Experiencing cramps in your early weeks of pregnancy can frighten you but in most of the cases they are completely normal. As per a medical expert, even natural responses like full bladder, vigorous exercise can lead to cramp. So, it is very important to identify whether the cramping is a concern or nothing to worry about.
When is it normal to have cramps in early weeks of pregnancy?
In most of the cases, mild cramps are completely normal. Because they can be caused due to physical changes happening in order to support the growing baby. Below are few situations where cramps are considered normal…
- Cramps accompanied by light pink or brown discharge is considered normal as it indicated implantation. In this process, the blastocyst implants itself into the endometrium wall. This usually happens around the same time where your menstrual period starts.
- Cramps are considered common when the uterus starts to change the shape in order to accommodate the baby.
- Women who are pregnant can experience cramps when fully aroused or have an orgasm. This type of cramps are usually scary as too much sex during pregnancy can be dangerous.
- Usually around 12 weeks of pregnancy, women start to feel sharp pains on the groins particularly when they twist, stand or stretch. These cramps are caused called as round ligament pains. It is caused when the muscles under the uterus start to expand and grow in order to support the weight of the uterus and baby.
- In order to support pregnancy, hormones production is increased. This change can lead to constipation, gas and bloating which can cause pressure on the uterus resulting in cramps.
- During pregnancy, in order to support fetal development blood flow is increased to the uterus. This can result in a feeling of pressure or mild ache.
Risk Factors that can lead to Cramping during Pregnancy
Though cramping during early weeks of pregnancy are common but in some cases it can be caused due to serious issues…
- Preeclampsia: It can be caused due to high blood pressure and protein in your urine. If the preeclampsia is severe then it can cause intense pain in the abdomen.
- Urinary Tract Infection: If you are experiencing painful urination and lower abdominal pain then it can be due to infection. So, consult a doctor to proceed with appropriate treatment.
- Miscarriage: If the vaginal cramping is accompanied by sharp or mild pain then it can indicate a miscarriage. Though in few cases, women can have healthy pregnancy even though they experience light spotting and cramping. But heavy bleeding and intense pain is a matter of concern. It is better to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: As per American Academy of Family Physicians, ectopic pregnancies happen in 2% of pregnancies. (1) This type of pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus. They can cause intense cramps in the abdomen and pelvic area. It is a very serious health condition, so it has to be treated by a medical professional.
When to Seek for Medical Help?
Wondering if you have normal or abnormal cramps? It is better to consult your midwife or gynecologist. However in certain cases, it is very important to consult the doctor immediately if you are experiencing…
- Spotting, bleeding or abnormal discharge.
- More than 4 contractions per hour.
- Severe headache or dizziness.
- Changes in the vision (temporary blindness, sensitivity to light, seeing flashes or blurred vision).
- Pain while urinating or blood in urine.
- Fever, tenderness or chills.
How to soothe the cramps?
If you want to calm down the tummy cramps then you can try to follow the below tips…
- Exercise gently like swimming or walking.
- Get a gentle lower back massage.
- Relax for some time in warm water.
- Place hot compress on the aching areas and relax doing your favorite time pass hobby like listening to music or reading a magazine.
- Take a recommended dosage of paracetamol.
- Try to scale back the physical activity and avoid cramp-inducing positions.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How long do you cramp in your first trimester?
It depends on how your body is accepting the changes taking place. The mild cramping can extend until 9 months of pregnancy. However, in most of the cases the cramping will go in few weeks of pregnancy.
2. Do early pregnancy cramps feel like menstrual cramps?
Nope. Usually, early pregnancy cramps don’t resemble menstrual cramps. If you are experiencing intense pains like menstrual cramps then consult your gynecologist.
3. How much cramping is normal in early pregnancy?
Usually, the cramping is mild or sharp when you suddenly stretch, twist or stand. If the tummy cramps are intense then get a medical help immediately.
4. Is it normal to have cramps at 4 – 5 weeks of pregnancy?
Yes, it is completely normal to experience mild cramps during pregnancy. They occur due to the changes like change in uterus shape, increased blood flow and others.
5. Can I take a painkiller to soothe the cramps?
Nope. If you feel like to take a pain killer then we recommend consulting a gynecologist. Because some drugs are prohibited during pregnancy due to its effects on the fetal development.
6. I am having severe leg, back and abdominal cramping. Is it normal to experience them during pregnancy?
If the cramps are severe then we recommend getting a medical help as soon as possible as it can be a matter of concern.
Few Words before winding up…
So, cramping or tummy aches are pretty common during the early weeks of pregnancy due to the changes happening in your body to support the fetal growth. However, if the cramping is causing any discomfort then speak to your midwife or gynecologist. Early detection of any problem can help to treat it successfully.
If you still have any queries or concerns then write to us in the comment section below. We will provide answers to them as soon as possible.