Although the monsoon brings respite from summer’s scorching heat, it also invites a plethora of allergies and infections. Pregnant women should be cautious because they are at a higher risk of suffering from Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).

According to Dr. Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, monsoons can be worrisome for pregnant women as, during those rainy days, bacteria tend to live on our bodies and tend to multiply at a rapid rate. Moreover, the unwanted growth of the bacteria leads to UTI.

A UTI, also known as bladder infection, can be termed as a bacterial infection that occurs in the urinary tract affecting one’s kidneys, uterus, bladder, and urethra. “You will be shocked to know that pregnant women are at higher risk of suffering from UTIs in the 6th week through 24 weeks owing to the changes in the urinary tract that takes place. The uterus is located on top of the bladder. When the uterus grows, its increased weight tends to block the drainage of the urine from one’s bladder, inviting a urinary tract infection during pregnancy,” Dr. Pratima told IANSlife.

The symptoms of a UTI are pain and discomfort while urinating, chills, fever, sweat, tenderness of the bladder, fatigue, cramps and lower abdominal pain, blood from the urine, urge to urinate frequently and foul smell while urinating. Thus, if the UTI is left untreated then it can cause kidney infections that in turn can lead to early labor and low birth weight in the baby. Treating it at the right time can be helpful for pregnant women.

Here are a few tips from the doctor for pregnant women to keep UTIs at bay during monsoon:

Avoid holding it back: If you tend to avoid visiting the washroom for peeing then you are doing it all wrong. Many women may hold back their urine in order to finish their work or daily chores and doing so is a strict no-no. This can lead to the development of bacteria and putting you at the risk of a UTI.

Maintain good hygiene: If you happen to access a public washroom then make sure that you must follow proper hygiene measures. Wipe off the area with a tissue or water after urinating to avoid the spread of bacteria. Do not wear tight underwear. Avoid using soaps loaded with chemicals down there.

Drink a lot of water: See to it that you drink maximum water to stay hydrated and flush out toxins present in the urinary tract. Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine that can irritate the bladder.

Stick to a well-balanced diet: Include zinc and vitamin C rich foods in the diet. Opt for strawberry, broccoli, citrus fruits, sprouts, seeds, legumes, and eggs. Say no to refined foods and sugar.

If you experience symptoms, don’t ignore them and seek medical attention. This can help you prevent your condition from worsening.