During pregnancy Protein in urine can be a sign of some health conditions.
Presence of a little amount of protein in urine during pregnancy is quite normal and may not be associated with any major health problem. In healthy young people low level of protein can be found in urine after tiring exercise or physical activity. Momentary rise in the level of protein can also be caused by factors like, tension, stress, exposure to heat or cold, dehydration and high fever. Though, the presence of high protein content in urine can be an early sign of certain medical conditions. The medical term use for high level of protein in urine is called proteinuria. Many women can develop such condition during pregnancy.
Causes of Protein in Urine during Pregnancy
Kidneys are concerned with filtering the blood and removing all the waste products and toxins from the body in the form of urine. There are many glomeruli (small clusters or mass of blood vessels or nerve fibers) in the kidney that are associated with this filtering activity. The protein molecules are normally large enough to pass through these glomeruli. Therefore urine generally does not contain a significant amount of protein. So the presence of high levels of protein in urine during pregnancy mean that there is a problem with the kidney and glomeruli or with the filtering mechanism of the kidney. Kidney diseases such as nephrotic or glomerulonephritis syndrome could be related with proteinuria.
Too much protein in urine can also be associated with urinary tract infection or cystitis during pregnancy. Apart from such causes, there can be a connection between high blood pressure and high protein substance in urine, especially in the late pregnancy. Proteinuria can be connected with preeclampsia in the late pregnancy. Preeclampsia is that condition in which the blood pressure increases abnormally during pregnancy. Preeclampsia can harm the normal blood supply to the placenta which can reduce the supply of oxygen and food to the baby. So, preeclampsia can cause low birth weight of the baby. But, if it is detected and treated early then the women with preeclampsia can sometimes have a normal delivery.
Proteinuria Symptoms and Treatment
Normally such condition does not produce any symptoms. So, it is detected during the routine urine test carried out during pregnancy. The pregnant woman can experience swelling in the hands, ankles and around the eyes due to water retention if there is too much protein in the urine. This condition can also result the urine to become foamy.
It can be treated only after determining the underlying causes. If it is caused by urinary area infection, then antibiotics would be required for proper treatment. If the baby has already developed sufficiently then doctors may opt for early delivery to protect both the mother and the baby. But if the delivery is not possible, then doctors can suggest appropriate measures to control the level of blood pressure. Blood pressure can be controlled by cutting down the amount of salt, drinking more water throughout the day and with sufficient rest. Sometimes medications can also be needed to treat preeclampsia in pregnant women.
Preeclampsia can also cause certain pregnancy complications and it is important to detect this condition in the early stage. It can be an indicator of preeclampsia. proteinuria could be asymptomatic at times. It is normally detected only during routine urine tests. Therefore, pregnant women should take all the tests and examinations recommended by their doctor/mid wife to ensure early detection of proteinuria and preeclampsia and to avoid the risks related with preeclampsia.