06.02.2014

Protein in urine during pregnancy

Your healthcare provider will take your urine sample, and insert a specially treated chemical strip (a dipstick) into the sample. It is generally nothing to worry about if the test detects trace levels of protein in your urine, unless you are showing other symptoms of an associated condition.
The dipstick test shows how much protein is present in your urine, and this is classified from + (low) to ++++ (high). If a urinary tract infection is suspected, your healthcare provider will send your urine to the lab for more precise testing.
In a lot of cases, the cause of protein in urine during pregnancy will not be pre-eclampsia. My midwives have told me that trace amounts of protein can also be caused by vaginal discharge. Two of pregnancy's trickier problems are gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy) and preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure), both of which have markers that show up in your urine. The presence of glucose (or sugar) may indicate the beginning of gestational diabetes, while protein in your urine during pregnancy can be a sign of preeclampsia.
You provide the sample (so strategically time your drinking and tinkling before each visit), and then a nurse or technician either uses a dipstick or puts a few drops of urine onto testing strips (one for protein in urine during pregnancy, another for glucose).


If you test positive for glucose in your urine, try not to stress: Up to 50 percent of women do at some point during pregnancy. If your protein test is positive, your practitioner will follow up to see if you have any other symptoms of preeclampsia and will possibly do further tests to determine if the cause is preeclampsia. There are no risks of taking urine tests to you or your pregnancy — though the mechanics of peeing into a plastic cup get pretty interesting in your ninth month. Your healthcare provider will perform a dipstick test on the sample, to check certain substances¬†in your urine. Your protein output changes throughout the day, and can be affected by diet and fluid intake. A high grading especially in later pregnancy can indicate pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that requires close monitoring.
One urine sample may suffice, or you may be asked to collect all urine output over a 24 hour period. That's why at each and every prenatal visit, your doctor will want to test your urine — lucky you! In order for your practitioner to confirm either condition, more tests need to be done, but a quick urinalysis at each visit gives your practitioner a heads-up that's something's going on in there.


An underlying problem such as kidney damage may also cause a high protein output in pregnant women. I had been throwing up for the two weeks prior to but I thought it was just pregnancy stuff.
The common causes for proteinuria in pregnancy is high blood pressure, diabetes and pre eclampsia. Your doctor will also keep an eye out for red or white blood cells in your urine sample, which can be a sign of a UTI (urinary tract infection) that's easily treated with antibiotics.
But if you have a positive glucose urine test two visits in a row, your practitioner will probably have you take a glucose screening test sooner rather than later. If you are showing other symptoms of a urinary tract infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics before the lab results are back. You measure how much protein is in someone’s body by the serum (blood) amount, not the urine amount.



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