Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
21.02.2017 Andrew Johns 1 Popular
Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy
Is it possible to have abdominal pain during pregnancy? It actually is possible and happens quite often. Most often abdominal pain is caused by physiological changes, and though it can cause a slight discomfort to a future mom, it’s quite normal. Some pains can be even pleasurable for some moms. So what actually causes those pains?
Stomach Pains in Early Pregnancy
Pains in lower abdomen during pregnancy can be divided into two groups according the reasons of their occurrence: obstetric and non-obstetric.
Non-obstetric pains include those provoked by gastrointestinal tract’s problems, stretching ligaments, surgical diseases (appendicitis) or overexertion of ABS muscles. Obstetric pains are those which involve the threat of termination of pregnancy, early placenta detachment, or an ectopic pregnancy.
In any case, only a professional can determine the pain’s nature and reason. However, you can be absolutely sure that everything is perfectly normal, if you have the following signs in early pregnancy:
However, be careful about changes that undergo in your body during first months of pregnancy. Pain in the abdomen might be caused by a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage in people).
Causes of Pain in Late Pregnancy
In late pregnancy, pains in the abdomen aren’t always caused by a threat of a miscarriage or any pathology. There can be several reasons.
The first reason is the wrong diet or schedule of meals, which causes cramp of the digestive system accompanied by pain. The same symptoms are proper for disbacteriosis and colitis. Thus, the intestines copes badly with poorly treated food, stale foods, abundant meals, which causes bloating. When the digestive process ends, such a pain goes away, but it tends to return. In such a case, you need to carefully review your diet and meal times.
Don’t forget, that close to the birth, the growing uterus squeezes the intestines. Moreover, hormonal changes put the double burden on the intestines. During this period, the motility and peristalsis are reduced. Constipation is also quite frequent, and it causes pulling pain in the lower abdomen. Recall that in order to prevent constipation you should consume more products containing raw fiber, drink enough water and walk outdoors.
The second reason is ligaments’ stretching. Ligaments support the uterus. The increasing uterus causes ligaments’ stretching. And in late pregnancy, this often causes gentle spasms in the lower abdomen, or painful sensations on one or both sides of the belly. Such a pain is more pronounced when you change positions, laugh, sneeze. It is sharp, but goes away quickly. In addition, such symptoms can be accompanied by stretch marks’ appearance on the abdomen.
The third reason of abdominal pain in pregnancy is excessive load on your ABS. Such painful sensations often occur during or after physical exercise. To avoid it, simply take a rest and relax.
The fourth cause is intestinal obstruction, appendicitis or pancreatitis. Despite the fact that such reasons are quite rare, if you have such symptoms as growing stronger pain, fever, nausea and dizziness, be sure to call an ambulance. You might need a surgery.
The fifth cause are gynaecological problems testifying of improper pregnancy course and health problems.
The sixth reason is the threat of miscarriage. Pain in the lumbar area often feels like contractions and doesn’t go away without drugs intake. If it's a premature termination of pregnancy, pain will be accompanied by vaginal discharge varying both in color (from light-brown to bright red) and in abundance. In such a case, immediately consult your doctor, this might be essential to save the baby.
The seventh reason is the premature detachment of the placenta that may occur either in late pregnancy or immediately before the birth. This condition can be triggered by physical overexertion, injury of the abdominal area, specific diseases (hypertension, toxemia, etc.). Severe pain in the lower abdomen accompanied by uterine bleeding is explained by the fact the placenta detachment triggers vessels’ rupture. Such a condition is dangerous for both the baby and the woman, so immediately call an ambulance. Most likely an emergency delivery will be required.
Acute Pain in Pelvic Area
The uterus is held between the hipbones with connective-tissue ligaments. During pregnancy the uterus increases its weight causing the ligaments to stretch, which creates abdominal pain. Usually that kind of pain can be felt in the lower abdomen near the pelvis.
Usually this pain happens when a woman changes her body position (for example, turning too quickly), lifts a heavy weight or even sneezes or coughs. All that causes a sharp but short painful sensation that wears off on its own.
This pain can happen on any stage of the pregnancy. Sometimes they can happen less often or even disappear towards the end of the pregnancy. This abdominal pain is harmless for a future mom and her baby and doesn’t need to be treated.
Dragging Pain in Lower Abdomen
The hormones produced during pregnancy affect the gastrointestinal tract so that food travels more slowly. That causes overdistension in some parts of intestinal tract and constipation. A woman can feel a dull aching pain in the sides of the lower abdomen (often in the left side) and have gas.
