Getting abdominal cramps during pregnancy can be a matter of concern to the expecting mother. Cramps occur for several reasons. It can be an indication of stretching uterus for accommodating the growing fetus or it can be due to miscarriage. Getting mild cramps now and then is not a thing to worry. But if a pregnant woman gets cramps along with spotting then it can be sign of abortion. The intensity of cramps can be from mild to severe depending on the cause.
Common Causes :
During the early stage of pregnancy implantation occurs. It commonly occurs within 10-15 days of ovulation. It is the time the zygote gets implanted into the uterus. Your body prepares itself for the growing size of the uterus. Hence cramping occurs when the size of the uterus grow due to stretching. The ligaments and tissues that support the uterus will stretch constantly and this may cause cramps.
Severe cramps can be a sign of miscarriage. It is unfair that many women are experiencing miscarriage during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is a warning sign if you have moderate to severe cramps with pain and spotting or vaginal discharge. You need to call the hospital immediately if you experience such symptoms.
Cramps can occur when the growing egg gets implanted on the fallopian tube instead of uterus. This is called ectopic pregnancy and is a serious condition that has to be treated. You will get severe cramps, abdominal pain with or without bleeding when the growing zygote expands in size pushing the walls of fallopian tube. In this case, you will get a positive result for pregnancy but the fetus will grow in the wrong place and has to be removed in most of the cases.
Pregnant women will often have constipation problems which can cause mild to moderate cramps. It can build up severe gas inside due to chemical changes. Hence it is quite common to experience abdominal pain or cramps during early pregnancy. You need not panic if you get abdominal pain during the initial stage of pregnancy since belly cramps are normal. Growing uterus puts lot of pressure on the joints, muscles and veins causing moderate cramps.
Mild cramps will go off after sometime. Unless there is a strong reason there is no need to take treatment for abdominal cramps during pregnancy. If you experience pain or cramps during pregnancy, just sit down and relax. For some women there will be cramps only on the right side of the abdomen. It is because the growing fetus tends to tilt in the right side. You need to understand that the ligaments and tissues will be stretching constantly for adjusting to the increasing size of the uterus. You can lie down on the cot on the opposite side of the painful area. Keep your feet in elevated position. This will make you comfortable.
You can have a warm bath if you have moderate cramps. Try using hot water bottle or apply wheat bag on the stomach to ease out the pain. Stay relaxed since there is nothing to worry about your baby. Most of the women will have cramps while having sex during the first trimester. There can also be backache. In that case, you can consult your doctor for easing out the pain. You can ask your partner to do gentle back massage when you have cramps.
Miscarriage can occur anytime within 12 weeks of pregnancy. It can occur due to several reasons. The uterus may not be strong enough to support the fetus. Sometimes the baby may not be developing properly which can cause abortion. If you have severe cramps with bleeding you need to consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor will do D&C (Dilation and Curettage) for cleaning the uterus. She may also give medications for reducing pain. In case of ectopic pregnancy the fetus could not be saved.