What does protein in your urine indicate? During each antenatal appointment with your doctor, a pregnant woman has to go through a Routine Urine test in order to detect and analyze the levels of protein in your urine. It is normal for a pregnant woman to have a certain amount of protein in the urine. There are several reasons as to why you will find protein being expelled out in your urine, one of which is that your Kidneys are functioning much harder as a result of your pregnancy. Another reason would be that your urine contains discharges from your vagina. Another major detection of protein in the urine would be as a result of a minor infection. The sample of your urine is taken to a laboratory and tested for any sort of urinary tract infection. It is best to detect the urinary tract infection early on in your pregnancy and to take the antibiotic medications for it prescribed by a doctor. The existence of protein in the urine is known as proteinuria, your doctor makes note of the level of protein in the urine in your Maternity notes. The lowest amount of protein is indicated as trace level, and an increase in the levels of protein in the urine is indicated with a + Sign, and more depending on the levels present. On your next visit to your doctor, your urine is again tested to check if the level of protein has increased. It is important to be constantly aware of the protein levels in your urine during your second trimester of pregnancy. If there is an increase in the protein levels in your urine during this stage of pregnancy then it is an indication of a serious condition known as Preeclampsia. When a pregnant woman's Placenta is not functioning properly, then she is said to have preeclampsia. During this condition, the pregnant woman's blood pressure will increase and it would affect the ability of her Kidneys to filter blood. Causes for protein in the urine: There are several reasons as to why protein exist in the urine during pregnancy. If there are low levels of protein in the urine, then the condition of the pregnant women is normal or there are chances of the existence of a minor infection. If there are higher levels of protein in the urine, then it is a clear indicator of a serious and complex issue. Some of the main causes of protein in the urine include the following: Dehydration the existence of medical conditions like diabetes, heart diseases or disorders arthritis Kidney Disease, liver disease, anemia. kidney infection in the urinary tract. Stress. high fever. Preeclampsia, commonly known as the HELLP syndrome. rheumatoid arthritis. Leukemia. Lupus. Sickle Cell Anemia. performance of strenuous activities during pregnancy. Acute renal failure. pulmonary edema. Why and how often will you be tested for protein in the urine? Pregnant women during all stages of pregnancy have to undergo routine prenatal urine test and screening in order to detect infections, complications in the pregnancy and the existence of other conditions that may affect the health and life of both the mother and the baby. It is important to test the pregnant women's urine for the existence of protein in order to check for the normal functioning of the Kidneys as well as to ensure the absence of any serious conditions that require further treatment. A complete urine test is generally done at the very first prenatal appointment with your doctor and then it is done periodically in all the successive prenatal appointments. Types of proteinuria: The condition of proteinuria is of two major types which are the - chronic proteinuria and the onset proteinuria. Chronic proteinuria: Chronic proteinuria exists in the body of a woman even before pregnancy and it is caused as a result of a kidney condition that already exists. Onset proteinuria: Onset proteinuria happens during the pregnancy term and it is caused as a result of the pregnancy. The existence of protein levels in the urine is known as preeclampsia and it comes with pregnancy. Tests and diagnosis: There are two types of tests that can be performed to detect the levels of protein in the us. They are: The dipstick test: 24-hour urine protein test. 1.The dipstick test: The dipstick test is done by dipping a chemically treated strip into the urine sample taken from the pregnant woman. The change of color indicates the existence of protein in the urine. The levels of urine present are indicated with a + sign, and the further readings of high protein levels are indicated with further + signs. An increase in the number of Plus sign indicates damage to the kidney and other serious complications. 2. The 24-hour urine protein test: In this test, the pregnant woman is requested to give urine samples taken every hour for a period of 24 hours. Each of them is collected in separate containers and sent to the laboratory for testing. Generally, in this test, the very first urine that comes out from the body of the pregnant women is not taken for testing. It is only the subsequent urine samples that are tested. If that test indicates that the amount of protein in the urine is more than 300 MG, then it is a clear indication of preeclampsia, kidney disorder and other major health complications during pregnancy. How complicated is proteinuria? The existence of high levels of protein in the urine can be an indicator of serious complications within the body. If not treated on time, it can cause major health issues and even the death of the pregnant mother and fetus within the womb. Proteinuria Is not a disease and so there is no exact treatment. However, your doctor can prescribe certain medications that would lessen the impact of it. It is important to find the root cause that made the protein levels in the urine to increase and what can be done to remedy it. Your doctor should try and diagnose the real reason behind the discharge of proteins, whether it was as a result of an increase in blood pressure, diabetes, food habits or the medications taken by the pregnant women. This enables you to control it by eating the right amount of food, taking the medications prescribed for it and doing certain normal exercises to help regulate the protein levels. If the increase of protein in the urine is caused as a result of hypertension, then it is important that a pregnant woman gets treated for Hypertension and thus help to reduce the protein in the urine. The existence of high levels of protein in the urine should not be taken lightly, instead, immediate treatment should be given to the pregnant women. If the pregnant woman experiences any of the symptoms of proteinuria then it is important that she approaches her doctor immediately and undergo urine tests to detect it. Timely identification of proteinuria can help to save your life as well as a remedy it and prevent the further spread of any disease, ailments and further damage caused to any of the organs of the body.
Regular urine tests during pregnancy may be as important as all the other scans.
Written by Dr. Himanshu Chaudhary (Gynaecologist)195 Views
Urine tests help your doctor find early warning signals that can help her diagnose certain serious conditions. These conditions may cause problems during your pregnancy for both you and your baby. That’s why your doctor will ask you to get a urine test and take the report to every antenatal appointment.
How to get a urine test done?
You will have to give your urine sample to the lab which will conduct the test. You need to use a sterile container to collect your urine. You can get it from the lab or at any chemist shop. It’s also better to pee for a few seconds before you collect the sample.
The lab conducts the test and generally gives you the report within one day. It may take some more time if your doctor has asked for something more than the standard test.
What does a urine test help to diagnose?
A urine test can diagnose a number of disorders based on the levels of protein, nitrite and sugar in your urine. Here are some of the most common disorders that can be diagnosed through a urine test.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A UTI can be diagnosed when there is an unusually high level of protein in your urine combined with nitrites and white cells. You may need further tests to determine if it is a UTI and which kind. You may then need to have antibiotics to get rid of the infection. UTI may be linked to premature birth so it’s important to diagnose and treat it on time.
Gestational Diabetes (GD)
This is a kind of diabetes that happens only when you’re pregnant. It may lead to certain complications like premature labour and birthing problems. It may lead to Type 2 diabetes and obesity in the child in the future. An early diagnosis of GD is very important. High sugar in urine sometimes alerts the doctor to a possibility of GD. If the doctor suspects you have GD, she will recommend a GTT(Glucose Tolerance Test) to make a definitive diagnosis.
This occurs in the second half of the pregnancy and is related to high blood pressure. It can result in pregnancy complications including poor growth of the baby can result from pre-eclampsia. If diagnosed on time, pre-eclampsia can be managed effectively. This can be done through regular urine tests as well as blood pressure check-ups. This is because symptoms of pre-eclampsia like intense headaches, sudden swelling of your face, hands and feet, and vision problems, such as blurring or flashing don’t usually appear until it’s too late.
Urine tests perform a key role in helping the doctor diagnose certain important disorders. It’s therefore critical to get your tests done in time for your antenatal appointments.