Which factors increase the risk of pyelonephritis (kidney infection) during pregnancy?

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

Physiologic changes in the urinary tract predispose pregnant women to an increased risk of cystitis and pyelonephritis, which may lead to preterm labor and kidney damage. Hydroureter of pregnancy develops around the seventh week and progresses throughout the remainder of pregnancy; it resolves by 8 weeks post partum. The ureters may dilate sufficiently to contain 200 mL or more of urine. In addition, the kidneys enlarge and bladder capacity may double. The left kidney is more affected than the right.


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