Kidneys during pregnancy, like all organs at this time, work in an enhanced mode. The body of a future mother can fail, which happens quite often with the kidneys. In this article, we will talk about the work and diseases of this organ during pregnancy, find out why the kidneys can start to hurt or increase.
Why are the kidneys prone to disease during pregnancy?
Most of all, it is the kidneys that are loaded in expectant mothers. During the waiting period for the baby, the organs must remove from the woman’s body not only her urine, but also the waste products of the baby, which enter the bloodstream through the placenta. But the hormone progesterone, which is used to detect pregnancy, reduces the tone of the bladder, and urine can stagnate, leading to an easier infection that causes diseases like pyelonephritis.
It happens that the disease was even before pregnancy, but the woman did not suspect about it, and pregnancy can becomecause the awakening of this disease.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the kidneys usually do not bother, only if there were no diseases associated with these organs before pregnancy. Next, let's talk about the diseases that most often occur during the period of expectation of a baby.
Symptoms of kidney disease
What doesn't hurt during pregnancy! Of course, at the first unpleasant sensations, not every woman will immediately run to the doctor. Especially often, expectant mothers experience back pain, and often these are the norm, because the spine also experiences incredible stress. But how to recognize kidney disease during pregnancy? It will not be possible to diagnose the disease on your own, but there are a number of symptoms that indicate kidney he alth problems.
- pain in the lumbar region - a finger or two higher;
- pain from the lower back goes to the side, radiates to the lower abdomen;
- protein in urine - determined by analysis;
- does not seem empty after emptying;
- blood pressure rises;
- swellings appear on the legs, arms, face;
- when urinating there is discomfort, even pain;
- pain in the lumbar region does not go away, aching, does not get better even with a change in position;
- possible nausea, fever, chills.
Ultrasound of the kidneys during pregnancy may show expansion above normal. What could this mean?
Reasons for kidney enlargement
The right kidney is enlarged during pregnancy or the left,there are a variety of reasons for this:
- Pyelonephritis. This is the most common disease among pregnant women. We will talk about this disease in more detail later.
- Glomerulonephritis. This disease belongs to the immune-inflammatory and often occurs as a complication after suffering the flu or tonsillitis. Symptoms may include swelling of the face and legs, frequent urination, and dull pain in the lower back.
- Kidney stones during pregnancy are also formed quite often, and it is they that cause the expansion of the organ. The stone can become an obstacle to the outflow of urine, stuck in the ureter or when leaving the renal pelvis, so the organ enlarges. If there are stones in the kidneys, then the first sign of this will be unbearable pain, especially when urinating. Small grains will be visible in the urine - finer than sand, they resemble powder.
Kidneys during pregnancy can be enlarged due to many diseases that require a more detailed review. We suggest moving on to familiarize yourself with the most common ailments during pregnancy.
When stasis of urine, which is caused by violations in its outflow, hydronephrosis often appears. This is a serious disease that causes an increase in the calyces and pelvis in the kidneys, thinning of the walls, and atrophy. The disease is progressive, with it there is a deterioration in the basic functions of the kidneys.
The most common cause of this disease is pregnancy itself. The uterus is enlargedbegins to put pressure on the ureters, interfering with the outflow of urine. Fluid accumulates in the pelvis and calyces, deforming and stretching them.
There may be other, rarer causes for hydronephrosis:
- spinal cord injury;
- tumors and metastases.
In the development of hydronephrosis, there are three stages:
- Stagnation of urine, small dilations in the pelvis and calyx.
- Stronger expansion of the pelvis and calyces, the kidneys increase by an average of 20%.
- Kidneys double in size, strong expansion of pelvises and calyces.
At every stage of the disease, frequent urges to go to the toilet are observed, but very little urine is produced.
Cystitis can be the first manifestation of many urological diseases during pregnancy, including pyelonephritis. With the appearance of cystitis, the general condition of the woman worsens. She becomes lethargic, her ability to work decreases, weakness appears, the temperature can rise to 37.5 degrees. With the further development of the disease, frequent urination is observed - every 30-40 minutes. At the end of urination, a woman may feel cutting pains.
To confirm the diagnosis, it is necessary to pass tests not only on urine, but also on blood. Acute cystitis lasts from a week to ten days. If the disease is prolonged, it will be necessary to undergo an examination to identify possible inflammatory processes.
