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9 Common Causes Of Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy

If you experience abdominal pain when you are pregnant, the first thing to do is consult a doctor. Experiencing abdominal pain during pregnancy is not unusual but can be scary for any expecting mother. In most cases, the pain could be caused by indigestion or acidity, and in some cases, the nagging pain could be a symptom of something more serious.

Abdominal cramps during pregnancy can make a pregnant woman go through various doubts ranging from the chances of acidity to chances of a miscarriage. Some of these are common, while some others demand extra care and attention.

A woman can experience different kinds of abdominal pains at different stages of pregnancy. But once you enter the second trimester, severe pains are rare and need your gynaecologist's attention.

Let's read about some of the common causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy.

Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy

1. Implantation

During the first 2 to 6 weeks of pregnancy, the foetus implants itself in the womb. It is normal to have abdominal cramps during implantation. This is seen in the early pregnancy, probably 6-10 days after ovulation. This may be followed by mild bleeding or spotting. There is no need to be concerned in this case as it will resolve by itself as you move into pregnancy [1].

2. Hormonal Changes

Pregnancy is associated with many hormonal changes. Some of these hormonal changes can make your stomach cramp. This, too, happens in the early stages of pregnancy [2].

3. Baby's Movement

Once you are 5 to 6 months pregnant, the baby starts moving. If your naughty baby moves suddenly or kicks you from within, then it might cause shock or cramp [3].

4. Acidity

Acidity is a common problem among pregnant women. This is one of the major reasons for abdominal cramps during pregnancy. Watch the position and degree of pain, and this will help you differentiate it from other pains during pregnancy [4].

5. Urinary Infections

Pregnant women have low immunity and have more chances of getting urinary infections. If left untreated, urinary infections will affect the bladder, which can cause abdominal cramps during pregnancy. Urinary infections should be treated at the earliest to avoid any pregnancy complications [5].

6. Uterine Stretching

One of the most common causes of uterine cramps during pregnancy is the growing uterus. The uterus goes on stretching to give enough space for the growing foetus. This pain usually occurs after seven months, when the baby starts to grow in size [6].

7. Ectopic Pregnancy

If you experience sharp and unbearable pain only on one side, there are chances of ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy refers to the implantation of the foetus anywhere other than the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube [7]. This condition needs emergency medical care as it can result in miscarriage or be detected and terminated medically. An ectopic pregnancy will result in sharp pains. This may not happen within the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. But after that, the pain increases every day and may even end up rupturing your tubes [8].

8. Miscarriage

Sometimes severe pains accompanied by bleeding during pregnancy is a sign of miscarriage. If your bleed is heavy and the pain does not stop after half an hour, you need to get yourself to a hospital immediately. This can occur in any stage of the pregnancy and will be generally associated with spotting or bleeding. If you have a history of miscarriage, seek immediate medical assistance [9][10].

9. False Or Early Labour

Once you cross the 36 weeks mark, you are expecting labour pain any moment. Due to your subconscious effect, you may feel phantom or false labour pains. But if this happens in the 7th or 8th month, it might also be pre-term labour pains [11].

Are Cramps A Sign Of Pregnancy?

There are chances that women experience cramps in the early stage of pregnancy, even when they don't know that they are pregnant. They fail to differentiate cramping due to implantation and menstrual cramping that occur as a part of premenstrual syndrome [12]. Knowing the reasons for cramps during pregnancy will help you associate this with your specific health status to decide when to seek medical advice.

On A Final Note...

Abdominal cramps during pregnancy may vary in intensity, duration and frequency, depending on the cause of the cramping. If you think the pain is severe or even irritating, consult a doctor immediately.

Story first published: Thursday, September 2, 2021, 12:32 [IST]