladder tone, and enlarged bladder volume result in more still urine in the urethra. This, in turn, creates a condition where bacteria can grow.

Furthermore, when you are pregnant, your urine gets more concentrated and contains certain types of sugar and hormones. These can even improve the conditions which allow the bacteria to grow better and decrease your body’s ability to prevent “bad” bacterias from coming in.

Can you use antibiotics during pregnancy for UTI treatment?

In general, if you experience UTI or feel any symptoms, you should consult your doctor before using any antibiotics even if they are claimed to be safe.

Usually, antibiotics are taken for 3 to 7 days according to the prescription of your doctor.  Your doctor might even start the treatment before the urine test results come in if you feel uncomfortable due to the infection. You might become symptom-free after 3 days of treatment as the antibiotics start to neutralize the harmful bacteria. It is important, however, to stick with your medication schedule even you feel better, as the bacteria might start multiplying again if insufficient antibiotics dosage is present.

There are many types of common antibiotics that are considered safe for UTI treatment in pregnancy, which include amoxicillin, erythromycin, and penicillin. In addition, you need to also note that some other antibiotics are not considered safe for your baby’s health and development. These include ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, trimethoprim, and others.

Can you use nitrofurantoin pregnancy?

Nitrofurantoin is a type of antibiotic which is used in the treatment of UTIs as well as cystitis and other infections. After the intake, the antibiotic will be quickly filtered out of your blood and into your urine. For pregnant women who have UTI, this is very useful, since the medicine is particularly concentrated at the site where the infection is high. On the other hand, this means that it is not beneficial in the treatment of any other type of infection. Nitrofurantoin is also considered safe for breastfeeding women.

Still, since the drug is not suitable for everyone, you need to talk to your doctor in order to get his consultation before using it. If your doctor prescribes you nitrofurantoin for a UTI, it usually takes 3 to 7 days to complete the treatment period. However, some women need to take nitrofurantoin in order to further prevent urinary tract infections, in which case the treatment period may even last several months.

Eventhough nitrofurantoin is generally considered safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, you should not take the medicine if you are preparing for delivery or labor, since it may impact your baby’s blood.

What happens if you forget to take your medication?

It is important to follow your daily dosage. However, should you forget to take your daily dose, you need to take it as soon as you remember. Still, don’t forget that you need to take the next dose as per the original schedule. Do not skip the next dose even if the timings are close together.

Can you take nitrofurantoin during early pregnancy?

As previously stated, nitrofurantoin is a type of antibiotic that is safe for use for pregnant women. However, according to recent studies, during the first trimester of pregnancy, the drug might cause congenital malformations. This, in turn, has surfaced new concerns about its use.

Therefore, prior to prescribing the medication, your healthcare professional will take into account not only the potential effects on your and your baby’s health, but also the how many weeks along you are at the time. That’s why you need to seek your doctor’s advice in order to discuss these details with them. 

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