Why Am I Cramping
The muscles in your uterus will soon begin to stretch and expand. This can cause a pulling feeling on both sides of your stomach. Very early in your pregnancy, you may even feel aches that are similar to those during your period. Increasing pelvic pressure over the course of pregnancy is quite common, explained Annette Bond, MD, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut.
When Should I Call The Doctor
If you experience the following types of cramping, you should contact your doctor right away:
- Severe pain that does not go away
- Lower abdominal pain, accompanied by contractions
- Vaginal cramping, bleeding, discharge, gastrointestinal symptoms, and dizziness
- Cramping, along with pain in the shoulder and/or neck
Want to Know More?
What Do Early Pregnancy Cramps Feel Like
Early pregnancy cramps usually feel like pulling or stretching in the belly. Theyre often more of an ache than a pain, and you might find them similar to menstrual cramps. You may notice them when you change positions or when you sneeze or cough. If theyre mild and you dont have any other symptoms, theyre probably no cause for alarm.
But, there are some signs that what youre experiencing may not be your average cramping in early pregnancy and that theres a problem. They include:
- Severe pain
- Pain that doesnt go away
- Cramping sensations in the vagina
- Bleeding or unusual discharge
Recommended Reading: Is Vagisil Safe To Use While Pregnant
What Causes Muscle Cramps In Pregnancy
According to What to Expect When Youre Expecting, no one is quite sure the exact reason why pregnant women get these cramps, but there are a couple theories.
Some say its muscle fatigue from carrying the extra pregnancy weight. Other theories suggest it comes from fluid accumulation in the stems. It could also come from compression of the blood vessels or your diet too much phosphorous or too little magnesium.
And finally, it could just be down to pregnancy hormones since theyre responsible for a lot of the changes youre currently experiencing.
A Warning Of Serious Problems
Sometimes cramps are a danger signal that shouldn’t be ignored. There are three specific medical conditions that are usually accompanied by cramping:
- Miscarriage. About 20 percent of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage within the first three months of pregnancy. Severe cramping in the first trimester can signal trouble. If you feel constant abdominal pain , call your doctor right away.
- Ectopic pregnancy. When the fertilized egg settles somewhere outside the uterus, you will get a positive pregnancy test, but as the egg begins to grow, it can’t survive and will cause sharp abdominal pains and bleeding.
- Preterm labor. Each year, hundreds of thousands of babies are born long before they are due. These babies announce their plans for an early entrance with a variety of signals that include cramping.
If your cramps are severe and/or persistent, call your doctor immediately.
You May Like: Side Effects Of Donating Plasma While Pregnant
Monitor Your Activity Level
Though exercise during pregnancy is your great for your health and the health of your baby, too much isnt a good thing. Some perfectly safe and enjoyable things, like sex, can cause cramps during pregnancy. Sex, while typically encouraged throughout pregnancy can cause the uterus contract. Not enough to induce labor before its time, but enough that you might experience discomfort. Only you know what is too much for you, so take the time to check in with your body and know your limits.
According to ACOG, you should stop exercising and contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following:
Can I Do Anything To Relieve Pregnancy Cramps
Although pregnancy cramps can be uncomfortable, there are a number of things you can try to get a little relief. For a start, try reducing the amount of physical activity youre doing and avoid adopting any positions that make the cramps worse. Try taking a warm bath every night before you go to bed and, whenever possible, take a few moments during the day when you can rest comfortably and quietly.
Drink plenty of fluids too. Dehydration can cause a range of issues, including pregnancy cramps. There is also pregnancy yoga which can be excellent at relieving pain.
Some women find that maternity belly bands are helpful in reducing their discomfort. A simple elastic belt with Velcro fastenings worn underneath the belly can help to minimize cramping. Make sure it isnt too restrictive and can be adjusted, though.
You May Like: Can I Use Vagisil Wash While Pregnant
Is Cramping A Sign Of Miscarriage
Among pregnant women, any of the following symptoms may indicate miscarriage: Vaginal bleeding or spotting, with or without cramps this bleeding may occur very early in your pregnancy even before you miss your menstrual period and know that you are pregnant or it may occur later, after you know you are pregnant.
S To Deal With Leg Cramps In Pregnancy
1) Stretch your legs and gently wiggle your ankle and toes flexing them back towards the shin. Do this several times a day. Never sit cross-legged as it can aggravate the condition.
2) Do light exercises regularly starting in the early pregnancy. Include stretching exercises which target your calves.
3) Rest your legs in an elevated position when sitting, propped up with cushions. Never let your legs dangle in the air as it can increase the pressure in the legs leading to water retention.
4) Try applying heat pads to the affected area. You can also go for prenatal massages. But do not overdo anything.
5) Cold compress or walking for a while on the cold floor when in the middle of a bout of muscle spasm is believed to be of some use.
6) Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for longer periods of time both cause fluid retention making your feet feel heavy.
7) Wear supportive ,compressive stockings to support your aching calves and ankles.
8) Alternate between work and rest. Never rush around or be pushy towards your physical activity , at the same time do not sit or lie down for long periods of time. Maintain a good balance between the two to avoid aches and pains.
9) When lying down or sleeping l, lie on your left side. This helps in good circulation of blood from your legs to the heart and back to legs.
Don’t Miss: Can I Put Braces While Pregnant
When Should You See A Doctor
Leg cramps during pregnancy are very common symptoms that most women experience. Sometimes, the pain can be a bit unbearable and can affect your sleep. This is the best time to see your doctor at your next checkup.
Let your doctor know if the cramps are persistent, severe, or worsening. Supplements or medications may have to be administered. Request for immediate care if youre experiencing difficulties walking, swelling in your legs, or enlarged veins.
These are possible signs of a blood clot.
When Should I Report Stomach Pain In Pregnancy
Stomach pain can be very worrying for pregnant women. Pain can make you fear the worst, such as a miscarriage. Its important to listen to your own instincts. If you are worried about any pains youre having, or you just feel like something is wrong, contact your midwife. Dont be concerned about wasting anyones time. Its always best to get things checked out.
If you are having persistent stomach pain or cramping, or if the pain comes on suddenly it should be checked by a doctor or midwife immediately.
You May Like: Giving Plasma While Pregnant
/ What Can You Do To Ease Cramping In Early Pregnancy
‘Mild pain during pregnancy can be managed with paracetamol, if a woman usually takes this safely, and also may be alleviated with a hot water bottle, a warm bath or gentle exercise,’ says Dr Beckett. ‘If a woman is not sure what she can safely do to manage her pain, she should contact her healthcare professional for advice.’
When Should I Be Worried About Cramping In Early Pregnancy
Even though mild cramps are a normal part of pregnancy, you should still talk to your doctor about your discomfort. If you begin to see spotting or bleeding along with your cramps, it could be a sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. With a normal pregnancy, your ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube.
Also Check: Can You Use Vagisil During Pregnancy
What Causes Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
Many women who experience abdominal pain during pregnancy automatically think that abdominal pain is indicative of miscarriage or some other serious problem. Rest assured that although it’s always best to remain vigilant and contact your physician with any concern, there are many other less serious causes of abdominal pain that commonly affect women who are pregnant.
/ What Do Miscarriage Cramps Feel Like
According to The Miscarriage Association if you miscarry in the early weeks of pregnancy: ‘You are likely to have period-like cramps that can be extremely painful. This is because the uterus is tightly squeezing to push its contents out, like it does in labour and some women do experience contractions not unlike labour’. This pain is likely to be accompanied by heavy bleeding.
So to sum up, cramping is common in early pregnancy and is usually nothing to worry about, but if you have any concerns at all, do contact your GP or midwife. Feeling anxious about your pregnancy is perfectly understandable and theyll be more than happy to address any problems you have.
You May Like: Is Kinesio Tape Safe For Pregnancy
Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy Cramps
It is important to be able to tell the difference between normal early pregnancy cramps and cramping that may point to pregnancy complications. The following types of pain are normal early pregnancy symptoms:
In the earliest stage of pregnancy, you may experience implantation pain. This is when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Pain generally occurs around the time when your period would normally begin. It may be accompanied by light spotting.
Implantation pain feels much like a mild menstrual cramp. You may experience an aching or pulling sensation in your lower abdomen. The duration of the pain and/or spotting differs between people. Many people experience no pain. Some experience only a few brief twinge, while others may have mild and intermittent pain for several days.
First trimester cramps
During the first trimester, your uterus and the supporting muscles and ligaments begin to stretch. You may experience occasional cramps. Your pain should be relatively mild and infrequent. It may be more pronounced when you cough, sneeze, or adjust your position.
Early pregnancy loss
If you experience cramping in your pelvic area, lower back, or abdomen, these may be signs of a miscarriage. This cramping will often be accompanied by vaginal bleeding that may start as a brownish discharge. Initial bleeding may be light. Heavy bleeding may indicate the presence of pregnancy tissue passing from the body.
When To Be Alarmed
Leg cramps usually subside with the above given remedies and are not much cause for concern. But if you find that your cramps remain frequent, do not respond to simple remedies, your feet is red and swollen and is warm when touched call your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of different medical condition which would require a different treatment.
Read Also: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
Relieving Leg Cramps During Pregnancy
The best way to relieve a leg cramp during pregnancy is to immediately stretch the calf muscles. To do that, lay your leg straight, heel and then gently flex the toes back towards your body. It may be painful at first, but this process will ease out your spasm, and your pain will go away in a minute.
