Posts Tagged ‘UTI’

Silent but dangerous bacteria

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Pregnant woman with doctorAbout 25% of pregnant women carry Group B streptococcus (also called Group B step or GBS). GBS may come and go quietly in your body without any symptoms, so you may not be aware that you are carrying it. GBS may never make you sick and we don’t know exactly how the bacteria is transmitted. But while GBS may not be harmful to you, it can be very harmful to your baby.

How can GBS affect you during pregnancy?

GBS lives in the rectum or vagina and can cause a bladder or urinary infection (UTI). Women who have symptoms can receive antibiotics from their provider. If you don’t have symptoms of an infection, you may not know you need treatment. Without treatment, a uterine infection during pregnancy can increase your chances of:

• Premature rupture of the members – When the amniotic sac breaks after 37 weeks of pregnancy but before labor starts
• Preterm labor – Labor that happens too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy
• Stillbirth – When a baby dies in the womb before birth, but after 20 weeks of pregnancy

Is there any good news?

Yes, you can be tested for GBS. If you are pregnant, you will be tested for GBS at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Your provider will take a swab of your vagina and rectum and the sample will be sent to the lab. The process is simple and painless and results will be available in 1 to 2 days. If you go into preterm labor, your provider can use a quick screening test during labor to test you for GBS.

If the test is positive:

You will receive an antibiotic from your provider during labor and birth through an IV, which helps prevent your baby from getting the infection. Remind your health care provider at the hospital when you go to have your baby; this way you can be treated quickly. It may be helpful to make a note and stick it on top of your hospital bag so you remember as you walk out the door. If you have GBS and a scheduled cesarean birth (C-section) before labor starts and before your water breaks, you probably don’t need antibiotics.

With treatment, a woman has only a 1 in 4,000 chance of delivering a baby with group B strep, compared to a 1 in 200 chance if she does not get antibiotics during labor.

If you are worried about GBS, speak with your health care provider. Have questions? We are here; email AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Bubble baths and UTIs

Friday, May 17th, 2013

duckiesCan sitting in a bubble bath cause a urinary tract infection (UTI)? The answer isn’t clear, but it might contribute to one, especially in girls.

Your bladder stores urine in your body. When you urinate, the urine passes from the bladder through a tube called the urethra to exit your body. The urethra is shorter in girls than in boys, which can allow bacteria to enter the bladder more easily.

Any kind of strong soap or strong fragrance if not completely rinsed off can irritate the opening of the urethra. If irritated, it can become painful to pee and women, and especially young girls, might hold their urine longer than normal to avoid pain. Holding urine can allow bacteria to multiply and eventually reach the bladder, which can lead to infection.

Some health care professionals recommend keeping girls out of bubble baths until they are at least 3 years old. Others prefer that you avoid them completely. Regardless of age, if you, or your daughter, tend to get UTIs, don’t sit in a bubble bath. And watch out for baths that have bubbles from shampoo. Wait to shampoo her hair until the end of the bath and rinse her thoroughly, then out she gets!