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Kidney Pain During Pregnancy

Kidney pain during pregnancy is experienced as a stabbing pain in the lower back or abdomen. Read on to know the most common causes behind such a pain as well as treatment for the same.
HerHaleness Staff
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
Pregnant woman in the park
Kidney pain during pregnancy, experienced as tenderness, discomfort and pain in the lower back area, around the waist or lower abdomen, is mainly caused on account of two reasons, namely a urinary tract infection or kidney infection. Recognizing the symptoms of each of these conditions is very essential so that timely treatment can be taken as both these conditions can otherwise prove fatal for the mother as well as the unborn baby. To know in detail as to what causes kidney pain when one is pregnant and how it can be treated, below is some useful information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment for a urinary tract infection as well as a kidney infection.
Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the main causes behind right kidney pain during pregnancy. UTI, also called bladder infection affects many pregnant women between the weeks six and twenty-four. They become susceptible to such an infection due to the various changes that take place in the urinary tract. As a woman's pregnancy progresses, her uterus grows in size. This growing size of the uterus can sometimes make the passage of urine from the bladder difficult, leading to a bacterial infection.
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection include discomfort while urinating, excessive urination, blood in the urine, change in the color of the urine, pain in the surrounding area of the bladder, pain while indulging in sexual intercourse, cramping and pain in the lower abdominal region.
» Treatment
To detect a UTI infection, a urinalysis and urine culture is conducted. The treatment for UTI during pregnancy involves giving the woman a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics help in eliminating bacteria from the urinary tract. Besides the medication, for the prevention of such an infection, there are a number of remedies for UTI that a woman should undertake such as drinking at least two liters of water everyday, avoid eating processed foods, caffeine and sugar rich foods, taking zinc, beta-carotene and vitamin C supplements everyday, drinking cranberry juice, maintaining hygiene, wearing undergarments made from cotton, and emptying the bladder completely while urinating.
Kidney Infection
If a urinary tract infection is not treated in time, it can lead to the development of a kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis. Severe kidney pain, caused by a kidney infection, is initially accompanied by symptoms such as fever, vomiting, chills, increased urination, pain while urinating and blood in the urine. Kidney infection produces lower back pain which is felt around the waist. This pain can be so severe that it can make the pregnant woman dysfunctional. Kidney infections cause extreme fatigue in woman and she may suddenly find herself so tired that she is unable to carry on with her day-to-day activities.
» Treatment
A kidney infection is diagnosed by the various symptoms it produces and by tests such as a bacterial test or kidney functioning tests. Once a kidney infection is detected as the cause behind pain in kidney area, the pregnant woman is hospitalized and given antibiotics and intravenous fluids. The health of the woman is constantly monitored by keeping a check on her temperature, pulse, breathing rate, blood pressure, etc. If the infection is mild and there are no signs that a woman will experience premature labor, she is discharged from the hospital within a day and prescribed a course of antibiotics which can be taken at home. However, if the infection is severe, the woman remains hospitalized till her health stabilizes and the symptoms of an infection die down. Once this happens, the pregnant woman is put on low-dose antibiotics for kidney infection throughout her pregnancy so that the kidney infection does not occur again.
Kidney infection, if it spreads to the woman's bloodstream, can be life-threatening. It can also increase a woman's risk of premature labor as well as having a baby who is underweight at birth. In order to avoid all these medical complications during pregnancy, timely treatment for a urinary tract infection is advised.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.