What are urinary antiseptics and is it safe to take them during pregnancy? Let us take a look at different urinary antiseptics and their effects on pregnancy.
Urinary antiseptics include drugs like nitrofurantoin nalidixic acid, cotrimoxazole. These are antibacterial. Particularly strong activity against gram negative strain makes them very useful in treatment of urinary tract infection. Urinary antiseptics like hexamine are safe during pregnancy. They have been taken by a large number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age without an increase in the frequency of malformations or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the foetus been observed.
Nalidixic acid and Clotrimazole
Reduced dose necessary
For Pregnant Women:
No evidence of risk to the developing baby
For Breastfeeding Mothers:
No evidence of risk
Effects of Urinary Antiseptics during Pregnancy
Urinary tract infection can be dangerous for both, mother and the foetus. So, if there is any kind of infection during pregnancy, it needs to be treated. It is always advisable to consult your doctor when you are suffering from abnormal disorders especially when you are bearing a child in your womb.
Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection
Treatment of the urinary tract infection in pregnant women is mainly because of the increased risk of infection and its sequel. Along with medicines, there are some behavioural methods also which should be included alongside the treatment. As far as antibiotics or antiseptics are concerned, they are recommended for 1, 3 or 7 days. Nowadays, doctors prescribe antibiotic therapy for 10-14 days so that the offending bacteria get eradicated.
The treatment is considered successful after the eradication of bacteria and so, the duration may vary depending on the severity and risk. However, medicines are prescribed keeping in mind the condition of the patient and the time of pregnancy through which she is going.
Side Effects of Urinary Antiseptics
You might get dehydrated because of nausea and vomiting. Sometimes even need IV hydration. Preterm labour and delivery are risks involved with a specific medicine, pyelonephritis. It also places the patient at the risk of spontaneous abortion if prescribed in early pregnancy and after 24 weeks gestation; it increases the risk of preterm labour. Many doctors prefer having the patient under observation because in most of the outpatient cases one or more other complication occurs.
Selection of Antibiotics
Antibiotics are selected depending on the urine culture sensitivities. In most cases, treatment is initiated while waiting for the culture reports. In pregnancy the serum levels of antibiotics are lower because of the increased glomerular filtration rate or GFR and irregular increase in the blood pressure. Some antibiotics are strictly not to be used in pregnancy because of the high risks involved.
Tetracycline has adverse effect on teeth, bones and congenital defects in foetus.
Trimethoprim, if given in the first trimester can result in cardiac abnormalities and facial defects in the child.
Grey syndrome is seen due to Chloramphenicol.
Sulphonamides, if given in the third trimester, may result in haemolytic anaemia in mothers along with deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Chances of Jaundice and kernicterus are also there.
There are other medicines whose side effects are not confirmed yet in humans but studies in animals have shown adverse effects. So, most of them are used with precaution and are not considered as the first line medicine option during pregnancy.
What to Do When You Get UTI during Pregnancy?
Along with taking the medicines prescribed by the doctor for the exact duration suggested, you would need to take utmost care of your health and hygiene. Even if the symptoms fade, do not stop taking medicines. Complete the course and do not disturb the schedule of medicines as prescribed by the doctor. Although some commonly used antibiotics are safe for pregnant women, it is advisable to take the medicines prescribed to you by the doctor.
Tips to avoid Urinary Tract Infecting during Pregnancy
Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
Keep your private parts clean and dry.
Avoid strong deodorants or soaps to stay away from irritation.
Wear cotton underwear.
Avoid wearing underwear which is too tight.
Take showers instead of taking bath.
Urinate before and after sex to eliminate genital bacteria.
In addition to the above tips, you should also watch out your diet. Reduce caffeine and chocolate because they can irritate the bladder. There are many reasons due to which urinary tract infection is pretty common in some women. So, if you are pregnant, watch out for the symptoms and if you see even one of them, take precautions and consult the doctor.
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- The Indiaparenting Team