Is Frequent Urination Normal, Or A Sign Of Something Else?

Frequent urination is often one of the first -- and longest lasting -- symptoms of pregnancy. As you baby grows and the uterus expands for nine months, pressure on your bladder increases, causing more trips to the bathroom. So is the need to hit the loo every 10 minutes entirely normal? Not necessarily. Read why here!
Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas note that while frequent urination is common during the nine months, it shouldn't always be dismissed as just part of the experience. "If frequent urination becomes excessive or is associated with any burning or other new symptoms, you should see a doctor to be checked for an infection," says Dr Gary Lemack, assistant professor of urology. "Infections during pregnancy need to be treated aggressively."

Pregnant women seem no more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) than other women. However, when a UTI does occur, it is more likely to travel to the kidneys. According to some reports, about 2 to 4 percent of pregnant women develop a urinary infection. Scientists think that hormonal changes and shifts in the position of the urinary tract during pregnancy make it easier for bacteria to travel up the ureters to the kidneys. For this reason, many doctors recommend periodic testing of urine.

If you develop a UTI during pregnancy, you should be treated promptly to avoid premature delivery of your baby and other risks such as high blood pressure. Some antibiotics are not safe to take during pregnancy. In selecting the best treatments, your caregiver will consider various factors, such as the drug's effectiveness, the stage of pregnancy, your health, and any potential effects on your baby.

Seeing red
Blood in your urine is something you should always take seriously. "As urologists, we are most concerned when blood comes on unexpectedly and with no associated symptoms," said Dr Lemack. "When urinary urgency, frequency and burning accompany blood in the urine, it is commonly due to a bladder infection." However, these symptoms should be fully evaluated and treated by a physician, particularly with repeat bouts.

Dr Lemack recommends increasing your fluid intake and calling your caregiver if you see blood in your urine. If you see large blood clots or have trouble urinating, it may be advisable to go to a local acute-care center for evaluation.

Signs and symptoms
Not everyone with a UTI has symptoms, but most people get at least some. These may include a frequent urge to urinate and a painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination. It is not unusual to feel bad all over -- tired, shaky, washed out -- and to feel pain even when not urinating.

Normal urine is sterile. It contains fluids, salts, and waste products, but it is free of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. So how does a UTI begin? Well, an infection occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the opening of the urethra and begin to multiply. Most infections arise from one type of bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally live in the colon.

When using the bathroom, always be sure to wipe yourself from front to back -- never the other way around -- to avoid spreading germs into your vagina and urinary tract.PregnancyAndBaby.com


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