A urine infection happens when bacteria (germs) get into the bladder. They are very common in pregnancy & it is important to get treatment.
Contact your GP, midwife or obstetrician if you have any of the symptoms set out below. You may need a course of antibiotics.
Symptoms of urine infections in pregnancy
Infection in the bladder (sometimes called 'cystitis')
pain on passing urine (peeing)
burning feeling when you pass urine
passing urine more often
blood in your urine
Infection in the kidney (sometimes called 'pyelonephritis')
pain in your lower back or side
nausea and vomiting
blood in your urine
No symptoms (sometimes called 'asymptomatic bacteriuria')
Sometimes, urine infections do not cause any symptoms when you are pregnant. This is one of the reasons that your urine is tested regularly during your antenatal visits.
If you have a urine infection with no symptoms, it will be found in one of your urine tests.
Risks of urine infections in pregnancy
If your urine infection isn't treated, it can make you feel very unwell. You may even need to go to hospital for treatment.
Untreated urine infections may also affect your pregnancy. They can cause early labour or affect the growth of your baby in the womb.
Causes of urine infections
Women are more likely to get urine infections than men.
In women, the tube (urethra) that carries urine out of the bladder is shorter than in men.
So it's easier for germs to get into a woman’s bladder than a man’s bladder.
Pregnant women are also more prone to getting urine infections due to:
the pressure of your baby and womb on your bladder, which may prevent it from emptying properly when you pee
You can reduce your chances of getting a urine infection in pregnancy by:
wiping yourself from front to back after going to the toilet or when you are washing your genital area
emptying your bladder before and after sex
going to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to pee
Treating urine infections in pregnancy
Always make sure your GP knows that you are pregnant. This is so they can prescribe an antibiotic that's safe for you and your baby. It's important to complete the course as directed.