UTI During Pregnancy: Causes and Symptoms


Urinary tract infections are common for pregnant women. It is an inflammation of the bladder because of bacterial growth.  Pregnant women are more likely to contract UTI between week 6 and 24. During pregnancy the uterus grows in size and presses on the bladder. This blocks the urine flow and causes infection.

There are many possible causes of UTI during pregnancy. Hormonal change during pregnancy results in bacteria growth in the urinary tract. Also vaginal intercourse is one of the causes of bladder infection. The symptoms of bladder infection include burning sensation during urination, frequent urge to urinate and foul smelling urine.

The causes of UTI during pregnancy are as follows:

Causes of UTI During Pregnancy



During pregnancy the hormones fluctuate to a great extent.  The hormonal change makes it possible for the bacteria to travel through the urinary tract and cause infections. This is the reason why pregnant women are more likely to catch urinary tract infections.

Increase in uterus size

The uterus sits at the top of the urinary bladder. When you are pregnant, the size of your uterus grows to accommodate the baby. This puts added pressure on your urinary bladder. As a result the normal urine flow is disrupted and results in infection. Continuous storage of urine in the bladder leads to bacterial growth and cause urinary tract infection. Women who are pregnant with more than one child are more susceptible to UTI.




Intercourse during pregnancy can lead to urinary tract infections. The bacterial living in the vagina can get pushed to the urinary tract during intercourse. Thos causes UTI during pregnancy. Urinating before intercourse and after will flush out the bacteria. Some women are likely to catch urinary tract infections almost every time they have intercourse.

Using condoms and spermicides

Many women prefer using laxatives during intercourse while pregnant. Use of such prevention methods can actually cause urinary tract infections. These are not completely safe. Condoms and spermicides tend to increase the chance of UTI during pregnancy.

Bladder reflux

During pregnancy the urinary bladder is likely to reflux at times. This causes the urine to go back to the bladder. Storage of urine for a long time can help the bacteria to breed and multiply. This inevitably causes bladder infections.

There are other factors also that can cause urinary tract infections during pregnancy. A history of UTI before pregnancy can make you vulnerable to bladder infections during pregnancy. Also maternal diabetes and previous urinary tract operations are liable to cause UTI during pregnancy.

Symptoms of bladder infection are:

  • One of the symptoms of UTI is a painful burning sensation while urinating.
  • Frequent urge to urinate is another symptom. Though frequent urination is common during pregnancy, it can also be a sign of bladder infection.
  • Less amount of urine even though you might feel intense urges to urinate.
  • The color of the urine is usually dark and cloudy if you have urinary tract infection.
  • The urine might also smell foul. This is a sure sign of UTI.
  • Pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse. This is a sign that should not be ignored.
  • Abdominal cramps are also symptom of bladder infections during pregnancy. It is better to check with the doctor to be sure.
  • Bladder infections can cause high fever and chills. This can be a sign of kidney infection also. Having mild fever can also be an indication of infection. You should immediately notify your doctor.
  • You can experience nausea and vomiting as a sign of UTI. Nausea, vomiting is common during pregnancy. But often urinary tract infections cause nausea.
  • If you experience pain on one side of your abdomen particularly, this could indicate kidney infection. Kidney infection during pregnancy can be very fatal and should be treated immediately.
  • Sometimes the urinary bladder spasms. This is one sign of bladder infection.
  • You can also feel shaky and exhausted if you contract urinary tract infection.
  • In case of severe infection, there might be blood in the urine also. This is an indication that the infection is in a critical stage. Consult your doctor at the earliest in such a case.


  • The most conventional method of treating urinary tract infections is by antibiotics. There are several types of antibiotics which doctors prescribe to treat this kind of infections. But antibiotics are not 100 percent safe. They can inadvertently kill the healthy bacteria in your system and encourage the spread of infection.
  • One of the most effective natural remedy of UTI during pregnancy is staying hydrated. Fluids can flush out the bacteria from your system.
  • Essential oils like oregano oil, chamomile and clove oil are also excellent remedy for UTI. They have properties that can destroy the harmful bacteria and also prevent further infections. Always consult a doctor before consuming these essential oils.
  • Consuming fresh crushed garlic is another natural treatment that is very effective.
  • Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy that work wonder for curing UTI. But consult your doctor first and get his affirmation.


  • Drinking plenty of fluid and mostly water is a sure shot way to prevent UTI.
  • Wiping from front to back after every bowel movement is necessary as infections can occur from the bowel as well
  • Wear loose airy clothes and underwear. Keeping the vagina airy and dry will prevent the growth of bacteria in there.
  • Avoid using bathtubs as these may circulate bacteria and cause infections.
  • Urinating before and after sex is very important to prevent infections from intercourse.
  • Always clean your genital area before having intercourse.


Urinary tract infections affect women at least once in their lifetime. The chance of contracting urinary tract infections increases when you are pregnant. The hormonal and physical changes in your body are probable causes of UTI during pregnancy. There are many obvious symptoms of UTI like burning sensation during urination, cloudy foul smelling urine. Symptoms of UTI should never be ignored. These infections can be treated naturally at home and also with antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor. They can be prevented as well by following a few simple steps. Always consult a doctor if your infection becomes severe and does not disappear within a week or two.