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Postpartum Bladder and Kidney Infections


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Sep 2020| Content last modified Sep 2020
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Post means "after," and partum means "pregnancy," so postpartum refers to the time period after you have a baby. It's usually considered the first 6 weeks.

What are postpartum bladder and kidney infections?

Your kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that make urine. Your bladder is a hollow organ that holds urine until you pee. You can get a bladder infection (cystitis) or kidney infection if bacteria get into these organs after delivery.

The Urinary Tract

The Urinary Tract
  • Symptoms of a bladder or kidney infection include pain when you pee or needing to pee often

  • Doctors treat the infection with antibiotics

  • You’re more likely to get a postpartum bladder infection if you had a catheter (thin, flexible tube) put in your bladder to drain urine before or after you give birth

What are the symptoms of postpartum bladder and kidney infections?

Symptoms include:

  • Pain when you pee

  • Needing to pee often

  • Fever

  • Pain in your lower back or side

  • Feeling sick all over

How can doctors tell if I have a postpartum bladder or kidney infection?

Doctors do a urine test to check for bladder and kidney infections.

How do doctors treat postpartum bladder and kidney infections?

Doctors treat postpartum bladder and kidney infections with antibiotics. Your doctor may also have you drink plenty of fluids to help your kidneys work well and flush the bacteria out of your body.

Doctors will do another urine test 6 to 8 weeks after your baby is born to make sure the infection is cured.

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