Bladder infections are common during pregnancy, and Azo is a popular remedy.
Urinary tract infections can come on suddenly and knock you sideways.
Unfortunately, they’re a common problem during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester when your baby hangs out on top of your bladder.
Lots of people reach for Azo when they have a UTI.
But can you take Azo while pregnant?
Let’s get to the bottom of this urgent question.
In this article 📝
- What does a UTI feel like when pregnant?
- What is Azo?
- Can you take azo while pregnant?
- Is it safe to take Azo Cranberry pills during pregnancy?
- What can you take for a UTI while pregnant?
- How can I get rid of a UTI while pregnant without antibiotics?
What does a UTI feel like when pregnant?
A UTI is almost a right of passage for many women – one we’d happily forgo.
It’s what happens when a part of the urinary system becomes infected with bacteria.
The most common type of UTI is an inflamed bladder (cystitis), which can look like:
- Stinging or burning while you pee
- Peeing a lot but very little coming out
- A strong urge to pee even with an empty bladder
- Dark or cloudy urine
- Feeling achy and tired
Cystitis is deeply uncomfortable and obvious (you’ll know when you have it), but it’s not usually dangerous.
A kidney infection, on the other hand, is a little more serious.
Symptoms of this type of UTI are similar to cystitis but with the added pain of:
- Shivering or the chills
- Pain in the side of your back or lower back radiating to your pelvis (loin to groin pain)
- Weakness or fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
If left untreated, UTIs can turn into kidney infections by traveling up the urinary tract.
All the more reason to get you back on the path to wellness where peeing is carefree.
What is Azo?
Azo is the brand name for a range of medications and supplements that ease the pain and discomfort associated with UTIs.
UTI symptoms can escalate quickly, and finding relief is often a matter of urgency.
But while these meds work to manage those burning, achy sensations, it’s important to remember that Azo won’t kill the bacteria that cause the underlying problem.
Some UTIs go away by themselves, especially if you can rest and drink lots of extra water, but many people need antibiotics to shake them off completely.
The problem is, getting antibiotics can take a little longer than your screaming symptoms may allow.
Some doctors prefer to do a urine culture to find out the most effective antibiotics to prescribe in your situation.
So while you’re waiting for antibiotics, Azo can help you make you more comfortable.
Can you take azo while pregnant?
Remember, you should always talk to your healthcare team before taking any medication or supplements during pregnancy.
With that in mind, here’s what we know.
Azo uses phenazopyridine hydrochloride for pain relief.
The FDA lists this as a category B medication.
The good news is that there aren’t any studies that show that it can harm you or your baby during pregnancy.
But while that’s reassuring, we don’t have data to prove Azo is completely safe for pregnancy either – as research has only been done on animals not humans.
So can Azo affect early pregnancy?
We just don’t know for sure.
This means that generally, a doctor will only prescribe it if the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Is it safe to take Azo Cranberry pills during pregnancy?
Cranberry supplements and pregnancy have a complicated relationship.
While this study found them generally safe, it found a potential correlation between cranberry and vaginal bleeding in pregnancy (though the study was not able to come to a firm conclusion about this correlation).
Because we’re not totally sure if they can be harmful to you or your baby, health practitioners may advise against them for now.
It’s also best to treat supplements like Azo Cranberry with a bit of caution.
Although they seem like a “natural” alternative, supplements vary in strength and aren’t regulated in the same way as medications.
With all this in mind, check in with your doctor before considering this option.
What can you take for a UTI while pregnant?
It’s important to treat a UTI as early as possible to reduce the chance of it developing into a more serious kidney infection, so give your doctor a call at the first signs of a problem.
You may need to take a short course of pregnancy-safe antibiotics.
It’s also generally considered safe to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) during pregnancy.
If you’re in pain or you have a fever, this common over-the-counter medication could help.
How can I get rid of a UTI while pregnant without antibiotics?
There are other things you can do to help your body fight the infection and make yourself more comfortable:
- Heating pads can give you some welcome relief from cramping and lower back pain (but make sure they are not too hot)..
- Drinking more water than usual will help your body flush the infection. It’ll also dilute your urine, which should mean it doesn’t burn quite as much when you pee. 💧💧💧
- Wear cotton underwear or, better yet, go commando at night time (let your vagina breathe)🩲
- Avoid strong soaps, feminine products, or body wash on your vaginal area – wash with warm water only.
- Swap baths for showers 🚿
- Don’t wear tight-fitted pants
- Avoid any food or drinks that can irritate your bladder. This includes citrus fruits, caffeine, and, gasp, chocolate. 😢You can find a full list of bladder-irritating foods at the Cleveland Clinic website.
While the jury’s out on the safety of cranberry supplements during pregnancy, you can still drink cranberry juice (but everything in moderation).
Pure, unsweetened cranberry — rather than sweetened breakfast drinks or (virgin) cosmos — can make your urine less acidic.
And there’s some evidence that regularly drinking 300ml of cranberry juice can prevent UTI recurrence by about 50%.
And remember to call a doctor urgently if your UTI isn’t improving with medication.
It’s also important to reach out if you feel dehydrated or have signs of severe infection such as shaking, confusion, vomiting, or a high fever.
Get well soon, mama. 💜