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Women's Health

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Pregnancy and Urinary Tract Infections

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If I Think I Have a Urinary Tract Infection, What Should I Do?

If you think you have a urinary tract infection, tell your health care provider. He or she will test a small sample of urine for bacteria and red and white blood cells. The urine may also be tested to see what kind of bacteria are in the urine (called a urine culture).

If your infection is causing discomfort, you will probably be treated before the urine test results come back.

How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated?

Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics. You will need to take the medicine for 3-7 days or as determined by your health care provider. The symptoms should go away in three days. Don't stop taking your medication early, even if the symptoms go away (unless instructed by your health care provider).

Many common antibiotics -- amoxicillin, erythromycin, penicillin, for example -- are considered safe for pregnant women. Certain others, such as tetracyclin, may lead to liver problems and affect the developing baby's teeth.

How Can I Avoid Getting Urinary Tract Infections?

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  • Wipe yourself from front to back.
  • Empty your bladder shortly before and after sex.
  • Use a water-based lubricant during intercourse if you feel dry.
  • Don't douche.
  • Avoid strong feminine deodorants or soaps.
  • Change feminine pads often.
  • Wash the genital area with warm water before sex.
  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on September 29, 2014
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