Stomach Pains in Early Pregnancy
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body changes dramatically in a very short period of time. One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is the sensation of stomach pains. As hormones balance and the baby grows, the body undergoes a multitude of changes that can cause mild to intense pain and discomfort. In many cases, stomach pains in early pregnancy can be caused by normal physiological changes.
When the fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus, it can cause mild cramping. This is an important step in the beginning of a pregnancy, and is typically accompanied by light spotting. Mild to moderate cramping in the lower abdomen is also a symptom of implantation. This typically occurs eight to ten days after conception.
2. Hormonal Changes
The hormone progesterone is essential to help the body carry the baby to term, and it typically increases drastically during the first trimester. This can lead to constipation, gas and overall bloating. The increased progesterone levels can also cause fluctuations in blood sugar, which can cause intense pains in the abdomen and lightheadedness.
3. Round Ligament Pain
As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the round ligament. This can lead to round ligament pains, which feel like sharp shooting pains or a dull ache on one or both sides of the abdomen. Women feel these types of pains more specifically when they move, twist or change position.
4. Uterine Stretch
As the baby grows, the uterus stretches to accommodate, causing more pressure and discomfort in the abdomen. This can lead to a pulling or tugging sensation, as well as some cramping. This is more common in the second and third trimester, but can start as early as the first.
5. Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are referred to as practice contractions, and they can start as early as the second trimester. They feel like a tightening sensation in the abdomen that may or may not be accompanied by a backache. Contractions are typically mild, but can become uncomfortable or painful.
Stomach pains during pregnancy can range from mild to moderate, and can even mimic labor contractions. While most stomach pains in early pregnancy can be related to normal physiological changes in the body, it is important to pay attention and mention any unusual or severe pain to your doctor or midwife.
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