Are Cramps Pregnancy Symptoms?
Cramps are a very possible pregnancy symptom, but not always a reliable one. Cramping can feel like mild to severe discomfort, which can indicate anything from a harmless muscle spasm to contractions signaling labor. It is important to pay attention to cramps and the possible reactions to them during early pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Cramps: What to Expect
Cramps in early pregnancy can be normal and part of the process as the body adjusts to a new pregnancy. Common causes of early cramping in pregnancy include:
- Round ligament pain
- Gastrointestinal issues
Round Ligament Pain
Round ligament pain is among the most common causes of cramps during pregnancy. The abdominal walls stretch to accommodate your growing uterus, which adapts by laying down new soft tissue to make that stretch possible. As the ligaments stretch, you may feel a sharp or stabbing pain.
Another common cause of cramping during early pregnancy is the process of implantation. This is when the fertilized egg travels to the uterus and implants itself into the uterine wall. You may experience implantation cramps about 10 to 14 days after conception. The sensation is similar to that of menstrual cramps.
As your gastrointestinal system adjusts to pregnancy, you may experience uncomfortable cramps caused by excessive gas. To combat cramping caused by excessive air, try having smaller meals more frequently, avoiding carbonated drinks, chewing your food slowly, and making sure your food is easy to digest.
Many women experience cramps during early pregnancy due to gastrointestinal issues. If you’re suffering from constipation or diarrhea, the body’s attempt to expel the waste may cause mild cramping. Additionally, cramping can be caused by excessive bloating due to swelling in the abdomen.
When to Worry
While it is normal to experience mild cramping in early pregnancy, any severe or prolonged cramping, pain or bleeding should be reported to your obstetrician. Severe cramping could be a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, so it is important to get checked out to make sure your pregnancy is progressing as it should.
Cramps can be a normal pregnancy symptom, but you should always be aware of the severity and timing of your cramps. If you experience any severe or prolonged cramping during early pregnancy, contact your doctor right away.
Welcome to my fertility blog. This is a space where I will be sharing my experiences as I navigate through the world of fertility treatments, as well as provide information and resources about fertility and pregnancy.