How does pregnancy affect the pathophysiology of acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection)?

Updated: Jul 01, 2021
  • Author: Tibor Fulop, MD, PhD, FACP, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Pregnancy produces hormonal and mechanical changes that predispose the woman to upper urinary traction infections. Hydroureter of pregnancy, secondary to both hormonal and mechanical factors, manifests as dilatation of the renal pelvis and ureters (greater on the left than on the right), with the ureters containing up to 200 mL of urine. Progesterone decreases ureteral peristalsis and increases bladder capacity. The enlarging uterus displaces the bladder, contributing to urinary stasis. 


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