Pregnancy is a time of joy and expectation for many women. It is also a time when women will have to go through a lot of pain and complications. Many women go through varying degrees of lower abdominal pain during their pregnancy.
Most of these cases are not very serious even though women fear the worst in such cases. Many factors are responsible for lower abdominal cramps while you are pregnant. Here is a list of what can cause lower abdominal pain during pregnancy. Assessing your situation and identifying what is serious and what is not will help you sail through these aches and pains smoothly.
Causes Of Lower Abdominal Cramping During Pregnancy
Early Pregnancy Cramping
Implantation pain is experienced by many women even before they come to know that they are pregnant. This kind of pain in the lower abdomen is experienced by women when the blastocyst implants itself into the lining of the uterus. Technically, the minute this happens you are deemed pregnant.
Implantation pain is never associated with pregnancy as most women do not know that they are pregnant until well after a month or two. It happens any day from the 10th to the 14th day after you have conceived and will be followed by mild cramps and spotting that lasts for a day.
Pain Caused By Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is a serious and life threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. In an ectopic pregnancy, the blastocyst does not enter the uterus for implantation, but implants itself outside the uterus.
Ectopic pregnancy can cause severe bleeding, lower abdominal cramping or spotting in the initial stages and pain in the shoulders and neck as well when the pregnancy ruptures. Immediate removal of the blastocyst is necessary in severe cases of cramping. Ectopic pregnancy is usually discovered during the seventh week of pregnancy.
Pain Caused Due To Miscarriage
Miscarriage too is preceded by severe abdominal cramping, bleeding or spotting. A miscarriage that happens in the first trimester usually starts with spotting, followed by lower abdominal cramping and bleeding. The symptoms vary depending on the severity and some women experience pain that radiates to the back and legs which can be sharp or mild , similar or even greater in severity than labour pain.
Late Pregnancy Cramping
Many women experience a dull or sharp pain in the lower left side of the abdomen which can aggravate when you move or even cough. This happens due to stretching of the ligaments that hold the growing uterus.
Strong Abdominal Pain
Before the 37th week, if women experience sudden and severe abdominal cramping which is followed by bleeding, it could either mean that she is into preterm labour or is facing placental complications like placental abruption when the placenta gets separated from the uterus.
Braxton Hicks are very common during the later stages of pregnancy and are lighter versions of labour contractions. These could increase in severity as your pregnancy advances and you get closer to your delivery date.
Severe contractions at regular intervals which do not reduce even with changing positions would mean that you are in labour.