A pregnant patient in her first trimester comes to the clinic because she has urinary frequency and white vaginal discharge. The patient asks if these are
• The nurse should assure the patient that these are normal findings.
• Pregnant women may notice an increase in urinary frequency during the first 3 months of pregnancy until the uterus rises out of the pelvis. Frequency of urination may return at the end of pregnancy as lightening occurs and the fetal head exerts renewed pressure on the bladder.
• Leukorrhea, or white vaginal discharge, is caused by an increase in estrogen. This results in elevated blood flow to the vagina and is considered normal during pregnancy.
• Due to the increased level of progesterone, the ureters increase in diameter and the bladder capacity increases to about 1,500 ml. The uterus tends to rise on the right side of the abdomen because it is pushed slightly in that direction by the greater bulk of the sigmoid colon.
• Pressure on the right ureter may lead to urinary stasis and pyelonephritis if not relieved. Pressure on the urethra may lead to poor bladder emptying and bladder infection. Such infections are potentially dangerous to the pregnant woman because they can ascend to become kidney infections.
• Incorrect: Urinary tract infections are not common discomforts of pregnancy; additionally, the patient's symptoms are not necessarily indicators of a UTI.