Pregnancy week by week



Abdominal pain in pregnancy

By Christina Ray November 20, 2010

Occasional abdominal discomfort is a common issue during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you might sometimes encounter abdominal pain. Some women even think that abdominal pain is a pregnancy sign. Though it is not absolutely correct, yet abdominal pain might occur as a symptom of pregnancy. While generally, an abdominal pain during pregnancy is harmless, sometimes it can lead to serious problems also. Mild abdominal pain need not be worried about, but a persistent or severe pain should not be ignored.

Here we will describe the causes and treatments for abdominal pain at various stages of pregnancy. However, don't try to diagnose yourself. If you suffer abdominal pain along with fever, chills, spotting, bleeding, or nausea, you must immediately call your women's health and pregnancy practitioner.

Women who are trying to conceive always look out for the first possible signs to show they are pregnant. The very early signs of pregnancy are easily noticed, but these signs are also related to the symptoms of pending menstrual cycle.

Here are few things you should keep in mind when you are trying to conceive:

  • The conception of a fetus occurs within the first 24 hours of ovulation.
  • Usually, women do not get to know that they are pregnant until their menstrual cycle is missed.
  • The doctors recommend that the pregnancy test should ideally be taken after 2 weeks of ovulation.
  • You can only confirm pregnancy after 2 weeks of conception.

Sometimes these two weeks seem a very long time to wait to confirm if one is pregnant or not. Many women try to find out of their status within these two weeks itself. Each woman has a different body and thus will experience different signs of pregnancy. These symptoms could start from the date of conception right till the end or one might not face them at all.

Each pregnancy is different and so brings different symptoms as well. Women who have given birth to 2 or more children experience different symptoms in each of their pregnancies.

Is Abdominal Pain during Pregnancy Normal?

It is important that you have the exam to confirm your pregnancy as normal; and not an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy happens when egg is implanted outside of the uterus. This exam is very important after you detect the signs of pregnancy. When you have pregnancy symptoms, you must consult the doctor to confirm your pregnancy and whether the pregnancy is normal or not.

In case everything is normal, the abdominal pain can be caused because of stretching of ligaments when the uterus grows. The uterus needs to bend and turn to accommodate the enlarging fetus, and in the process it can put tension on the ligaments, thus causing the pain. Such general pain need not be worried about. However, lower abdominal pain is not to be trusted.

What are the Causes of Abdominal Pain?

There are various causes for abdominal pain during different stages of pregnancy:

Implantation – Many women have period-like pain for a few days during early signs of pregnancy. This is not a pregnancy problem. This happens when the embryo is setting itself in lining of the uterus. This causes mild stomach pain and abdominal ache.

Stretching of Ligaments – Generally in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, a dull ache around the belly or a sharp ache on one side may occur. It's just because the muscles and ligaments supporting your uterus is stretching. Women may feel this pain when getting out of bed or chair or when coughing.

False labor – False labor is contractions or irregular tightening of your uterus muscles. Though generally it is painless, it may cause stomach pain to some women.

Cramping – Cramping may also occur during pregnancy leading to stomach pain. All these causes can be harmless if your pregnancy is normal. However, in case of ectopic pregnancy, you must take nothing lightly.

When to Worry about Abdominal Pain?

You must worry about such pain in case you have severe pain even during pregnancy early signs. Even during the early pregnancy, if you suffer severe cramp in your lower abdomen or severe pain on one side plus if there is bleeding, this might be a pregnancy problem or even miscarriage. Also, if you have pain in the upper abdomen during later pregnancy along with vomiting or seeing spots in front of your eyes, it could be a sign of pregnancy complication known as pre-eclampsia. Also abdominal pain during first three months could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy and must not be ignored. Do not take any severe pain lightly; consult a practitioner immediately.

What must be done during Abdominal Pain?

If you feel abdominal pain, sit down, put up your feet and relax. A comfortable rest will quickly relieve you of the pain. Also, as a precaution, avoid sudden movements. Do not turn sharp at the waist. If you feel a pain, bend towards it to relieve it. In case of gas pains, doing light house work, changing position and walking will help. Ensure that you take enough fluids. Take a warm water shower. On the lower side of your belly, put a hat water bag or bottle wrapped in a towel. This will help to relieve the pain. You can adopt the above methods in case of mild abdominal pain.

However, if you have severe abdominal pain or cramps, it could be a serious problem. Immediately consult with your practitioner if you have severe and/or continues pain. Also, you must seek practitioner help in case of bleeding, cramps, fever or chills. Any kind of pain during ectopic pregnancy must be consulted to the doctor.




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