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Kidney pain in pregnancy – Causes & solutions

Pregnancy can be the most rewarding and challenging journey of a woman’s life. Among the many changes that take place in the body, kidney pain is often a common issue that develops in many pregnancies. So, it’s important that you learn about kidney pain in pregnancy and what you can do about it.

From infections to the development of stones, there can be many underlying causes of kidney pain. So, it is recommended that you visit your doctor and get a clear diagnosis, followed by the right treatment. For more details click here.

Common Causes of Kidney Pain In Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women

The causes of kidney pain in pregnant and non-pregnant women are mostly the same. However, since the former typically goes through several physiologic and hormonal changes during the pregnancy phase, they become more vulnerable to kidney-related issues. 

Here are some common causes of kidney pain:

      Kidney Stones

      Hemorrhage (bleeding in the kidney)

      Polycystic Kidney Disease

      Renal Vein Thrombosis (blood clots in kidney veins)

      Kidney Infection

      Kidney Cysts

      Kidney Cancer

Kidney Pain In Pregnancy – Possible Causes

Women with chronic renal (medical term for kidney) disease are more likely to have kidney pain during pregnancy. It may also lead to a poor pregnancy outcome if not treated properly. 

Kidney-related issues such as kidney stones occur in about 1 in every 1500-3000 pregnancies. Such a case mostly happens in the second or third trimester. Symptoms include pain in the upper abdomen or sides and back. 

Another possible cause of kidney pain in pregnant women is acute pyelonephritis. In laymen’s terms, it refers to a bacterial infection of the kidneys. It can affect up to 2% of pregnant women. Due to the many physiological changes during pregnancy, a pregnant woman is more likely to develop pyelonephritis than her non-pregnant counterparts.

UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) are also a common cause of kidney pain in pregnant women. They can lead to serious complications in both the mother and her child. If left untreated, UTI can lead to pyelonephritis, pre-eclampsia, low neonatal birth weight, and premature birth.

Other possible causes of kidney pain in pregnancy are swelling in the kidneys or urinary tract. More symptoms that indicate a kidney-related problem include vomiting, fever, and painful urination. 

Kidney Pain In Pregnancy – Solutions

On the bright side, there are certain things you can do in the comfort of your home to relieve kidney pain while pregnant. However, make sure to consult your doctor first before proceeding with any of these solutions suggested below.

      Drink plenty of water

      Take a pain killer 

      Cut down on calcium supplements in case of kidney-stone-related pain 

      Take probiotics

      Take a warm Epsom salt bath

      Place a heating pad on the affected area

Is It Really Kidney Pain?

Kidney pain is often mistaken for back pain. Especially in pregnant women, back pain is common due to weight gain, posture changes, stress, and hormonal changes. Note that back pain usually occurs in the lower back, while kidney pain is higher up the back and is felt deeper.

Regardless, pain of any kind during pregnancy should be taken seriously. Inform your doctor immediately and proceed with the necessary diagnosis and treatment to enjoy a safe pregnancy.

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