Once you become pregnant, you may find yourself noticing every symptom your body produces. Abdominal pain during pregnancy can mean anything from ligament stretching to labor. When the pain is concentrated on the left side, it could also indicate a cyst or an ectopic pregnancy. Knowing what abdominal pain on the left side can mean in pregnancy can help you decide what action to take.
In the earliest phase of pregnancy, you might experience cramping on the left side of your abdomen during implantation. Implantation occurs after the sperm inseminates the egg and becomes an embryo. The embryo then burrows itself into the wall of your uterus to begin the gestational process. If the implantation happens on the left side of the uterus, you may experience left side cramping at that time. The cramping may be accompanied by light bleeding.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy, it means the egg never made it out of your fallopian tube before it became inseminated with sperm. As the fertilized egg begins to grow, it puts pressure on the tube and causes pain. If the ectopic pregnancy happens in the left fallopian tube, you will experience left side abdominal pain, which will grow progressively worse. Symptoms that can accompany ectopic pregnancy pain include dizziness and pain in your shoulder. Ectopic pregnancies should be considered medical emergencies, and medical attention should be sought immediately, according to the March of Dimes website.
When you become pregnant and your uterus begins to stretch to accommodate your growing baby, you could experience ligament pain, according to the March of Dimes website. Ligament stretching can create a dull aching pain or a sharp severe pain. The pain can occur across your entire stomach or settle into one side. If you feel pain in the lower left side when you rise from a sitting position or when you cough, you might have a stretched or pulled ligament.
Any time you have recurring abdominal pain that feels like a fist tightening, you may be in preterm labor, which means you are going into labor prior to your due date. In addition, if you are near your due date, abdominal cramping could indicate full-term labor. If you also notice a change in vaginal discharge or a low backache, it could be an indicator that your labor has begun. In this instance, you should contact your health care provider.
Corpus luteum cysts can occur during pregnancy. The cyst forms inside the ovary and fills with fluid, which can cause severe pain. If the cyst is in the left ovary, you will experience the pain on the left side of your abdomen, according to ovariancysts.com. This type of cyst appears most often during pregnancy because it is hormonally driven for growth. At times, the cyst can twist or fill with blood, making it extremely painful, especially when you already have stretched abdomen ligaments due to the pregnancy.