I'm in my first trimester and I think I might have a bladder infection. I don't have any burning when I urinate, but I feel pressure on my bladder. Is this common?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in pregnancy, but mainly later on when the weight of the enlarged uterus pushes against the ureters (tubes that run under the floor of the pelvis from the kidneys to the bladder). In this situation, urine can get backed up, distending the ureters, much like standing on a garden hose will back up the water. This back-up (called the physiologic hydroureters of pregnancy) leads to pressure pain in the flanks (back and sides) and a decreased flow of urine to the bladder. The urine that sits in the bladder is then prone to infection.
But the symptom you're describing could be a sign of a bladder infection (even if you weren't pregnant).
The signs of a urinary tract infection are many, and not all of them need to be present, which can lead to a lot of confusion. Here are the most common symptoms:
- Burning with urination (dysurea)
- Pressure in your bladder area
- Urge to urinate frequently (called frequency or polyurea)
- Bloody urine (hematurea)
- Strong odor to urine
Sometimes you can have a UTI with no symptoms at all. If there's any doubt, see your healthcare provider. UTIs are very sneaky and often have vague or confusing symptoms, but a simple urine test can let you know whether you have an infection. Your provider can then prescribe medication to alleviate your discomfort.