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Cramping during early Pregnancy explained

Updated on July 29, 2013

Normal, light cramping in pregnancy

Are you experiencing light cramping, and you are in your first trimester of pregnancy?

Pain and cramps in the first trimester of pregnancy are usually just signs that your body is changing to accommodate a new life that will develop inside your womb.

When symptoms like abdominal cramps are normal in pregnancy and when to worry? Find out by reading further!

Not all belly ache in early pregnancy are bad signs or signals of a miscarriage. At this time great changes occur in the body, and cramps are usually a sign of this phenomenon.

Once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, the body begins to change and becomes controlled by pregnancy hormones.

Some women do not even realize they are pregnant. Most of the common pregnancy symptoms are not known by everyone: fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea, implantation bleeding and abdominal cramps. The last two - bleeding and cramps - may be sign of miscarriage, if their intensity is high.

The cramping that you feel in the first trimester are usually not as strong as the menstrual period ones, and are caused by stretching of ligaments as a result of enlarging the size of the uterus. Only if you feel a sharp pain, like a knife, then you might worry.

Not sure of the severity of cramps? Does not hurt to check! Go to the gynecologist and ask him or give him/her a call.

When to worry about the severity of cramping

Pain and bleeding are not always signs of miscarriage, but you should consult your doctor if:

  • Cramps are accompanied by tenderness in the lower abdomen.
  • You have a strong bleeding, as in the early days of menstruation.
  • You bled continuously or with pauses within the few days before the onset of cramps.
  • If the pain is severe, or lasts more than 24 hours and worsens when you sit on the toilet or when you move.
  • You have a sharp pain on one side, it may be the case of ectopic pregnancy.
  • You feel dizzy.

If you have an ectopic pregnancy and the problem is not resolved quickly, fallopian tube can rupture and cause internal bleeding. So if you find that you have a fever, a sore shoulder or you feel pain on one side of the abdomen, combined with stomach aches, go to the hospital right away.

Other causes of cramping during early pregnancy

Mild cramps in the first trimester, even accompanied by vaginal spotting may be normal. However, in case the cramps are strong and accompanied by massive bleeding, it is a sign that something is wrong and you must necessarily go to a specialist.

It is important to differentiate cramping from abdominal pain.

Pregnant women often tend to consume more milk and many dairy products, and this can cause indigestion, gas or constipation.

Cramps can be caused by stretching of a muscle or a ligament. Abdominal pain that is not related to pregnancy can be caused by appendicitis or a gall crisis or may be determined by the extent of scarring from previous abdominal surgery.


So, if you only have a light cramping don't be scared, it's just the body adjusting to the future size of the uterus that shall hold a growing baby inside.


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