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Med Clin North Am. 1991 Mar;75(2):359-73.

Epidemiology, natural history, and management of urinary tract infections in pregnancy.

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Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


The urinary tract undergoes profound physiologic and anatomic changes during pregnancy that facilitate the development of symptomatic UTIs in women with bacteriuria. Although the adverse effects of asymptomatic bacteriuria on maternal and fetal health continue to be debated, it is clear that asymptomatic bacteriuria is the major risk factor for developing symptomatic UTI and that symptomatic infections are associated with significant maternal and fetal risks. Because the majority of symptomatic UTIs develop in women with bacteriuria earlier in pregnancy, treatment of bacteriuria is undertaken to prevent symptomatic infections. All women should be screened at the first antenatal visit, which is reliably and inexpensively done with a dipstick culture. Short-course therapy is as effective as prolonged therapy and should be followed with a repeat culture to document clearing of the bacteriuria. Failure to eliminate bacteriuria with repeated therapy or recurrence with the same organism is indicative of renal parenchymal infection or a structural abnormality. All women with persistent bacteriuria or recurrent infection should have follow-up cultures and a complete urologic evaluation after delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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