Cramps during early pregnancy are something that happens to many women. Your body is changing and getting ready for your baby to grow.
Many women will experience mild cramps during the first few weeks of pregnancy. In fact, a lot of women think that they are getting ready to start their periods because they feel cramping. This article will teach how why you cramp in early pregnancy and when to call your doctor.
Your uterus consists mainly of muscle and other surrounding tissues that enable it to expand during pregnancy and to contract when it’s time for childbirth. These actions are triggered by hormones.
- Some women may feel light cramping when the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterine wall. This can take place as early as six to eight days after fertilization. You may experience some light bleeding or “spotting” when the egg implants itself.
- Another reason for cramping in early pregnancy is that hormones have triggered your uterus to expand to get ready for the growing baby. These cramps may be uncomfortable and feel a lot like period cramps. This is perfectly normal as long as they don’t become severe and are accompanied by heavy bleeding. Cramps are most likely to occur after sexual activity or when your bladder is full.
- The round ligaments support your uterus. As your uterus grows the round ligaments must expand to support it. This may cause a feeling of cramping or a dull ache in your lower abdomen. It should go away with rest. However, if the cramping becomes severe and is accompanied by heavy bleeding, fever, or any other unusual symptoms, contacts your doctor right away.
There are ways to treat cramps during early pregnancy. A good way to relieve cramping is by applying heat. A heating pad to the lower abdomen works wonder for cramps but be careful to not get it too hot. You may take acetaminophen for pain relief if needed. Sometimes this will help take the edge off of the cramps. But ibuprofen or other NSAIDS should not be taken during pregnancy. Never take any drugs unless it is allowed by your doctor.
Take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest and eating right. The changing hormones in your body can slow down digestion and make you constipated, which can cause abdominal pain. If you feel that you may be constipated, increase your fiber and water intake.
Finally, another way to help relieve cramps in pregnancy is to abstain from sex. Sex does not hurt you or the baby but may increase the cramping and cause some spotting. The combination of cramping and spotting can make you think that you are having a miscarriage.
Cramps during early pregnancy are quite common. Cramps should be mild and never unbearable. However, if they become severe or are more prevalent on one side and are accompanied by any other unusual symptoms, let your doctor know right away.