Urine Test and Urine Culture During Pregnancy

Urine Test and Urine Culture During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful and magical time as it is the process of bringing a new life to the world. Just to make sure that the mother is healthy, doctors take certain precautions. One of these is the urine test. Here is everything you should know about urine test during pregnancy.

Why Is Urine Test Done During Pregnancy?

You can detect early signs of health conditions from the presence of certain substances in your urine. These health conditions might cause problems for the baby and yourself.  This is why urine test should be done periodically throughout your pregnancy. A sample of urine is used to determine if the person has kidney disease, diabetes, or even bladder infections by measuring the levels of protein, sugar, bacteria, or any other substances.

Urine Test during Pregnancy

When Is the Test Performed?

The urine pregnancy test time is usually during the first prenatal visit to the doctor. She will perform this test and then ask you to check periodically in the future prenatal visits. Many doctors check the urine during every prenatal visit.

How Is Urine Test Performed In Pregnancy?

In a very sterile plastic container, the sample of clear midstream urine is taken. To screen certain diseases, test strips which have certain chemicals are dipped into the sample. They use a sterile container to prevent bacteria or any other secretions from contaminating the sample so that it does not produce invalid results.

Your doctor will ask for more urine samples if she suspects any kind of infection so that a detailed analysis in the laboratory can be conducted.

How Often Should a Pregnant Women Take a Urine Test?

Every doctor has a different frequency of asking to perform a urine test. Your doctor is most likely to ask for a urine sample at your first prenatal visit and then send it to a lab for complete analysis. Some doctors might keep asking for samples at every visit and test it in the clinic with a urine dipstick test pregnancy. Some might only ask for this once in a trimester. Others might not ask for a sample more than once unless you are showing symptoms that would need a urine test.

What Can the Result of a Urine Test Reveal?

Here are the four major conditions that can be found out.

What Can the Result of a Urine Test Reveal

Sugar

  • Usually, during pregnancy, normal level of sugar will be found in the urine. But if your body’s blood sugar levels are very high, then the urine will also have excess sugar.
  • This is seen with gestational diabetes. This is a form of diabetes that is common during pregnancy.
  • It occurs when the pregnancy hormones in the body disrupt the production of insulin.
  • The doctor will ask you to take a blood test for this if they see any risk factors or if you have a family history of diabetes.
  • This mostly occurs during the 20th week of pregnancy. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels during pregnancy might lead to an increased risk of heart and spine problems, and kidney defects in the baby.

Bacteria

  • The presence of bacteria in your urine is a sign of urinary tract infection. Symptoms are not seen in many women even if they have UTI.
  • The infection could still spread to the kidneys causing major problems for the baby.
  • It could also increase the risk of having a premature or a low birth weight baby. UTI does not lead to many complications if it is treated properly and quickly.
  • Initially, if the urine test is positive, the doctor might take a urine test culture. This way the presence of bacteria can be confirmed and the type of antibiotics can be decided. Many antibiotics are safe but it is best to consult a doctor before consuming anything.
  • Doctors usually identify and treat symptomless bacterial infections from the beginning itself.

Ketones

  • For energy, when fat is broken down the results will be ketones, acidic by-products instead of carbohydrates.
  • If you are diabetic, then you are more likely to have large amounts of ketones in urine.
  • This might be an indication of a harmful condition ketoacidosis which could further lead to diabetic coma.
  • Your doctor will first check if your drinking and eating habits are good if you happen to have high ketones.
  • If it disappears after eating, then it is not alarming. If you are not able to have food or fluid because of nausea and vomiting, then you should receive nutrients through an intravenous line.
  • Treatment for this condition usually takes place in a hospital.

Proteins

  • Protein in urine, proteinuria, is an indication of Urinary Tract Infection, chronic kidney disease or kidney infection.
  • When this condition develops it is an early sign of preeclampsia. This is a condition that might lead to high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy.
  • It might cause serious problems for the child and the mother.
  • If both your blood pressure and proteinuria are normal, then your doctor might decide to take a urine culture to identify what is causing protein in the urine during pregnancy.

 What Is a Urine Culture Test?

A urine culture test is a practice to find the type of bacteria present in the urine so that the doctor can provide you with the correct type of antibiotics for treating that infection.

Why Is Urine Culture Recommended During Pregnancy?

A urine culture test is asked to be taken to figure out:

  • The bacteria responsible for the urinary tract infection.
  • To decide the right kind of antibiotic to treat the infection during pregnancy.
  • If the treatment can help clear the UTI completely.

Usually, for urine culture, the pregnant woman is asked to give her urine sample twice. The first time to check the bacteria causing the infection and the second time to check if the infection has been completely cleared up so that there will be no risk for the baby or the mother in the future.

Urine Test during Pregnancy

How Is Urine Culture Test Performed?

  • The urine sample is first collected from you. The sample is added to a substance or medium that encourages the growth of bacteria on a petri-dish in the lab. The culture is said to be negative if there is no bacterial growth and positive if there is a sign of the growth of an organism. Further, it will be able to reveal the exact type of bacteria growing and causing the infection.
  • You will be able to get the results in a day or two.
  • You may be asked to get a urine culture several times through the course of your pregnancy just as a precautionary measure.
  • Urinary tract infections due to bacteria might lead to premature labour.

Is There Any Risk of Undergoing a Urine Test During Pregnancy?

Urine tests during pregnancy pose absolutely no risk to you and your baby. These tests are done to make sure both you and your baby are in good health.

Conclusion

Presence of bacteria, sugar, ketones, or protein will help the doctor check for any trouble with the pregnancy.  Early testing and taking proper measures to prevent any kind of disease is the best. Consult with your doctor and get urine tests and urine culture done to ensure that you and your baby are healthy and you have a complication-free delivery.

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Triple Marker Test During Pregnancy