Does Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Affect Pregnancy Chances?

UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) While Trying to Get Pregnant

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Being in the prime of health affects your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. However, medical conditions like a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) may give rise to doubts in your mind. If you’re wondering if it’s safe to conceive while suffering from a UTI, this article will put your fears to rest. But first, let’s understand the condition in detail. Discover how you can get pregnant with a UTI. Also, learn about the risks, prevention, safe treatment options, and when to seek medical help.

What Is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection that affects both men and women. However, it’s more common in women as the female urinary tract is smaller and easily accessible to harmful bacteria and viruses. In most of the cases, the culprit of UTIs in women is the E.Coli bacteria. This bacteria can travel up the urinary tract, and lead to pain in the lower abdomen, a burning sensation while peeing, chills, etc.

Does a UTI Affect Your Chances of Conceiving?

A urinary tract infection affects the kidneys, uterus, bladder, and liver – the organs responsible for the removal of waste from the body. However, if this infection reoccurs and stays for a long period, it may hamper with conception and cause certain fertility issues.

Worried young woman

What Is the Difference Between a UTI and a Reproductive Tract Infection?

The symptoms of both a UTI and a reproductive tract infection are similar. However, both these infections are quite different from each other. The urinary tract infection affects the kidneys, bladder and liver. On the other hand, a reproductive tract infection usually affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and other reproductive organs.

How to Treat a Urinary Tract Infection?

The treatment of a urinary tract infection varies from case to case, depending on the kind of bacteria causing the trouble. After your doctor performs a urine culture and establishes the infection-causing bacteria, you may be prescribed antibiotics.

However, if the cause of infection is fungal or viral, then your doctor may prescribe antiviral or anti-fungal medicines to cure the infection.

You can also use home remedies for treating a UTI while trying to conceive. Cranberry juice is an effective remedy to treat UTI; it also reduces the risk of its recurrence.

Cranberry juice

Preventive Measures

Wondering how to avoid a UTI when trying to get pregnant? If you’re not suffering from a UTI and want to prevent it, keeping infections at bay is vital. Here are some methods you can use to prevent a bladder infection:

1. Keep Yourself Clean

When the environment is clean, harmful bacteria don’t get a breeding ground. Maintain genital hygiene by washing yourself thoroughly after you visit the restroom. Also, clean yourself from the front to the back. Refrain from using public toilets. If you don’t have a choice, you can go for a urination device that will help you pee will standing up.

2. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Drink lots of water to remove the toxins from your body. In addition, water also dilutes your urine and makes it less acidic. The more you visit the restroom, the fewer chances there are of infection-causing bacteria surviving in your urinary tract.

3. Wear Comfortable Lingerie

Don’t wear tight underpants and those made of lace or satin on a regular basis; instead, switch to cotton underpants. You should also change your underpants twice a day if you live in a hot and dry region.

Comfortable underwear

4. Don’t Hold Your Urine in

When you feel the urge to pee, visit the loo. Never hold your urine in for a long duration. Doing this not only retains the toxins and bacteria but also puts pressure on the bladder.

5. Take Medication

If you have recurrent bouts of UTI, there are chances that the bacteria is still present in your urinary tract. Certain medications that have Vitamin C and zinc may hamper the growth of bacteria.

6. Avoid Overuse of Hygiene Products

You may be fond of using female hygiene products like douches, deodorant sprays, and scented powders, but these products may aggravate your symptoms and cause discomfort. Not to forget, they may also mess with the pH balance of your vagina. A bar of mild soap and water are all you need to keep your private parts clean!

7. Wash Down There Before Sex

You can use soap and water to gently cleanse your vagina before sex. This prevents bacteria from entering the urethra.

8. Urinate After You Make Love

It’s tempting to cuddle with your partner and go off to sleep. But urinating after sex is something you should never forget. This pushes out any harmful bacteria that may have entered.

9. Take a Look at Your Birth Control Method

A spermicide-lubricated condom makes you prone to a UTI. If you’ve suffered from UTI before or want to prevent it, go for a water-based lube.

10. Consume Probiotics

Probiotics promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. One study showed that the Lactobacillus bacteria present in probiotic foods can prevent UTIs in women.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Even if UTIs do not affect your fertility, they can still be extremely uncomfortable. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek quick treatment to get rid of a urinary tract infection. Neglecting to address it promptly could lead to the infection spreading to your kidneys. Acting early not only prevents this but also helps relieve symptoms sooner.

If you’re worried about abdominal discomfort, cloudy urine, blood in your urine, or an increased urge to urinate, it is strongly recommended that you contact a healthcare professional immediately.

FAQs

1. Does UTI Cause Infertility?

Although a UTI doesn’t directly lead to infertility, its untreated presence can indirectly affect fertility. UTIs can trigger inflammation and irritation within the urinary tract, potentially hindering the journey of sperm to meet the egg. Furthermore, if the infection progresses to the kidneys, it can give rise to more severe health problems that might compromise your chances of conceiving.

2. Will I Get UTI Every Time When I Get Pregnant?

No, getting a UTI during pregnancy is not guaranteed. While some pregnant individuals may be more susceptible to UTIs due to hormonal changes and other factors, it’s not a certainty for every pregnancy. Proper hygiene and healthcare guidance can help reduce the risk.

UTI, if untreated, can lead to severe medical complications. As soon as you spot any UTI symptoms, seek medical help and start with treatment. Timely medical intervention can help to manage this condition and also improve your chances of conception.

References/Resources:

1. Urinary tract infection (UTI); mayoclinic.org; https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353447

2. Urinary Tract Infections in Adults; urologyhealth.org; https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults

3. UTIs during pregnancy are common and treatable; utswmed.org; https://utswmed.org/medblog/utis-during-pregnancy/

4. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) during pregnancy; pregnancybirthbaby.org.au; https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/urinary-tract-infections-utis-during-pregnancy

5. Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy; americanpregnancy.org; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-complications/urinary-tract-infections-during-pregnancy/

Also Read:

Infections That Can Affect Your Pregnancy
Can Antibiotics Stop You From Getting Pregnant?
Can a Yeast Infection Affect Fertility and Your Chances of Conception?

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