Lower Stomach Cramps During Pregnancy

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General body aches, including lower stomach pain, are fairly common among pregnant women and are usually not a cause for alarm, according to the March of Dimes. Most pregnancy-related gastrointestinal difficulties are actually located in the abdominal region of your belly and may or may not be related to what you are eating while you’re expecting a new addition to your family. Sometimes lower stomach pain is a symptom of pregnancy complications, so it’s essential to learn how to identify potentially serious pregnancy-related aches and pains.

Typical Causes

You might experience lower stomach aches that feel like the cramps associated with your menstrual period, according to the March of Dimes. This is usually not a sign of a serious problem, as long as the pain is not severe. Your uterus and its surrounding ligaments will stretch to accommodate your growing son or daughter as your pregnancy continues; this is a typical cause of lower stomach pain.

Warnings

Lower stomach pain accompanied by bleeding may be a serious medical situation, according to the March of Dimes. Dizziness or fainting also do not accompany ordinary pregnancy pains; check with a medical professional immediately, especially if the blood seems clot-like.

Serious Causes

Serious causes of lower stomach pain during pregnancy can mean a miscarriage or tubal pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. Sometimes miscarriages can be stopped with prompt medical intervention, including bed rest. However, tubal or ectopic pregnancies are when the fetus has nested into a fallopian tube rather than the uterus. These pregnancies must be medically terminated; failure to treat ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages properly can lead to infertility, loss of reproductive organs and, in some cases, death.

Time Frame

Usually, serious pregnancy problems related to lower stomach pain happen during the first months of pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. Miscarriages, if they happen, usually occur during the first weeks of pregnancy; ectopic pregnancies are usually identified within the first three months. You may also experience the stomach pain, nausea and perhaps vomiting commonly referred to as “morning sickness” during the first few months of pregnancy. Later in pregnancy, lower stomach pain and cramps may indicate the onset of labor. Once the contractions are close together, you may be getting ready to deliver your new child into the world.

Prevention/Solution

Not all pregnancy side effects, especially lower stomach pain, can be fully prevented or treated, according to the March of Dimes. Eating right before getting out of bed can reduce or eliminate the pains and other discomforts associated with morning sickness. Also, changing positions or walking may help reduce cramps once they begin. Don’t take any medicines without talking to a doctor first.

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