Cramping in early pregnancy may be can be quite a normal sign. However, it can be sometimes a serious concern. How to know when to feel worried about this symptom? Want to find out what’s causing your discomfort? In fact, most of the expectant mothers will experience mild aches and pains during their pregnancy. After all, their body is changing day by day. So, let’s face the fact that it is not totally easy to carry out a growing baby inside, right? You have to do a lot of things and think everything carefully before the labor.
Main causes for cramping in early pregnancy (the first trimester)
During the first trimester of pregnancy, cramping tends to result from normal changes. Of course, such changes often occur throughout your baby’s development. So, what are cramps? These are just as pulling sensations on 1 or 2 sides of your abdomen. The muscles in your uterus begin stretching and expanding soon. In fact there are many factors which may cause your uterus to contract or even cramp at any time during pregnancy! Such include an orgasm, a full bladder, a urinary tract infection or exercise.
For many women, cramping seems to be the first symptom that they are getting pregnant. In that case, it is easy to experience cramping once a fertilized egg builds its own home in the uterine wall. At that time, this is implantation cramping. You can feel like that your period is about to start. However, in the first 2 trimesters of pregnancy, the rapid uterine growth may even also lead to cramping. In addition, hormone level change can lead to increased gas, constipation and bloating.
Another concern some moms-to-be might have when they experience severe cramping in early pregnancy is that it is a sign of miscarriage. In general, miscarriages tend to happen when abnormal development exists in an egg or embryo. Actually, the body responds by eliminating the pregnancy is also another reason. The cramping associated with miscarriage is truly caused once both the blood and tissue leaving the uterus irritates it, which cause it to contract.
Furthermore, sexual intercourse may be also another cause for cramping. If you are lucky to have a normal and healthy pregnancy, then it is possible to continue to have sex until your delivery. Nevertheless, you may find that sex feels different during pregnancy. Because of your expanding tummy, it can feel than pleasurable and excitement. Later in the pregnancy, orgasm may possibly make you feel mild contractions. Experience these symptoms after having sex? Thus, consult your doctor right now!
When is cramping during pregnancy a concern?
Of course, light cramping in early pregnancy may be a common sign. But, there are still some serious matters of abdominal pain you should not ignore:
- Ectopic pregnancy: In general, this type of pregnancy occurs whenever the fertilized egg is likely to implant outside of the uterus. It may cause painful cramping. Hence, ectopic pregnancy is indeed a serious medical condition that should be properly treated by your doctor.
- Preterm labor: If your cervix starts to dilate before 37 weeks, then abdominal pain, increased pressure, and cramping may be typical signs of preterm labor.
- Miscarriage: Be careful! Vaginal spotting as well as mild cramping may be a discomforting sign of a miscarriage. However, it is worth noting that some moms-to-be who have spotting and cramping may even go on to have normal pregnancies. Contact a healthcare provider immediately if you experience severe cramping or heavy bleeding.
- Urinary tract infections: At that time, painful urination and lower abdominal pain may be signs of a urinary tract infection.
- Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is characterized by high protein and blood pressure in your urine. The severe symptom may even cause intense pain in your upper abdomen.
- Placental abruption: When does this occur? It happens when the placenta does separate from the uterus before the labor of your baby. Obviously, this is a warning condition. And you can experience a painful cramp which does not go away. Does this occur? Then, visit your healthcare provider right away.
When to call a doctor?
Do you have mild cramping in early pregnancy? When do you talk with a doctor? Below are some signs you should take into account:
- 6 or more contractions in 1 hour. That’s because it might be a sign of preterm labor.
- Pink discharge is a dangerous symptom of preterm labor. The reason is that is can mean that there is a change in your cervical length.
- Feel dizzy, lightheaded, or bleeding which also accompanies cramping, particularly when you haven’t confirmed your pregnancy yet with an ultrasound. To be sure, this might be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. Besides, bleeding may also be a sign of placenta previa or miscarriage.
- Abdominal or back pain that is severe and associated with vomiting, nausea, and/or fever. Such can be symptoms of kidney stones, gallbladder disease, or appendicitis.
- Any kind of persistent cramping during the pregnancy with multiples. Or you have a history of ectopic pregnancy or preterm labor, or have been even diagnosed with a shortened cervix.
- Your pain lasts without improving over time. Or it lasts with changes in your physical position.
How to soothe cramping in early pregnancy?
The first advice here is to get off your feet, drink fluids, and rest. If you need something for pain relief, then taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a good idea. Never use a heating pad on your abdomen. The reason is that raising your temperature is serious during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester.
Moreover, patients should try a warm shower, along with take stretching and sitting breaks during a day, especially if their cramping in early pregnancy is worse after a long time of being in one position. Always feel free to discuss with your doctor about your cramping concerns. Don’t worry! They are always ready to lend you a hand!