You may also relax a cramp by massaging your calf muscle, or warming it with the help of a hot water bottle. If possible, try to walk about for a couple of minutes, until the pain goes away completely.
In order to prevent it from happening at all, you should not stand or sit with crossed legs for long, stretch the calf muscles frequently during the day, and a few times before going to bed as well, walking everyday, not getting too tired, and drinking lots of water.
Cramping In Early Pregnancy: 8 Of Your Faqs Answered By An Expert
A consultant obstetrician fills you in
Lets be real, stomach pains are never going to fill you with joy. But they are particularly upsetting when youre trying to get pregnant. You might think that the gripes are a sign your period is on the way, or worse – if youve recently had a positive pregnancy test, you may be worried about miscarriage.
But cramping in early pregnancy is super common, and, actually it’s a symptom that you’re expecting. Along with achey boobs and nausea, it can be just one of the many little signs that your body is busy growing a baby.
So how can you tell if your stomach ache is simply a sign that you’re on the fast train to parenthood, or if you need to seek medical advice? To get answers, WH asked Dr Virginia Beckett, consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, to answer your frequently asked questions on this very topic.
You May Like: Can You Get Lasik Eye Surgery While Pregnant
Is Cramping In Early Pregnancy Normal
Yes, actually. Cramping in early pregnancy is generally normal and usually isnt a sign of a problem. Internal changes are happening to prepare the body to grow a baby for approximately nine months, explains antenatal and postpartum doula Ana Genoa-Taney. So, cramping and other aches and pains may simply be due to changes happening in your body as youre growing a baby. Cramping, in particular, can have a few different causes, including:
There can sometimes be more serious causes of cramping in early pregnancy. These include:
What You Can Do To Relieve Cramps During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a difficult phase of a womans life, and she has to go through a variety of pains, aches and cramps during this period. After all, she is carrying around all that extra weight, and her muscles become aggravated due to the pressure of her expanding uterus. When we talk about cramps, pregnant women frequently get them in legs and stomach. Here at OneHowTo.com, we are going to discuss about what you can do to relieve cramps during pregnancy.
Recommended Reading: Can You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
Calcium Or Magnesium Deficiency
Having too little calcium or magnesium in your diet may contribute to leg cramps.
But if you already take a prenatal vitamin, you likely dont need to take an additional supplement. A 2015 review of studies of 390 pregnant women found that taking magnesium or calcium supplements made little to no difference when it came to experiencing leg cramps.
If youre concerned you arent getting enough of these nutrients, speak to your doctor. Youre probably getting labs done occasionally anyway, so it doesnt hurt to have these levels checked.
What Do Abnormal Pregnancy Cramps Feel Like
If youre experiencing severe or persistent cramps, call a doctor immediately. Its always best to check up on anything which seems wrong rather than overlooking something that could be a potential problem.
If your cramps are very severe, you should always see a doctor so that an ectopic pregnancy can be ruled out. This is rare, occurring in under 2% of all pregnancies, but its a serious concern that must be investigated. Ectopic pregnancies occur if a fertilized egg then implants outside the uterus. Signs will usually appear at around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. Usually, pain will be experienced in the shoulder or neck and cramping will occur on only one side. You may also feel that you constantly need to go to the toilet. Ruptured ectopic pregnancies are life-threatening, so immediately visit the ER if you have these symptoms.
If youre experiencing any type of vaginal bleeding together with cramps during early pregnancy, call your doctor as you may be having a miscarriage. Theres no need to panic as these symptoms arent always followed by a miscarriage. However, your doctor can order an ultrasound scan or blood tests to rule out any causes for concern.
You May Like: Safe Days After Period Calculator
Pregnancy Cramps During The First Trimester
Many distressed women often mail us with questions regarding:
- cramps in early pregnancy 2 weeks
- cramping in early pregnancy 4 weeks
- cramping early pregnancy 5 weeks
- Are cramps caused by implantation?
Implantation is the process of egg embedment. The egg sinks in the endometrial lining and causes bleeding.
Implantation cramps last for few hours. There is pulling and cramping in the stomach. During implantation, pregnancy cramps will be towards one side of the stomach.
Later on, the cramps are all over the abdomen and body.
Leg cramps during pregnancy also start from the first trimester.
Early pregnancy cramps are localized, but later they spread to the entire region. You may feel cramps after getting up suddenly or lying down in one position.
How Do You Self Check Your Stomach For Pregnancy
Walk your fingers up the side of her abdomen until you feel the top of her abdomen under the skin. It will feel like a hard ball. You can feel the top by curving your fingers gently into the abdomen. Figure 10.1 With the woman lying on her back, begin by finding the top of the uterus with your fingers.
Don’t Miss: Breakfast Essentials While Pregnant