Periodic urine tests during pregnancy are needed for determining the health condition of the mother and the growing fetus. Urine tests during pregnancy are needed for diagnosing gestational diabetes, urinary tract infections, kidney problems and pre-eclampsia.
Often small amounts of proteins are present in the urine of pregnant women. It indicates that the kidneys are working hard to meet the various physical demands of pregnancy. During pregnancy, it is normal to have a urinary protein level between 15 and 30 mg per deciliter. Urinary protein levels above 29 mg per deciliter might indicate presence of an underlying health problem, which might be harmful for the mother and the fetus.
Usually presence of excess protein in the urine is a sign of infection of the urinary tract. Even a mild infection could raise the protein level in the urine. Usually a woman suffering from urinary tract infection will experience pain while urinating.Along with excess protein, blood might be present in the urine. Back pain and fever are other common symptoms of urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are easily treated with antibiotics. Drinking adequate water and fruit juices could lower the risk of urinary tract infections. Pregnant women with urinary tract infections could drink a cup of cranberry juice daily to heal the painful problem.
Pregnant women suffering from pre-ecamplsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension have high urinary protein levels. Pre-eclampsia usually occurs during the later phase of pregnancy. Edema or water retention in the feet and hands are common symptoms of pre-eclampsia. A pregnant woman suffering from this condition experiences fatigue, nausea, headache, abdominal pain and breathing difficulties.Severe pre-eclampsia might affect the eyesight, leading to blurred vision. A sodium-restricted diet is usually recommended to keep the blood pressure under control. Patients are asked to limit fluid intake. Usually babies born to women with pre-eclampsia have low birth weight. The high blood pressure impairs transportation of adequate nutrient rich blood into the placenta.
An early delivery saves the baby and the mother from the adverse effects of hypertension. As pre-eclampsia progresses, the protein level in the urine rises further. It indicates that the high blood pressure level is harming the kidneys of the pregnant woman.