The discomfort disappears as soon as the food is digested but can happen again if a woman doesn’t stick to a healthy diet. To avoid constipation, one needs to drink more water, eat fermented dairy products and foods rich in fiber (raw vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread). A good way to combat constipation and abdominal pain is to have some moderate physical exercise.
During the pregnancy the body produces a special hormone called relaxin. That hormone influences the cartilage, ligaments, and bones of pelvic floor. This hormone softens the ligaments of the hipbones, which allows them to stretch to make it easier for the baby to travel through the pelvic ring during the delivery.
More often it’s the symphysis pubis joint that moves and causes pain in the lower abdomen. The pain can vary from minor sensation to a more intensive one. It can be triggered by walking, changing your body position, sitting on a firm surface, walking up the stairs or lifting your legs while lying down.
A bandage can help reduce the pain. Another way of fighting this type of pain is a big soft fit ball that can be used instead of a chair. A visit to an osteopath can also be of help.
Starting in the 2nd trimester, a pregnant woman might experience an abdominal tightening, a condition when the uterus feels as hard as a stone. It can last from a few seconds to up to couple of minutes and happen up to 10 times per day. Those are practice contractions (Braxton Hicks contractions). This type of contraction is not too painful, but still can cause a discomfort and scare a future mom. It’s quite normal to have Braxton Hicks contractions: this is the way your body is preparing to the baby birth.
Baby Kicks Pain
In the second part of the pregnancy baby grows very fast. It can't move freely in the uterus anymore. The baby's movements are less frequent but more intense and powerful. Those baby kicks can cause discomfort or even pain in the hypochondriac quadrant or lower abdomen (especially if the bladder is full). As unpleasant as they are these pains are natural and harmless.
When you experience painful baby kicks try to change your body position: bend forwards, get up, lie down on your side. Relax and take a couple of deep breaths, rub your belly and talk to the baby asking him to relax. Sometimes it's all what it needs.
How to Relieve Pain?
When you feel pain, sit down, pull legs forward and relax. If you rest, the pain will quickly go away.
You can also do the following:
When to See a Doctor?
Although light pain in the abdomen is normal for pregnant women, severe pain or cramps could testify of a serious problem. Severe pain can be caused by intestinal infections, food poisoning, urinary tract infection, appendicitis, kidney infection, kidney stones, gall bladder diseases or pregnancy complications (such as pre-eclampsia). If you have severe and/or persistent pain, consult your doctor immediately!
The same should be done if you have the following symptoms:
- Strong intestinal colic;
- Vaginal bleeding/spotting;
- Fever or chills;
- Dizziness and weakness.
Sharp Pain in Lower Left Abdomen in Males and Females
A number of pain delicate structures lie in the left lower quadrant of the abdomen. Pain can arise from the colon, urinary system, reproductive organs, vascular system and or stomach wall muscles. Sudden sharp pain in lower left abdomen can be more of a concern and depends upon both the gender and age of a person. Understanding the causes and treatments for sharp pain in lower left abdominal area ahead of time can help you better handle the condition.
Causes and Treatments for Sharp Pain in Lower Left Abdomen
Sharp Pain in Lower Left Abdomen can be during period or missed period, with back pain, after eating, when urinating or after urinating, when taking deep breath, in early pregnancy, when lying down, with gas, when running, by hip bone, with diarrhea, under ribs, with vomiting, with nausea, with blood in stool, after giving birth, with pain in anus, after intercourse, after c section, with dizziness, with constipation, with groin, etc.
Main causes, symptoms and related treatment described below for men and women.
1. Bladder cancer
Danger for bladder cancer increases with age, smoking and specific occupations that utilize aniline dyes and radiation.
- Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can be utilized to deal with bladder cancer.
- Keep in mind that early medical diagnosis and treatment is constantly for the very best.
2. Ectopic pregnancy
Left (or right) lower abdominal area pain in any pregnant woman is a cause for issue. Ectopic pregnancy is a health issue during pregnancy which takes place when the fertilized egg is implanted in other parts of the female reproductive system aside from the uterus. Look for prompt medical interest.
- Sudden, sharp or extreme left lower abdominal area pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- Blood loss causes weak point, lightheadedness and fainting
- Trigger diagnosis is necessary in this cause.
- Surgery or methrotrexate (drug) therapy can be applied for selected cases
3. Kidney stone
A variety of kinds of stones can take place. Particular factors such as genetics, dehydration and diet can predispose to establishing kidney stones.
- Unexpected onset of unbearable pain
- Pain may radiate from flank to decrease left (or right) abdomen
- Bloody or pink urine
- Smaller stones can be treated with pain control and hydration.
- Bigger stones might require surgical reduction or destruction making use of lithotripsy (sound waves) or laser damage.
