Cramps During Pregnancy

The menstrual cycle ceases during pregnancy. However, pregnant women may experience menstrual-like cramps during the first four months of their pregnancies. These cramps are normal and need no treatment, but here are a few reasons why the cramps may be happening:

Growing Uterus:

The uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. Mild cramping is caused by the stretching ligaments that support the uterus while it’s growing and expanding. These cramps are similar to the pain women may experience during their menstrual cycles. It is a healthy occurrence which happens often during the second trimester.

Implantation Cramping:

One week after ovulation, the embryo implants itself in the uterine lining. Cramping may be felt for the following 8 to 10 days after implantation.

Ectopic Pregnancy:

Ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition which causes severe cramping and abdominal pain in one side of the body. Women who have ectopic pregnancies may also have spotting and bleeding along with the cramps. Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms.

Constipation and Gas:

Women may experience abdominal cramps and pain from gas and constipation during pregnancy. This may cause backache and pelvic cramps.


The most common signs of miscarriage are bleeding and spotting. Pregnant women experiencing this must seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment of Cramps During Pregnancy

  • Be very careful of your body movements during pregnancy and avoid fast positional changes
  • Try to bend slowly and do not put too much strain on your back
  • Go for mild exercise such as brisk walks to relieve gas pains
  • If the pains are severe, consult your doctor

When is Medical Attention Needed?

  • Some of the signs of miscarriage are vaginal discharge, blood clots and heavy bleeding. If you are experiencing any of these plus cramps, you need immediate medical attention.
  • If you are vomiting, dizzy or nauseous, seek medical attention
  • Severe abdominal pain and cramps may also be due to a urinary or kidney infection and food poisoning. If you have any one of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Many cramps during pregnancy are normal. If you have any unusual symptoms, seek a doctor’s advice immediately.

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