I am currently 15 1/2 weeks pregnant with my first child. When I went in for my first prenatal exam in early May they did a urine culture and it came back positive for UTI but I had absolutely no symptoms. My midwife office told me to take something called AzoCranberry which is a combination of cranberry powder, vitamin C and probiotics. I also have a diet rich in probiotic foods like cultured beverages, lacto-fermented veggies, and raw dairy products. I took the AzoCranberry for a while, and after several weeks of still no symptoms I decided to stop taking it and see what my next culture said. I went in for my second appointment last week and did the urine culture again. My midwife office called me today to tell me I "still" have the infection, with a higher concentration in the culture. I have still never had a symptom! How can I be sick but not be sick? The tech said to start taking the AzoCranberry stuff again and that she would wait to talk to the midwife before recommending antibiotics, seeing as I've never had a symptom. I'm waiting to hear back from them now, but I don't know what to do when I do.
I base my whole philosophy of wellness on the idea that health starts from a healthy balance of intestinal flora and good digestion. Taking antibiotics is the antithesis of this philosophy. I also know that it is crucial for me to pass on healthy gut flora to my baby during childbirth and through breastfeeding. Obviously this is excrutiating for me because I don't want to pass E coli on to my baby but I also don't want all my gut flora wiped out by antibiotics. My mom says that one small course of antibiotics won't cause any harm, but I have heard of people who it took years for their system to recover from taking antibiotics. I have also read about people who take course after course of antibiotics and still get recurrent UTI's.
If I weren't pregnant, this would be a no-brainer for me. I really don't believe in taking anti-biotics unless the situation is life-threatening. Plus, if I hadn't been pregnant I wouldn't have even known I had a UTI. But the midwives said that a UTI could cause me to go into pre-term labor. Obviously the health of my baby comes before anything else! I asked them if anyone had ever gone into pre-term labor when they were completely asymptomatic, and she said she didn't know.
Can anybody help me? Has anyone been in this situation before? What did you do? I am very scared of the potential impact that antibiotics could have on me and my baby, but I also don't want to harm my baby by refusing a necessary intervention. Any advice would be appreciated, as I have only heard the medical perspective on this so far.
I think in this situation, the antibiotics would be a good plan. Even if it seem asymptomatic, you could end up with a kidney infection, preterm labor, etc. I hate taking abx too and try not to whenever possible, but in this situation, I would opt for the meds. I just don't feel like the risk is worth it. After the abx are over, you are early enough in pregnancy that you can really get your gut back in shape and vein really healthy before the baby arrives.
Stuff like this is hard, especially when you aren't sure about all the implications either way. Good luck!
Adina mama to B 4/06 and E 8/13/12 (on her due date!)
katealicia, you sound exactly like me! You must be in to traditional foods and such like I am :) Any chance you live in MT? Lol. What did you end up doing in your situation? Since you have no symptoms, I would probably have another lab do the test just to be sure, get a second opinion. And it makes no sense in my mind how you could get a UTI while eating all of those fermented foods!! From what I believe, it is nearly impossible. You should come join the traditional foods forum :)
Sorry, I live in FL :( but yes I am totally into traditional foods! I am set to do another culture in early July, this time with a stricter protocol (less room for contamination/error). In the meantime I was drinking lots of cranberry juice and staying very hydrated just in case. Then early this week I actually started to have VERY mild symptoms so I sprang into action. Even though I already eat as many probiotic foods as I can, I went to the healthfood store and I got a really high quality food-based probiotic and I also picked up some d-mannose because I had read from several other posts that this really helped people. So far I think it has helped (no more sympotoms) but the truth is I found out that many women have asymptomatic UTIs during pregnancy. As far as how I could have gotten it on the diet I'm on, I think the pregnancy is a major part. I had never had a UTI before being pregnant. After changing my diet in earnest, I had never been sick at all until I got pregnant. I visited some family right after they had all had a really bad gut virus, and I had stopped taking my cod liver oil because of morning sickness, so that one was definitely my fault. Not only is our immunity lowered, but pregnant women are more suceptible physiologically to UTI because the way everything is rearranging can prevent the bladder from emptying all the way every time. When I finally did get symptoms it was during a time when my baby was starting a major growth spurt :) Anyway, I think the culture this time will be lower, but even if it isn't I have decided that I will not take antibiotics unless it develops into a kidney infection (that's where the real risk is) which with the alternative treatments I found seems unlikely. The danger is from an "untreated" UTI, and I am treating it, just not with antibiotics. I think I will go over to the traditional foods forum, thanks for the heads up!
I took goldenseal during pregnancy (the last week of it) because I had a horrible cold that lasted 3 weeks that Icould NOT kick! It is supposed to be antibacterial. I would also incorporate lots fresh, raw garlic into your diet. I took whole peeled cloves(or cut them in half if they were too big), poked holes in them, and swallowed them like pills! Lol.
Haha, I see you joined a thread that I've been talking in in the TF forum lol :)
And btw, congrats and good job on figuring all this TF stuff out in your first pregnancy, i wish I had!
Thanks for the advice and the encouragement. I may look into goldenseal. Yeah, on the couple of days when I was having symptoms I was eating a lot of raw garlic. I really like the taste so I can just crush the clove whole and swallow it :)
I just wanted to update everyone on how things eventually turned out. My symptoms started to get worse and my cultures kept coming back worse until my midwives eventually strongly recommended antibiotics. I decided to hold off just a little while longer to try one more thing. So I continued to take a maintenance dose of d-mannose but I added cantharis 30c for just 3 days and my culture came back completely clear! I really hope this helps others in this situation. If you are really sick (like a kidney infection) it may be too late but otherwise there IS hope for treating this naturally. What a relief!