Urine Test And Urine Culture During Pregnancy – What Does It Reveal?

5 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

Urine Test And Urine Culture During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a magical time that brings a new life into this world. As a saying goes “To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman and undoubtedly inhabited.” To ensure that the woman is at the best of health, we must take various precautions, one of which is urinary hygiene. Continue reading to know all about Urine test and Urine culture during pregnancy.

In This Article

What Is A Urine Test?

It is a routine test done by your doctor as part of your prenatal care

What Is The Need For Urine Tests During Pregnancy?

These tests necessarily provide your doctor the important information about diseases or conditions that could potentially affect you or your growing baby. Initially, every woman undergoes a human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) urine test, which is a pregnancy test to detect if the pregnancy hormone hCG is present in her urine about ten days after she missed her period. These tests are often referred to as home pregnancy tests.

How Is A Urine Test Done During Pregnancy?

How Is A Urine Test Done During P

A pregnant woman collects a sample of clear midstream urine in a plastic container that is sterile. Test strips containing chemical dips into a sample of urine to screen for certain diseases. It is important to use a sterile container to prevent contamination of samples with bacteria or other secretions that may invalidate the results.

If your doctor suspects some kind of infection, he will ask for a more detailed analysis by sending the urine sample to the laboratory.

When Is A Urine Test Performed?

During the first prenatal visit, the doctor will perform a urine test and then periodically in the future prenatal visits. In some doctor’s offices, a urine test is a part of each prenatal visit.

What Can Urine Test Results Reveal?

What Can Urine Test Results Reveal_

A urine test during pregnancy can reveal many health conditions like:

Sugar

  • When a woman is pregnant, there is negligible or no sugar present in the urine. But when the levels of blood sugar in the body are very high, surplus sugar can leak in the urine. This is called gestational diabetes. This commonly occurs during the 20th week of pregnancy
  • When pregnancy hormones obstruct the ability of the body to use insulin, which is a chemical that converts blood sugar into energy, it leads to gestational diabetes
  • It can also occur if there is a family history of diabetes

Protein

  • Protein in the urine indicates a urinary infection or an infection in the kidney. When such a situation occurs at the later stage of pregnancy say after 20 weeks of gestation, it can lead to high blood pressure and can be an early sign of preeclampsia. If left untreated, this can bring about complications for both the mother and the baby
  • On the other hand, if the pregnant woman is having normal readings of blood pressure, but still the levels of protein are high, then the doctors can order a urine culture to know which bacteria are causing an infection. This will help them to start the right mode of treatment

Bacteria

  • If bacteria is present in the Urine, then it indicates a urinary tract infection. 8% of pregnant women suffer from urinary tract infection
  • If this condition is not treated at the right time it can lead to kidney damage and can lead to delivering a low birth weight baby or a premature baby
  • The doctor treats it with antibiotics. There are antibiotics, which are safe, but it is better to consult a doctor before using them

Ketones

  • Instead of carbohydrates when fats get breaks, it results in acidic byproducts-Ketones
  • If the levels of ketones in the urine are high, the doctor will try to evaluate the food habits of the pregnant woman. If the mother-to-be is not getting enough to eat or drink, then it can result in high levels of Ketones. Once you correct the food and drinking habits, the ketone levels will automatically come down.
  • However, if the pregnant woman has severe nausea and vomiting along with high levels of ketones, she will need hospital admission in order to get the essential nutrients intravenously.
  • When the pregnant woman is diabetic and there is a large number of ketones in the urine, leading to a harmful condition called ketoacidosis which can cause a serious condition called diabetic coma

What Is Urine Culture?

urine culture

Urine culture is a test to find the type of bacteria in urine and provide the right type of antibiotic to treat the infection.

When Is A Urine Culture Required?

The doctor will ask a pregnant woman to take a Urine Culture in order to find out:

  • The bacteria that is causing urinary tract infection
  • To decide the correct antibiotic for treating the infection during pregnancy
  • In order to find out if the treatment has helped to completely clear up UTI

Usually, a pregnant woman must give her urine sample twice for urine culture. During the first time, a urine culture will help know the bacteria that is causing an infection. And the second time, the test makes sure the infection is completely gone so that there is no risk to both the mother and the baby.

How Is A Urine Culture Performed?

  • The lab technician adds a substance that promotes the growth of bacteria to the urine sample. If there is no bacterial growth, then the culture is negative. If there is a growth of any organism, then the culture is positive. It can further reveal the exact bacteria that is growing and causing an infection.
  • You will get the result in 2 or 3 days
  • An obstetrician may ask a pregnant woman to do a urine culture at several phases during her pregnancy as a precautionary measure
  • The presence of bacteria that leads to urinary tract infections can lead to premature labor

Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy

  • Pain and discomfort are usually in the lower back and the abdominal area during pregnancy
  • Pain while urinating
  • Constant urge to pass urine
  • The urine is cloudy and at times pinkish which is because of the presence of blood

Prevention Of A Urinary Tract Infection

  • With proper treatment, you can resolve a urinary tract infection within a span of 48 hours
  • The pregnant woman must wear loose-fitting undergarments
  • Keeping the vaginal area clean and dry
  • Proper hygiene is the foremost priority of preventing infection from occurring

The presence of sugar, ketones, protein, or bacteria in a woman’s urine during pregnancy can spell trouble for both the mother and her baby. But early testing and proper treatment can help prevent any kind of complication. As the saying goes”A stitch in time saves nine”. It is advisable to do the above-mentioned urine tests and urine culture in order to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and normal delivery of a healthy baby.

Did your doctor perform a urine test during your first prenatal visit? Did he order Urine Culture anytime during your pregnancy? Do share your experiences in the comments section below.

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