Cramps in pregnancy - 10 causes of lower abdominal pain in pregnancy

Often when you expect to receive some good news about pregnancy, you spontaneously start assuming and expecting a lot of change that is about to occur in your daily lifestyle, body and health. Some of these changes will be communicated to you by new moms, some by your own mom and some of the information will be flooded through the internet. One of the daily problems may be pregnancy cramps. Pregnancy cramps can bring you anxiety. So, it is important to know the common reasons for their occurrence. In this blog, we will see 10 causes of cramps in pregnancy. What could be the possible reasons of feeling lower abdominal pain during pregnancy?

Here are 10 causes of cramps and lower abdominal pain during pregnancy.

  1. Gas, constipation and bloating:

    After you conceive, your progesterone levels rise and hence you start feeling gastric often. This happens because your gastrointestinal tract slows down and that makes food travel more slowly. Slower moving intestinal muscles mean that your digestion slows down and you produce excess gas during pregnancy.

  2. Changing the size of the uterus:

    This is one of the obvious reasons to feel cramps and pressure in the lower abdominal area. After conception, the size of the uterus starts increasing creating lesser space for other organs. This way the expanding uterus causes displacement of other intra-abdominal organs and keeps shifting the location of the pain.

  3. Round ligament pain:

    This abdominal pain is usually sharp and stabbing in nature. You’ll feel this when you change positions. The type of pain can be dull, achy, lingering pain. Round ligament pain is caused by two large ligaments that join your groin and uterus. As the size of uterus increases with pregnancy, these ligaments are stretched and cause lower abdominal pain. This is harmless though.

  4. Braxton Hicks contractions:

    These are quite annoying and often labeled as “practice contractions”. This is not risky and is usually of mild nature as compared to real contractions. So if you ever feel contractions while carrying on with your daily chores, then sit back and relax. There is nothing to worry about. Those are just harmless abdominal cramps named as Braxton Hicks contractions.

  5. Various stomach viruses:

    Stomach bugs and viruses can be quite hard to differentiate from your usual morning sickness in the early weeks of your pregnancy. You need to know that your body has many natural defenses that can keep your baby from harm. Your baby will be all fine but you might feel a bit sick and weary due to mild fever, cramps and diarrhea while dealing with harmless stomach viruses.

  6. Fibroids:

    Fibroids can be explained as non-cancerous growth in your uterus in your childbearing years. When you conceive, you might feel pain in the second and third trimester typically. This is the most common symptom of fibroids and there is nothing to worry about the same. You will feel cramps and discomfort if the fibroids are large, as they twist during pregnancy.

  7. Kidney stones:

    These are small, hard deposits that form in the kidney and are quite painful to pass. These occur mostly in the third or second trimester and cause upper abdominal pain or pain in the back and sides. This pain can radiate to groin or lower abdomen and common symptoms can include nausea, urinary frequency and urgency, vomiting. Kidney stones are not harmful to the developing baby. (Also read: How to treat kidney stones in Pregnancy)

  8. Food sensitivities:

    Your pregnancy can greatly alter your food intolerances and allergic responses to certain foods. For some women, their existing intolerances can improve and for some others, they can worsen. This might lead to stomach pain and cramps followed by diarrhea and gas. If it persists for long, you should talk to your doctor as the baby might not be receiving all the nutrients properly.

  9. Pre-eclampsia:

    In this condition, your pregnancy will be denoted by high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of gestation. Upper abdominal pain and pain under your ribs on the right side could be some of its symptoms. You will feel cramps and pain due to the symptoms like nausea, vomiting and increased pressure on your abdomen. Do visit your doctor and follow the prescription as they instruct.

  10. UTI (Urinary Tract Infection):

    If ignored and left untreated, a urinary tract infection can cause some complications. Seek medical attention if you feel chills, fever, sweats, nausea as it might mean that the infection has spread to your kidneys. Often indicated by pain, discomfort and burning when you urinate, urinary tract infections can cause lower abdominal pain. (Also read: Avoid Things If you Have UTI)

Take Away

So, these were some reasons that could be prominent and unavoidable causing cramps while you are going through your pregnancy period. Although you should see your doctor as soon as possible if you experience vaginal discharge, fever, chills, severe persistent pain, spotting or bleeding, light-headedness, discomfort or persistent burning while urinating, vomiting and nausea that doesn’t go away. These symptoms could be of concern if they accompany abdominal pain and cramps. This might need medical attention at the right time. Else, you need not worry about subtle symptoms of pregnancy. Those will persist and will be harmless!

Consult online for expert advice from an experienced gynecologist.

Also read: Tips for a healthy pregnancy

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