While being pregnant is one of the most joyous times of your life, it can also be one of the most uncomfortable. Your body is going through radical changes and the added weight of a fetus can place pressure on your internal organs. This can cause pain, especially for your bladder. Even so, there are ways to deal with this uncomfortable fact of pregnancy and avoid bladder pain in the process.
Causes of Bladder Pain
Bladder pain during pregnancy is usually caused by one of two things. First, the pressure of your growing baby on your bladder can make the area painful. This can also make it feel like you need to go to the bathroom more frequently, which can cause pain if you hold it for too long. This leads into the other cause of bladder pain during pregnancy, which is a urinary tract infection or a UTI. Since there is more pressure on the bladder, it can be more difficult to empty it completely when you urinate. Bacteria can build up in the urine left behind, causing an infection and pain.
Symptoms of a UTI
Though UTIs are fairly common in pregnant women, that doesn't make them any less of a nuisance. Common symptoms include the feeling that you need to urinate all the time, feelings of urgency—as though you might not make it to the bathroom in time, pain when urinating, a burning sensation when urinating, pain in the lower abdomen, fever, foul smelling or cloudy urine and blood in the urine. Immediate treatment is necessary as UTIs can spread to the kidneys, which is much more serious and can be harmful to the baby.
Diagnosing a UTI
If you suspect you might have a urinary tract infection, see your doctor right away. You will be given a urinalysis in order to detect the presence of bacteria. Once this has been determined, you will be advised of your treatment options.
Treating a UTI During Pregnancy
The standard course of treatment for a urinary tract infection is a round of antibiotics. Most treatment plans last for about a week and are completely safe for you and your baby. The type of antibiotics used will be determined based on an analysis of your urine and the type of bacteria that is present.
Preventing UTIs and Bladder Pain During Pregnancy
Prevention is the best course of action when it comes to UTIs. In order to do this, you'll need to make sure you drink plenty of water each day and incorporate unsweetened cranberry juice into your diet. Avoid eating or drinking anything containing caffeine or a lot of sugars. When going to the bathroom, wipe from the front to the back and tilt your pelvis forward and backward to ensure the bladder is emptied completely. Also, don't hold off when you need to urinate. Don't use strong soaps in the genital area and avoid douching. Make it a habit to urinate before and after sex. By practicing these prevention techniques, you reduce your chances of developing a UTI and uncomfortable bladder pain so many women suffer with during pregnancy.