Stomach Cramps During Pregnancy

Dhanya Joy Apr 19, 2019
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Stomach cramps is a common phenomenon during pregnancy, that most women experience. It is also a cause of concern and discomfort in them, and it is essential to know all about it. Read on the possible causes as well as the treatment options to deal with pregnancy cramps.
In pregnancy stomach cramps can be experienced due to a variety of reasons. While occasional stomach cramps may be considered to be normal, ones that are persistent and cause a lot of discomfort, maybe a cause of concern.
They may also be experienced in the form of minor contractions, which are absolutely normal and not a cause of worry. However, it is essential that you know about all the other causes of this kind of cramping, so that complications can be avoided.

Causes

There can be a number of causes of stomach cramps while you are pregnant. Although, it is important to know these causes, do not indulge in self-diagnosis. For severe cramps accompanied by other symptoms like, bleeding, chills, vaginal discharge, fever and lightheadedness, a doctor should be consulted without any delay.

Preterm Labor:

Experiencing persistent stomach cramps and lower back pain before the completion of 37 weeks of pregnancy, may be an indication of preterm labor caused due to the increasing pressure on the rectum and the pelvis.

Pre-eclampsia:

It is caused due to high blood pressure levels during pregnancy. This may be accompanied by swelling of the hands, face, and feet.

Ectopic Pregnancy:

This occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself outside the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube or the ovaries, instead of within the walls of uterus. The fetus tends to rupture the structure it has attached to, which causes cramping, accompanied by vaginal bleeding. This is a life-threatening situation and needs immediate medical attention.

Placental Abruption:

This is a serious condition that may occur anytime during pregnancy. It is a condition in which the placenta partially or fully detaches itself from the uterus. Along with stomach cramps, symptoms like sudden bleeding, frequent contractions, uterine tenderness and back pain may also be experienced. Immediate medical attention is required for this condition.

Miscarriage:

A miscarriage usually takes place during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The symptoms include severe stomach cramps accompanied by bleeding, dizziness, and fatigue. Medical attention is required to avoid further complications.

Stretching of the Ligaments:

Most pregnant women may experience minor cramping due to the stretching of the ligaments during the second trimester. It may be experienced while getting up from a sleeping or sitting position, or while coughing.

Braxton Hicks (false labor):

It is quite common for pregnant women to experience false labor during the last few weeks of pregnancy. It may be accompanied by irregular contractions, tightening of the muscles of the uterus, and lower back pain.

Other:

Other causes include indigestion, constipation and gas, appendicitis, and urinary tract infections.

Treatment

Treatment is required if the cause of the condition is serious. Mild causes can be dealt with adequate rest and sleep, mild exercises like walking and taking precautions while getting up from a sitting or lying down position, and while sitting down.
Any major discomfort caused due to stomach cramps during pregnancy should not be ignored and medical help should be sought immediately. As mentioned earlier, do not indulge in self-diagnosis, and take appropriate care and precautions for your as well as your baby's safety.