Pregnancy is a wonderful thing. Aside from growing a lovely angel inside your tummy, all of your organs function altogether to accommodate the baby and make sure you are both safe and healthy. Among all organs, one that could have a hard time adjusting to this phase is your kidney. And if you feel pain in this location, you may wonder about what causes kidney pain during pregnancy and how to deal with that. Let's find more about that.

How to Know It Is Kidney Pain While Pregnancy

As you go through this nine-month journey, your growing baby “touches” certain parts of your body that could cause pain. This explains why your back hurts most of the time or there are certain positions that you find uncomfortable. Besides, there are certain other parts that would feel the pain, such as kidney pain. But, how will you know if you are experiencing one?

Below are the alarming signs you should take note of:

  • Unpleasant sensation or sharp pain during urination

  • Stabbing pain in lower or side part of your belly, or small area of your back

  • Constant feeling of not being able to empty your bowel, yet you often rush to the toilet because you felt the urge to poop

  • Increase in body temperature, which results to chills and feeling giddy

  • Swelling

  • Increased arterial pressure

  • Urine test showed high amount of protein

If you experienced any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately instead of diagnosing yourself according to what you read on the internet. Your doctor will require you to go through series of tests to determine the problem. This way, your doctor can also prescribe appropriate treatments for your condition.

What Causes Kidney Pain During Pregnancy?

You know that the stabbing pain in your abdomen or lower back coupled with the other symptoms mentioned above could be a sign of kidney pain. It turns out that there are two main causes for this condition: urinary tract infection or kidney infection. Check out in detail what these conditions are all about and find out the appropriate treatments for each condition.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

One of the major causes of kidney pain especially when you are pregnant is UTI. This type of bladder infection affects pregnant women who are between 6 and 24 weeks. This is because as your pregnancy progresses, your uterus grows as well. When this happens, the passage of urine coming from your bladder will make it difficult, thereby putting you at risk for bacterial infection.

How will you know if you have UTI? Pay attention to symptoms like:

  • Discomfort when urinating

  • Blood in your urine

  • Excessive urination

  • Pain of the bladder or its surrounding area

  • Cramping

  • Changes in the color of your urine

  • Pain during sexual intercourse

  • Pain in your lower abdominal region


As soon as your urinalysis showed that you have UTI, your doctor could prescribe antibiotics, which can help get rid of the bacteria from your urinary tract and provide relief against the symptoms of UTI.

Apart from antibiotics, other helpful tips include:

  • Drinking at least two liters of water daily coupled with cranberry juice

  • Taking supplements for vitamin C, beta-carotene, and Zinc

  • Avoiding processed and sugar-rich foods

  • Using undergarments made from cotton material

  • Completely emptying your bladder when urinating

If the kidney pain is not caused by UTI, perhaps the next major reason could be the culprit.


Kidney Infection

If you had urinary tract infection and were not aware of it, it could lead to kidney infection and cause kidney pain during pregnancy.

Medically known as pyelonephritis, kidney infection often comes with severe kidney pain, painful pee, presence of blood in the urine, fever, chills, vomiting, and increased urination. You might also experience lower back pain that is usually in the waist area, extreme fatigue, and tiredness.

In other words, you tend to be dysfunctional and doing your daily activities might be a hard work.


It is important to get treatment as soon as possible when you experience kidney pain while pregnancy. Your doctor will require hospitalization to treat you with antibiotics and intravenous fluids. Vital signs such as blood pressure, breathing rate, pulse, and temperature are likewise monitored. This is crucial because infection must be treated while making sure that your unborn child is safe.

What happens if you don’t get treated immediately? Kidney infection could spread to your bloodstream, which can be life threatening. This could increase your risk of premature labor or giving birth to a baby who is underweight.



Apart from urinary tract infection and kidney infection, diabetes is another reason why some pregnant women experience kidney pain.

The American Diabetes Association reported that as much as 9.2 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. This condition happens when hormonal changes during your pregnancy make it difficult for your body to use insulin effectively. Since insulin cannot do its job to bring your blood sugars to normal levels, your blood sugar level goes up and could cause problems on your unborn child.

How does diabetes affect your kidney and lead to kidney pain during pregnancy?

Diabetes can injure the small blood vessels in your kidneys. As a result, your kidneys are unable to clean your blood properly, causing you to retain more water and salt in your body. Aside from this, diabetes could damage your nerves and makes it difficult for you to empty your bladder. This could apply pressure on your bladder and injure your kidneys. There is also a possibility of developing an infection due to the growth of bacteria from the urine left in your bladder.


You need to visit your doctor to see if there would be some changes to the diet to reduce blood sugar levels. Doing exercises regularly may also help. But if those don't take effect, medications may be needed.


So whenever you experience kidney pain during pregnant, it is advisable to consult your doctor about the symptoms and to help you determine the real cause behind it, hence how to treat the problem properly.


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