4. Irritable bowel syndrome
This common condition leads to lower stomach pain and the precise cause is unidentified. An underlying dysfunction of the intestinal tract creates the signs.
- Anxiety management, diet modification, exercise are common remedies, which can also lower future danger of establishing IBS.
- Medication treatment if needed for severe constipation or diarrhea.
5. Urinary system infection
Urinary system infections or UTI is a medical condition where infection happens in the bladder, urethra or kidneys. Germs are the normal cause and as they grow and multiply, signs rapidly develop.
- Sharp pain in the left lower abdomen or bladder area
- Urinating regularly and in smaller sized amounts
- Strong smelling or cloudy urine
- Burning pain when urinating
- Consume plenty of water to flush the urinary tract
- Antibiotic medication from a physician
- Cranberry juice or pills to reduce symptoms
Diverticulitis is an inflammatory condition which affects the diverticula in the digestion system.
- Constraining, hurting, sharp pain in the left lower abdominal areas
- Blood in stool
- Nausea, and fever
- Severe pain as condition advances
- Mild cases treated with prescription antibiotics, pain control and diet adjustment.
- Prevent nuts, seeds and popcorn
7. Intestinal gas
Gas is among the most typical factors for left lower abdomen pain. Gas builds up triggers distention and the extending of the gut is viewed as pain. Most of us create approximately 4 pints of gas per day and expel it usually of 14 times a day.
- Left lower abdominal area pain
- Bloating and gas
- Queasiness, burping & flatus
- Expel gas as it develops
- OTC anti-gas medications
- Diet adjustment to avoid trigger foods
8. Other causes
A number of possible other causes can lead to left lower abdominal pain. Vascular disasters such as obstruction or rupture of a blood vessel are the most serious and instantly life threatening. A ruptured stomach aortic aneurysm can lead to sudden pain radiating to the left lower abdominal areas and back. Any severe or abrupt reason for pain in the left lower abdominal areas that is accompanied by a sensation of passing out mandated emerging medical interest.
Bladder infection, kidney infections, colon cancer, muscle injuries, hernia, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm
Lower left abdominal pain in men
Epididymitis, testicular torsion, prostate infection
Ovulation, menstruation, ovarian torsion, tubo-ovarian abscess, pelvic inflammatory illness, endometriosis
How to Prevent Sharp Pain in Lower Left Abdomen
Constantly use sound judgment when confronted with stomach pain. Severe pain, fever and ongoing vomiting are possible indications of a more severe problem.
Follow these basic guidelines to avoid sharp pain in lower left abdomen :
- Seek medical assessment when severe abdominal pain accompanies nausea, vomiting, and difficulty passing urine or bloody urine or fever.
- Losing consciousness due to severe stomach pain requires calling 911, particularly in elderly persons.
- Severe abdominal pain and bleeding in a pregnant person needs emergent evaluation
- Do not take pain medication without very first consulting with a health care service provider.
- Avoid herbal or natural remedies unless the precise reason for left lower stomach pain is known.
- Whenever in doubt, seeking evaluation by a medical professional is the best choice when experiencing abdominal pain.
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Lower Abdominal Pain in Early Pregnancy
Four Major causes of Abdominal Pain in Early Pregnancy:
Early abdominal pain is common in the first trimester of pregnancy; you may experience some intermittent discomfort along the lower part of your abdomen, but it should not be persistent or increase in severity.
Implantation pain is characterized by mild cramping and a small amount of spotting or bleeding approximately 10 to 14 days after fertilization (at the time of the missed menstrual period), and is presumed to be related to implantation of the fertilized egg in the lining of the uterus. The lower abdominal pain associated with implantation is mild cramping similar to the pain associated with your menstrual cramps. It usually is of no consequence to your pregnancy.
Round Ligament Pain
You will experience lower abdominal pain in early pregnancy due to your uterus growing to accommodate your baby. When your uterus enlarges, the round ligaments that support it lengthen and thin out, hitting surrounding nerve fibers in the process. As a result, you may feel mild discomfort in your lower abdomen. This discomfort is called round ligament pain, and it’s a common pregnancy symptom.
The most common symptoms of a threatened miscarriage are lower abdominal pain and cramping. Miscarriage pain may or may not be associated with bleeding from the vagina.
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that is located in the wrong place, not in the uterus.
Some women don’t have any symptoms until the ectopic pregnancy causes more serious problems. For example, an embryo growing in a fallopian tube can cause the fallopian tube to burst open. When this happens, symptoms can include:
If you are pregnant and have these symptoms, go to an emergency room as soon as possible.
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