Contractions may be a sign of urinary tract infection

Pregnant women are at increased risk of urinary tract infections and it is one of the most common pregnancy complications.

Ingela Ågren

Read time: 2 m

Verified by Ingela Ågren

Certified Midwife

Contractions may be a sign of urinary tract infectionPhoto: Arren Mills on Unsplash

A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract. The kidneys and urinary tracts expand during pregnancy, causing the urine to flow slower and increasing the risk of urinary tract infections and kidney infections. Pregnant women with a urinary tract infection are treated with antibiotics as the condition may cause early labor, low birth weight, and risk of developing into a kidney infection. Contact your care provider if you suspect you have a urinary tract infection

Common symptoms of urinary tract infection are:

  • Contractions. Contractions can be the first and only symptom of bacteria in the urine.
  • The need to urinate often, is a difficult symptom to detect as most pregnant women urinate more often without having a urinary tract infection.
  • Burning pain when urinating.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen.

Testing for urinary tract infections is done through a laboratory urine culture test. Most cases can also be determined by dipstick urinalysis. Doctors prescribe antibiotics if treatment is needed. After completing the course of antibiotics, a new urine culture test is performed to ensure there are no more bacteria in the urine.

Group B streptococcus in the urine

Urinary tract infections are sometimes caused by a common streptococcus bacterium called Group B streptococcus, GBS for short. The bacterium is sometimes found in the urine culture test without the pregnant woman having symptoms of a urinary tract infection. About one-third of all women are carriers of GBS without having symptoms. If GBS is found in a pregnant woman, she will be given antibiotics through an intravenous drip during labor to minimize the risk of GBS being passed on and later infecting the baby.

Ingela Ågren

Verified by Ingela Ågren

Certified Midwife


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