Cramps (Like PMS/AF)
Early pregnancy symptom
Cramps in early pregnancy are not only common but very normal. Some women feel cramping as early as implantation when the embryo attaches itself to the uterus (6-12 days after ovulation). Others may start cramping after their first positive pregnancy test as their uterus starts preparing to carry a baby for nine months. The uterus grows quickly in early pregnancy and cramping is expected.
Includes: Cramps that feel just like PMS or cramps you would feel during your period.
Comparison of how often this symptom is experienced by pregnant vs non-pregnant women.
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- Is Cramping Period-Like in Early Pregnancy?
Is Cramping Period-Like in Early Pregnancy?
Nearly one third of pregnant women experience abdominal cramps during the early stages of their pregnancy. Cramping pains can range from mild to severe. Despite being a normal symptom associated with pregnancy, cramps can be quite frightening for women. This is often the case for those who experience a sudden burning pain in their lower abdomen that may be accompanied by spotting, nausea, or leg cramps.
What Causes Cramps?
Period like cramps in early pregnancy may be the result of implantation, which occurs approximately 10 to 14 days after ovulation. This is when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. It can cause both pain and/or light vaginal bleeding or spotting.
Constipation is another early pregnancy symptom that may feel like cramping. It is usually associated with gas pains or bloating.
Stretching of the round uterine ligaments can also cause abdominal pain, most commonly on the right side. Ligament pain is symptomatic of normal changes that occur in your body to accommodate pregnancy. Pain is often experienced as a result of normal movements that cause the ligaments holding your uterus in suspension to contract quickly. These contractions are experienced as abdominal pain or cramping. Round ligament pain frequently occurs in the second trimester. While this is a normal pregnancy symptom, women may assume that they are experiencing round abdominal pain when there is actually an underlying condition requiring medical intervention. If the pain is particularly severe and associated with symptoms such as fever, chills, painful urination, or difficulty walking, seek emergency care.
Warning Signs of Miscarriage
A miscarriage is a spontaneous event that results in the early termination of pregnancy. It usually occurs before 20 to 22 weeks of pregnancy and the cause may remain unknown.
Sever abdominal cramps early into pregnancy may indicate miscarriage. These cramping pains are often difficult to bear and typically last from 5-20 minutes. Cramps are usually accompanied by excessive bleeding.
Beyond severe abdominal cramps, other miscarriage symptoms include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding, including pieces of blood clots or placental or fetal tissue (a definite indication of miscarriage)
- Heavy bleeding may occur without cramps for some women
- Abnormal weight loss
- Brownish or pink vaginal discharge
- Decreased breast tenderness
- Decreased morning sickness
- Loss of a fetal heartbeat
- Sudden absence of fetal movement
Pregnant women who experience these signs and symptoms must immediately consult a doctor or go to the emergency department to obtain appropriate care.
An ectopic pregnancy is another possible cause of abnormal abdominal cramps in early pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted in the fallopian tube, cervix, or abdomen instead of the uterus. Signs and symptoms include unbearable cramping, pelvic pain, headache, fever, dizziness, and blood clots in the urine. Ectopic pregnancy can threaten the life of the mother, so women who experience these symptoms should be taken to the hospital immediately.
To relieve period like cramps in early pregnancy, pregnant women should rest on their side until the cramping ceases. Placing a warm water bottle on the abdomen may also relieve pain. A massage may also be helpful.
If your abdominal pain is accompanied by additional symptoms including urinary problems, fever, and chills, then you may have a urinary tract infection. You will need to go to a doctor for proper treatment.
To relieve cramps associated with constipation, increase fluid intake and consume a fiber-rich diet of fruits and vegetables.
If cramps are more severe and accompanied by heavy bleeding, call your doctor immediately. Proper diagnosis and treatment are necessary to avoid complications.
Cramping in Early Pregnancy
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Cramping during all stages of pregnancy is normal, unless it’s accompanied by severe pain or bleeding. During the earliest stages of pregnancy some women mistake the cramping for their menstrual cycle.
This could be due to the fact that they may experience a little spot bleeding too. Spotting and cramping are classic symptoms of Implantation, which occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
In most cases, the spotting disappears within two or three days, but the cramping remains.
What Causes Cramping During Early Pregnancy?
Implantation is the most common cause of cramping during the early stages of pregnancy. Other potential causes include:
The uterus preparing for the baby
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the uterus begins expanding to accommodate the growth of the baby. Round ligament pain can also contribute to cramping.
This tends to occur during the fourth and sixth months of gestation, when the round ligament and other ligaments begin stretching to support the expansion of the uterus and growing baby early on, causing abdominal cramps.
A chemical pregnancy is an early miscarriage. Most women do not even know a chemical pregnancy has occurred since the pregnancy typically comes and goes by the time a woman’s menstrual cycle is due.
A chemical pregnancy can only be detected by administering the test shortly after ovulation. Testing within a week or two afterwards typically yields a negative pregnancy test result.
For most women, the false positive and negative test, followed by a menstrual cycle that is either on time or only a couple days late, may indicate that a chemical pregnancy has occurred.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg implants outside the uterus. This is a serious medical condition for which immediate treatment should be sought.
Miscarriages, on the other hand, are usually accompanied by severe pain and moderate to heavy bleeding.
In most cases, the pregnancy was known prior to the miscarriage. On average, miscarriages occur within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, but they can occur up to the 20 th week. Miscarriage after the 20 th week of gestation is known as stillbirth.
At the moment of conception our body begins to produce hormones. The most common hormones are estrogen, progesterone, and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Each hormone affects the body differently.
However, during the early stages of pregnancy each hormone is being produced in high levels, which can lead to aches, pains and cramps.
Treating Cramping in Early Pregnancy
If you are experiencing cramping during the early stages of pregnancy, try drinking water while the cramping is occurring. Standing up and walking around is also said to help reduce cramping.
Exercising throughout your pregnancy can reduce the incidence of cramps. Pelvic tilts and kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic and abdominal muscles, and they can also reduce pain during labor and delivery by making the uterus and surrounding muscles and ligaments strong enough to handle the pressure caused by the baby.
Try taking a warm shower or bath, using a heat compress on your lower back, or asking your partner for a massage.
Talk with your healthcare provider about dosages and other pertinent information before taking over-the-counter medications for pain relief. Although acetaminophen is commonly used on pregnant women, too much of this drug can lead to problems with your liver.
When to Contact Your Doctor
It’s important to remember that cramps during pregnancy are common and normal. If you are you are concerned, however, you should contact your healthcare provider.
If the cramps are not intense and they are not accompanied by other symptoms, you may want to wait a day or two to see if they go away on their own. Contact your healthcare provider immediately, however, if:
- Bleeding is heavy or intensifies
- Pink or gray tissue clots appear in your discharge
- You experience spotting for three or four days, followed by cramps
- Your lower belly becomes tender when cramps occur
- You experience severe pain for 24 hours
- You experience severe pain on one side of your lower abdomen
If you think you may be pregnant and are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy, contact your doctor for a blood analysis. If anything is wrong, early detection is best.
Http://www. countdowntopregnancy. com/early-pregnancy-symptoms/symptom-chart. php? symptomid=50
Http://www. medguidance. com/thread/Period-Like-Cramps-in-Early-Pregnancy. html
Http://www. pregnancycorner. com/being-pregnant/pregnancy-pains/cramping-in-early-pregnancy. html