Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Probiotics vs. Antibiotics - Treatment Of UTI During Pregnancy

Since I got pregnant early this year, I've battled with minor UTI (urinary tract infection) about 3 or 4 times already. I was told it was pretty common for women, more so pregnant women, to contract these kinds of infections. I was prescribed to take baby-safe antibiotics during these times. But just last week, after a routine urinalysis, I was told that my WBC levels were abnormally high and that it looks like the bad bacteria causing my recurring UTI have become resistant to the medication I've been taking (my blood pressure kinda shot up when I heard this, so I'm on mild anti-hypertension medication now just to make sure I don't go full-blown hypertensive by D-Day, but that's an entirely different post altogether).

My OBGyn explained, in not-so-many medical terms, that after taking antibiotics so many times to fight off my UTI, the good bacteria in my body were affected, too. So there's been sort of an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria. At this point, I need to restore that balance and in doing so, hopefully the good bacteria will continue to thrive and the bad bacteria will finally flush out of my system. The only way to do that at this point is to take probiotics.

Probiotics are composed of different strains of good bacteria that commonly thrive in the human digestive system. According to studies, probiotics boost the immune system, help prevent illness, and aid in the treatment of a variety of infections and diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, Crones disease, some allergies, and,  in my case, UTI. Probiotics treatment seem to have the best impact on pregnant women because it fights a long list of health issues common to expectant moms. Aside from UTI, you have diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, cramps, and many other ailments.

Probiotics can easily be found in existing food and drinks being sold in the supermarket. There's even a reformulated brand of pregnant mom's milk being sold now that contains some probiotics. But a more concentrated supplement, such as the one I've been prescribed with, is usually best when you're already experiencing bouts with symptoms of infection. In my case, I couldn't take any more antibiotics because it would only be futile. Instead, I was told to take these soft-gel probiotics supplements twice a day for 2 weeks, then once a day after that until I deliver. The brand of probiotics I'm taking now isn't really being sold in drug stores around the metro yet, so they're delivered to my OBGyn's clinic and I get it from there. They're quite pricey, I have to say. But I really don't care how much they cost for as long as I get better and my baby is delivered safe and healthy.

I asked my doctor if hubby dearest could take it, too. He's been very sensitive to poorly handled food and drinks lately so I thought it might be beneficial for him. My doctor gave him the green light. After reading about it online, looks like it is good for everyone and not just us preggies! Well, maybe not for babies just yet.

Can't wait until the week's over and I get to go in for another round of urinalysis. Hopefully by Saturday, my body would've recovered fully and the doctor and I can concentrate on other more pressing matters (pun unintended) and that's delivering my baby!

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2 comments:

  1. hey there...i am 25 weeks now with our first baby and and already had 3 rounds of antibiotics for uti/bacterial infection..although my doc says the antibiotics are safe..i am really tensed that it might recurr again...took the probiotic drink yakult for the first time this morning...my question to you...is that a preventative measure for the uti's..or just something that helps with the antibiotics?

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  2. Hi! The probiotics I was prescribed was actually used to treat my last UTI episode and prevent future episodes. I wasn't given antibiotics anymore cuz after taking them multiple times in the last 6 months I was pregnant, my body was already resistant to the meds. That and the good bacteria in my body took a dive as well. So for treatment, I took 2 capsules a day for 2 weeks, which seemed to work cuz after a repeat urinalysis my WBC levels were back to normal. To prevent the UTI from recurring, I continued taking probiotics once a day until I gave birth. Now, I take it occasionally. BTW Yakult only has 1 strain of good bacteria. The probiotics I took had 15 strains. I get it straight from my OBGyn but you can ask yours. It's called OMX. Or you can buy the next best thing at Healthy Options. I think the one they have has 10 or 12 strains. Hope this helps. And best of luck in your pregnancy! :)

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