Like the uterus, the bladder is a muscular sac that expands as needed. When you're not pregnant, your bladder can hold up to a pint of urine. During pregnancy your uterus is the star of the show in the pelvic cavity, and as it grows, everything else gets squished, including your bladder. A squished bladder holds much less urine than a bladder that has room to expand -- that's why, as your pregnancy progresses, you need to urinate more often. Your bladder will return to normal after delivery.
Frequent urination may indicate that you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you see blood -- even a tint of pink -- in your urine, if you run to empty your bladder and only empty drops, or if you feel burning while you urinate, call your doctor right away. A UTI can be cleared up easily with antibiotics. If left untreated, a UTI can cause a kidney infection that can lead to preterm labor.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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