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!

Stinky diaper might mean a UTI

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

stinky-diaperAnyone who has ever had the pleasure of changing a baby’s diaper knows that these little critters can make one big mess. Even diapers that haven’t been “bombed” and are just wet can be pretty stinky. Be aware, however, that if a diaper full of urine has a very strong smell and Junior isn’t feeling well (unexplained fever, irritability or vomiting), the odor may be an indicator of infection.

A Canadian study just published in the journal Pediatrics concluded that foul smelling urine in a baby’s diaper significantly increases the odds that the baby has a urinary tract infection, UTI. UTIs usually are caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract, spread and multiply and cause infection which can alter the smell of urine. In the study, 57% of babies with foul smelling urine had UTIs compared to only 32% who did not. UTIs usually are not serious and can be treated with antibiotics, but some infections can lead to serious problems, like kidney infections and possible damage.

So what should you do if your baby has a particularly stinky diaper? Recognizing that many external factors can influence the way urine smells (foods such as asparagus, certain medications, mild dehydration leading to concentrated urine, etc.), parents need to reflect on what Junior has been up to before assuming he has a UTI or dismissing the idea all together. If uncertain, check with his health care provider.

For more information on UTIs in children, click on this link.

Pregnant… gotta go?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

bathroom-breakIf you’re pregnant, you may feel like you’ve scoped out every bathroom in the state. Do you know the location of every clean gas station or Starbuck’s on the planet? You may be wondering “what’s the deal with having to pee all the time?” Here’s a link to the whys and wherefores, your basic Bladder 101 for pregnant women.  It includes tips for dealing with this temporary torment and signs that may mean you need medical attention, like a possible urinary tract infection, UTI.

For the first few days after delivery, you may go even more often as your body gets rid of the extra fluid of pregnancy. But after a few days, your need to pee should return to what it was before you became pregnant. Yay! Most women do get back to normal. Take heart, there will come a time when you’ll be able to drive past almost every gas station or Starbuck’s without making a pit stop.

Cranberry juice and UTIs

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

cranberry-juiceWe have written before on urinary tract infections (UTIs) – infections that affect many women.  Left untreated in a pregnant woman, a UTI can lead to preterm labor, so it’s important to prevent or treat them right away.

Lately, we have had several women ask us if cranberry juice helps to get rid of a UTI. Studies show that it doesn’t clear up an active infection, but it might help prevent another one. Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts proved that there are metabolites in cranberry juice that prevent E. coli bacteria from sticking to other bacteria, multiplying and causing infection. Their study, published last fall, demonstrated the preventive benefit of cranberry juice in as little as eight hours after drinking it.

I love the taste of cranberry juice, but if you don’t you can get the same benefits from taking cranberry tablets or capsules. Important note: do NOT drink cranberry juice or take the pills if you or your family has a history of kidney stones. It can increase the levels of calcium and oxalate in your urine, possibly causing brushite kidney stones, which are otherwise fairly rare.

To help avoid getting UTIs: drink plenty of water throughout the day; use the toilet before and after sex; always wipe from front to back;; take showers instead of baths.  If you think you may have a UTI, don’t self-treat and call your doctor. You want to be sure to nip it in the bud. Antibiotics usually clear up a UTI very quickly.

UTIs – urinary tract infections

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

UTIs are infections of the urethra, bladder, and sometimes ureters or kidneys.  Unfortunately, they’re fairly common during pregnancy.  Many of the normal changes a woman’s body experiences during pregnancy increase the risk of getting a UTI. Your growing uterus can put pressure on your bladder and prevent it from emptying completely. Left over urine can breed bacteria, increasing the chance of a UTI.

It’s important to treat UTIs during pregnancy because these infections can cause preterm labor.  The good news is that, when treated early, a UTI won’t hurt you or your baby – so talk to your provider if you think you might have a UTI.

How do you know if you have a UTI?  Most women have one or more of the following symptoms: pain or burning when you urinate; an intense urge to urinate, sometimes right after you’ve just gone; strong smelling or cloudy urine; mild fever and a tender lower abdomen or backache.  If you think you might have a UTI, your provider will test your urine for bacteria and red or white blood cells. Treatment includes taking antibiotics and it’s very important to take them all.

The best way to avoid a UTI is to drink plenty of water.  Make sure you urinate after you have sex. Do not douche.  Wear cotton underwear.  Don’t pass up an opportunity to use the bathroom – holding your urine for an extended period can actually cause you to not fully empty your bladder when you finally do go.  So when you go, make sure you really empty your bladder – leaning forward can help. And always wipe from front to back.

Infections after c-section

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

mom-with-newborn1Did you know? Women who have a c-section are more likely to develop a postpartum infection than women who have a vaginal delivery.

A new study from Denmark looked at the records of over 30,000 women who had given birth. Those who had a c-section were at increased risk of having a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a wound infection within the first 30 days after delivery. (A wound infection affects the area where the incision was made.) Other studies have also found an increased risk of infection after cesarean.

So if you have a c-section, be on the alert for these signs:

* For a UTI, watch for pain or burning when you go to the bathroom, blood in your urine, fever and the urge to go often.

* For  wound infection, watch for redness, swelling or pus around the incision site. Sometimes, the wound may open, and you may run a fever.

For more information, read the March of Dimes article on cesarean birth. Or watch our video C-Section: Recovering After Surgery.