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Pains in the Kidneys During Pregnancy

Updated on July 4, 2019

Kidney pain during pregnancy: what is it?

In early pregnancy, sometimes even when they do not know how to be pregnant, some expectant mothers experience "cramps" in the lower back and lower abdomen, as the rules approach. This is one of the possible pregnancy symptoms, due to hormonal changes.

About the kidneys per se, urinary infections affect 10% of pregnant women. If there are symptoms (which is not always the case), it is a frequent urge to urinate, burning when urinating. Sometimes the germs go back to the bladder or the kidney: it is pyelonephritis, which is manifested by a high fever, general fatigue, chills, lumbar pain. A sharp and very sharp pain in a lumbar fossa in the lower back can also hide another renal problem: renal colic. An impediment on the urinary tract prevents urine from flowing; it stagnates in the kidney, which becomes very painful.

Pains "in the kidneys" can also be muscle pain in the lumbar area. This is one of the common pains of pregnancy.

Finally, you may know what is called a "kidney delivery". The contractions are then felt in the lower back.

Causes of kidney pain during pregnancy

During pregnancy, several factors promote urinary tract infections. With the increase of the blood volume, the kidneys are very solicited. On the hormonal side, progesterone causes loosening of all organs, including kidneys, bladder and small channels responsible for carrying urine. It therefore tends to stagnate, favoring urinary tract infections. Always under the effect of hormones, the sphincter of the urethra is less tonic, promoting the rise of germs. A phenomenon accentuated at the end of pregnancy by the weight of the uterus which compresses the organs. Finally, the future mother is immuno-depressed: she is more fragile in the face of infections.

As for the "kidney" muscle, the weight of the baby changes the center of gravity of the future mother, forced to arch to maintain its balance. The lumbar region is then strongly solicited.

The behaviour to have

To limit the risk of urinary tract infection, the usual prevention rules apply: drink plenty of water, have good personal hygiene, fight against constipation.

If the signs of an infection are there, let alone if you have fever and kidney trouble, go to the doctor without delay. Untreated, a urinary infection can be harmful to the baby. Fever can indeed cause contractions, which can lead to premature delivery. Be careful however: treat, yes, but no self-medication with an antibiotic prescribed in a previous cystitis.


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