Pain is incredibly common in pregnancy. It’s
not easy to carry around a growing uterus for nine months. And most of the pain that
people get in pregnancy are related to growth spurts at the uterus and the fetus. In general,
if pain is mild to moderate, it’s not persistent, it’s not severe, and it goes away with rest,
it’s not gonna be something you need to worry about. I would say the warning signs are probably
when it’s associated with fever, when it’s radiating to a different part of the body,
when there is burning on urination, then these would all be things that I think you should
talk to your doctor about. A lot of patients say that they feel abdominal cramping around
the time of implantation of the pregnancy, so very early after conception. A lot of people
will say they have lower abdominal midline cramping, almost like menstrual cramping.
If you’ve already had an ultrasound and you’re bleeding, then we know it’s not an ectopic
pregnancy, but we need to make sure that the bleeding hasn’t affected the pregnancy. In
the second trimester starting from about 15 weeks going up until around 22, maybe 24 weeks,
the most common cause of abdominal pain is probably around ligament pain. It’s caused
by the ligaments that normally hold the uterus in the pelvis. It gets stretched under tension
as the uterus grows out of the pelvis and that pain can usually be felt on one side
or the other. I would say lower abdominal pain on one side or the other and kind of
a pulling sensation. So, with round ligament pain, we ask patients, well, when they lie
down and you rest, does it get better? And typically you will. In the third trimester,
there can be new causes for abdominal pain that you may not have felt earlier. A lot
of times patients will feel an intermittent contraction. Kind of out of the blue when
they’re walking they stop. They kinda have to catch their breath for a moment and then
they can keep going. And if it’s not persisting and it’s kind of an isolated cramp like that,
it’s probably just a Braxton Hicks contraction and nothing more concerning than that. With
labor, it’s a different issue. So, labor or preterm labor is typically a rhythmic pattern
to the contraction. So, it comes and goes over time. If a patient is preterm, meaning
less than 37 weeks, I often ask if you feel 5 or more of those an hour. If the answer
is yes, then you need medical attention. And if you’re full term and you’re having 5 or
more an hour, then that’s good news ’cause it probably means you’re going into labor.
But regardless in any case, if you’re not sure about the abdominal pain that you’re
having, you should just call your doctor.

11 thoughts on “Pain and Cramping During Pregnancy: When to Worry | Parents”

  1. This is my second baby and I did not have this when I was pregnant with him. So the cramping is really uncomfortable ?

  2. Been feeling scared 32 weeks pregnant feel like.i having cramps and something sharp pain in my lower bottom sometime feel strong pressure below

  3. Do you still have dull short cramping that goes away a few days before your expected period if it's an ectopic pregnancy? Or is there no dull implantation cramps with ectopic pregnancy, just intense cramps?

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