Cystitis needs to be recognized in time and startedtreatment as soon as possible. This will help minimize the likelihood of developing a more serious disease - pyelonephritis, which has many detrimental consequences not only for a pregnant woman, but also for her fetus.
We will talk about this kidney disease during pregnancy in more detail, because it is the most common - it occurs in 7% of pregnant women!
Pyelonephritis rarely occurs early, more often develops from the second trimester. Expectant mothers who have been diagnosed with pyelonephritis are included in a special risk group. The disease can cause:
- appearance of preeclampsia - a dangerous pathology for mother and baby;
- intrauterine infection, in which the fetus stops growing and developing;
- preterm birth.
But the most dangerous thing for a woman is the development of acute renal failure against the background of pyelonephritis. A woman's kidneys may partially or completely refuse to work.
Pregnancy itself becomes more often the cause of pyelonephritis. The uterus begins to squeeze the organs, interfering with the excretion of urine. Also, during pregnancy, the hormonal background changes dramatically, and this becomes the cause of the development of many diseases. In addition, pyelonephritis can develop for other reasons:
- diabetes mellitus;
- cystitis before pregnancy;
- defects in the development of the urinary tract and kidneys.
Risk levels for pyelonephritis for pregnant women
- First degree -pyelonephritis that occurred during pregnancy, proceeding without complications.
- Second degree - progressive chronic pyelonephritis, which the woman had before pregnancy.
- The third degree is the most dangerous, blood pressure rises, arterial hypertension is observed. In this case, only one kidney can be affected, for example, they make a diagnosis: the right kidney is enlarged.
During pregnancy, pyelonephritis should be observed not only by a general practitioner and nephrologist, but also by an obstetrician-gynecologist.
Timing of pyelonephritis during pregnancy
There are certain periods when there is a high probability of developing pyelonephritis. This is due to hormonal changes in the body, with the work of the kidneys and the load on them.
All pregnant women are required to take urine tests several times over the entire period. This also allows you to track the possible development of pyelonephritis, because at the beginning it may have a latent character.
Most often this disease occurs in the period from the 22nd to the 28th week of pregnancy. But there is a possibility of development on the 12-15th, 32-34th, 39-40th week, and also on the 2nd-6th day after birth.
Pregnancy Kidney Treatment
Treatment should be directed at fighting the infection that caused the disease, so a full range of tests should be taken. Further, only a doctor will be able to prescribe medication and useful herbs.
Patients with any kidney disease are prescribed plenty of fluids, cranberry juice will be especially useful, incontaining sodium benzoate. This substance is converted into hippuric acid, and it has a bactericidal effect.
Prescribe diuretics and antispasmodics to help restore normal urine flow. Antibacterial drugs - according to the causative agent of the disease.
With timely treatment of kidneys in pregnant women, organ functions are fully restored after childbirth. If you start the disease, then it can develop into a chronic one and make itself felt at every stage of life.
The main thing is not to self-medicate at the first sign of illness. Treatment is prescribed only by a doctor who recognizes the virus by analysis!
Prevention of kidney disease in expectant mothers
Pregnant women can protect themselves from kidney disease by taking preventive measures. Following simple rules, you can survive the period of waiting for a baby without consequences for your body.
- Drink at least a glass of cranberry or lingonberry juice every day. These berries are good not only for the treatment of kidney diseases, but also for prevention.
- From the first day you know you're pregnant, you need to follow a diet that will help keep your kidneys he althy. Give up everything s alty, smoked, fried, fatty. Eliminate white bread and all legumes from your diet.
- Drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
- Go to the toilet as often as possible, don't be patient.
- Clothes should be loose, put away all tights and swimming trunks that constrain,cause discomfort.
- Only buy underwear made from natural cotton, you can find this in the departments for pregnant women.
- Don't take a bath, use a shower.
- Don't forget about gymnastics for pregnant women.
If there is no opportunity, time or simply desire to attend gymnastics in a group, then be sure to do one exercise at home - a stand on all fours. Take this pose 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes. The uterus in this position will not put pressure on the urinary and kidneys, the organs will rest a little from heaviness. This exercise also helps with back pain.