Stomach cramps are fairly common in early pregnancy. In fact, a lot of women experience mild cramping, bloating and mild backaches as early pregnancy symptoms.
In most cases, a case of mild cramps is considered a normal part of early pregnancy. This symptom is associated with the physical changes that the body undergoes as it prepares for the baby. Some women actually experience cramps with slight bleeding during implantation. This is the time when the embryo or fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. Aside from this, cramping may also be felt as the uterus changes its shape to accommodate the growing fetus. The growing of the uterus places a lot of pressure on the veins, joints and muscles.
Early pregnancy cramps often feels the same as that of premenstrual cramps. This is generally described as a pulling sensation felt on both sides of the abdomen. Even though this symptom is normal in early pregnancies, there are some cases wherein this symptom can be a concern.
How to Soothe Pregnancy Cramps..?
There are several ways that can help soothe pregnancy cramps. For instance, you can try a relaxing warm bath or you can perform some gentle exercises like swimming or walking. Resting can ease cramping as well and make sure that you place your feet up. On areas that are painful, you can apply a warm compress. You can also request a mild massage. This should ease the cramping sensation. However, if these remedies do not provide you with relief, you should consider seeking medical help. Your health care provider can rule out possible underlying conditions of the cramps. Moreover, they can prescribe safe pain medications that you can take to help ease the discomfort that you are experiencing at the moment.
When Should I Call a Doctor?
Even if mild cramps are considered a normal part of pregnancy, it is always a good idea to mention this to your health care provider, especially if the symptom becomes worse. Your health care provider can rule out the presence of urinary tract infection or any other underlying condition.
If you feel unwell and you experience cramps at the same time, you should consider consulting your health care provider. There are instances wherein abdominal pain is linked to other conditions like kidney stones, ovarian cysts, appendicitis, or gall bladder problems. There is also a chance that a pregnancy may have triggered problems like fibroids in the uterus. It is vital that you speak with your health care provider when you have discomforts, as they would know whether the cramps or pain that you feel is related to your pregnancy or if there is more to it. However, you should not wait to get help if the cramping pain does not go away after resting for a few minutes. In addition, you should seek consultation right away if the cramping is accompanied by a burning sensation when you urinate or when you have unusual vaginal discharges. You should also seek a consultation if you experience bleeding, tenderness, fever, and chills.
When Do Abdominal Cramps in the First Trimester Become Worrisome?
While it is assumed that abdominal cramps early in pregnancy is normal, whenever this symptom is accompanied by other symptoms like bleeding and pain, you should immediately seek consultation from your health care provider. For instance, if you experience bleeding, cramps and pain in the lower part of your abdomen, you are likely experiencing an early miscarriage. This condition is fairly common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy can also cause cramps in the first trimester of the pregnancy. This is a type of pregnancy wherein the embryo implants and develops outside the uterus. When you have this condition, you will feel painful cramping accompanied by tenderness, which usually starts on one side of your abdomen and spreads across it. This is also accompanied by dark and watery bleeding. This happens around the first five weeks to 10 weeks of the pregnancy.This is considered a medical emergency as the pregnant woman can actually bleed to death. Thus, it is important to seek medical consult right away if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Abdominal Cramps in the Second Trimester – Are they Normal?
There is a little chance that abdominal cramps in the second trimester are signaling a late miscarriage, unless this is accompanied by bleeding. Late miscarriages are far less common than early ones. An abdominal cramp with heavy bleeding during the second trimester is a medical emergency. You should consult your health care provider right away.
Abdominal cramps may also signal preeclampsia. This condition is characterized by elevated blood pressure with protein the urine. Severe preeclampsia can cause intense pain on the upper part of your abdomen.
Should I Worry about Abdominal Cramping in the Third Trimester?
Pregnancy cramps in the third trimester may signal preterm labor. This symptom is accompanied by increased pressure and pain on the abdomen. This usually happens before you reach 37 weeks age of gestation. This does not mean that your baby is going to be born right then and there. However, if your water breaks, untimely delivery of your baby can happen.
Placental abruption can also be the cause of abdominal cramping during the third trimester. This happens whenever the placenta detaches from the uterus way before the baby is born. This condition is considered life threatening. This is often associated with a painful cramp that does not go away. This is a medical emergency. Thus, you should seek consultation right away if this happens.
On the other hand, if you are having cramps after 37 weeks of your pregnancy, this means that you are in the early stages of labor. At this point, the pregnancy has already reached term, which means that the symptom is normal. This is the time when the body gears up for the delivery of the baby. In addition to cramping, you may also feel lower backache.