Pregnancy Cramps – When Should You Worry

Pain or cramps in the abdominal area during pregnancy are very common with many women experiencing cramps at some stage during their pregnancy.  Generally cramps that occur with no other symptoms are not serious and maybe eased by moving to another position.  When a women is pregnant especially in the last couple of months of the pregnancy the baby puts a fair amount of pressure on muscles, ligaments, tendons and internal organs so it is no surprise that pain around the abdominal area is a common thing.

Intense pregnancy cramps that occur with other symptoms such as spotting, bleeding, tenderness, a lot of pain or vaginal discharge can be caused by more serious problems and if you suffer any of these it is advised that you see your doctor.  It is also recommended that you see your doctor if the cramps are frequent or they don’t subside after a few minutes.

Some of the more serious problems that cause pregnancy cramps include things such as an ectopic pregnancy, signs of an early miscarriage, signs of a late miscarriage and also premature labour.  An ectopic pregnancy is quite serious and occurs when a fertilized egg has been implanted outside the uterus usually in the fallopian tubes.  Tenderness and cramping that starts on one side of the abdomen and then spreads across the whole abdomen can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy which can be life threatening if left untreated.  Early and late miscarriage can also cause cramps associated with bleeding and also lower abdomen pain.  In the event of a miscarriage it is advised that you call your doctor and head to the nearest emergency hospital.  Pregnancy cramps when experienced with an increase in vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pressure, backache and regular contractions may indicate premature labour.  This can occur anytime between 20 and 36 weeks and can be brought on by things such as illness or stress.

If your pregnancy cramps are not caused by a serious underlying problem then there are a few things that you can do to alleviate the problem at home.  Throughout the pregnancy you may experience cramps from stretched ligaments which can be treated by lying down with your feet up, cramps from being in the one position for too long and pre-labour cramps in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  These cramps are all part of the pregnancy and if they occur without other symptoms then it is best to relax and manage the discomfort in a way that works for you.

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