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Is Cramping Normal in Early Pregnancy?

As pregnancy is different for every woman, experiencing certain symptoms and changes in the body for the first three months be a lot to take. In this HerHaleness article, we will discuss whether cramping in an early pregnancy is normal or requires attention from your doctor.
HerHaleness Staff
Whether the pregnancy was planned or a wonderful surprise, having a baby brings in huge amounts of joy, excitement, and changes for the expectant parents. For a woman, her life is about to change completely, where, for the next 9 months, she has to take care not only of herself, but her growing baby as well.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the first trimester, your body will go through a lot of changes. Knowing what to expect during these 3 months will help you get ready beforehand. Among other signs and symptoms of early pregnancy, some women will experience cramping or pain in their abdomen areas. Pains, aches, and cramps in your belly are normal when you're pregnant.
Reasons Behind the Cramps
There are two main reasons why cramping is experienced by some women during the initial months of their pregnancy.
Implantation
Let's start with what all takes place inside a woman's body when she is about to get pregnant. Every month, the ovaries produce eggs, this is what is called the process of ovulation in scientific terms. In a particular month, when a woman has intercourse, these eggs produced by the ovaries fertilize with a specific viable sperm. This is called the process of fertilization.
After the fertilization of the egg and the sperm has taken place, the egg travels to the uterus so that it can implant itself in the lining of the uterus, known as endometrium lining. This lining of the uterus is very rich in nutrients as well as blood. So when the egg implants itself in this uterus lining, some amount of blood discharge takes place from this lining, out of the body through the vagina, accompanied by mild cramping. This is known as implantation bleeding in medical terms. However, in majority of women, the only sign of implantation is cramps as there is no blood discharge at all.
Uterine Expansion
The second reason is the contractions and expansions that take place in the muscles and ligaments of the uterus. The uterus has to continuously expand and grow in order to make room for the embryo. When the expansion occurs, a pregnant woman often experiences abdominal pain and cramps. This again proves that cramping during early pregnancy is quite normal, and hence, there is no need to worry as long as it is mild.
Abnormal Cramps
Worsening and unbearable cramps, if accompanied with pelvic pain, fever, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and presence of blood clots in urine could be an early ectopic pregnancy symptom. Ectopic pregnancy happens when the egg implants itself in the Fallopian tube, cervix, or abdomen, instead of the uterus. In such a scenario, a doctor should be consulted immediately as it is a serious health complication.
Moreover, if severe cramping is accompanied by bleeding which is in excess and does not stop in a couple of days, then it cannot be implantation bleeding. In such a case, it could be because a miscarriage has taken place. Mild cramps is normal and common among pregnant women. However, the moment it becomes worse or persistent, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.