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Early Pregnancy Cramps: The Little Known Facts!

Every pregnancy and woman is different, so while cramping, linked to implantation, is as common as spotting, some women may not feel the slightest hint of discomfort past the first 3-4 weeks of conception. Another issue with early pregnancy cramps is that it is very easy to mistake them with premenstrual abdominal pain, because it feels in a similar way and it starts around the same time.

Read also: Cervical Mucus After Implantation: How to Detect Egg Embedment?

Implantation Cramping and 7 Other Implantation Symptoms

Implantation Cramps or PMS Cramps?

Early Pregnancy Cramps: What Is Normal and What Is Not?

Particularly, for women with the experience of difficult pregnancies or miscarriages in the past any pain experienced during the first few days after conception can be very distressing, as it brings back the worst memories. So, here is a look at some interesting facts about early pregnancy cramping that will quell the fears and concerns and get you mentally prepared for the physical changes that lie ahead.

Every pregnancy and woman is different, so while cramping, linked to implantation, is as common as spotting, some women may not feel the slightest hint of discomfort past the first 3-4 weeks of conception. Another issue with early pregnancy cramps is that it is very easy to mistake them with premenstrual abdominal pain, because it feels in a similar way and it starts around the same time.

Read also: Cervical Mucus After Implantation: How to Detect Egg Embedment?

Implantation Cramping and 7 Other Implantation Symptoms

Implantation Cramps or PMS Cramps?

Early Pregnancy Cramps: What Is Normal and What Is Not?

Particularly, for women with the experience of difficult pregnancies or miscarriages in the past any pain experienced during the first few days after conception can be very distressing, as it brings back the worst memories. So, here is a look at some interesting facts about early pregnancy cramping that will quell the fears and concerns and get you mentally prepared for the physical changes that lie ahead.

Symptoms of Implantation Cramps

Cramps, experienced within several days after fertilization, will feel very similar to period pains. They are typically described as a heavy, dragging feeling in the pelvis and the lower abdomen. The discomfort is significant enough for you to take notice, but not severe enough for you to keel over in pain. In other words, although, you will experience nagging discomfort, it will not disrupt your day-to-day activities.

Sometimes the pain is more pronounced on one side of the abdomen. You may also feel the discomfort getting stronger at the end of the day or after standing for some time. Cramps may also first be noticed when any physical act increases the pressure on the abdominal muscles, such as sneezing, laughing or coughing.

Cramping Is Felt Differently by Different Women!

Women have described early pregnancy cramps as a dull pain, a sharp stabbing pain which comes in waves, just annoying discomfort, which goes on for a week, and as heavy pain, experienced for a few minutes or a few hours. Such spasms can last as long as the implantation does, which is for 1-3 days, or it can only be felt when the embryo burrows at the outer lining of the uterus at first.

Many women don’t experience cramping at all, while some may have it while going through one pregnancy, but not during the other one. Often, cramping is linked to several other symptoms of implantation and conception, such as spotting, tenderness of the breasts and nausea. If the pain intensifies or is accompanied by significant bleeding, it would be best to see your gynecologist at once.

How to Recognize Early Pregnancy Cramps?

Typically, the duration of cramps, connected to implantation, will range from a few seconds to a couple of hours in total. Generally, it will be experienced on and off for a few days, while the embryo attaches itself to the uterine lining. The intensity of this feeling can range from mild to significant, but it is bearable. The cramping can be experienced any time between the 3rd and the 13th days past ovulation.

If Implantation Cramping Is Normal, What’s the Worry?

Even though cramping is completely normal during the initial stages of pregnancy, it can also indicate a possible miscarriage or other complications, that may or may not be related to conception. So, it is imperative to keep a watch on the intensity and the duration of the pain. Also, any additional conditions, such as extent and color of vaginal bleeding and discharge should be monitored. Some of the issues that can be linked to abdominal cramping are:

– Miscarriage: Approximately 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage; this can happen due to chromosomal abnormalities or issues with the embryo implantation. Occasionally, abdominal discomfort may also point to the fact that the fertilized egg has embedded in other parts of the pelvis.

– Ectopic pregnancy: If the embryo nestles in the Fallopian tubes, this constitutes a medical emergency and is known as ectopic pregnancy. The condition can be potentially fatal if not dealt with immediately. In this case, the embryo cannot be saved. The pregnancy has to be terminated at once. Ectopic pregnancies usually result in acute abdominal pain, significant vaginal bleeding, swelling and bloating in the abdominal area, lower back pain and fainting.

– Urinary tract infection: Pain or burning when passing urine, accompanied by lower abdominal pain, can be a sign of urinary tract infection.

– Preclampsia: This is a condition that is marked by acute pain in the lower abdomen, high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

– Other reasons for abdominal pain: Discomfort in the stomach and abdomen region can also be experienced in case of gall bladder infection and stones, pancreatitis, appendicitis, indigestion or heartburn, gas and uterine contractions during orgasm.

When Should You Go to the Doctor?

If you experience the following symptoms, contact your physician immediately:

• Severe pain in the lower abdomen that does not go away for quite a long time.

• Contractions, which are experienced along with great abdominal discomfort.

• Painful vaginal cramps.

• Dizziness and heavy vaginal discharge.

• Abdominal cramps with shoulder and/or neck pain.

• High fever or chills.

Interesting Facts About Early Pregnancy Cramps!

• Implantation cramps can start and suddenly stop and then start again, but generally the second round will not be as intense, as the first one.

• Cramping may usually start between the 5th and the 7th days past ovulation and go on till your expected regular period.

• If any bleeding is to appear, it will happen around the same time as you get your period.

• The pain is usually felt in the back, uterus and cervix and some areas around.

• You can start feeling pregnancy cramps roughly ten days after having unprotected sex.

• If bleeding accompanies implantation cramps, it will be lighter, than the menstrual flow, and the discharge will typically be light brown.

When Can You Expect the Cramping to Stop?

As the uterus enlarges to accommodate the growing fetus, the bones will begin to support the organ and the baby. This will remove the weight and the strain from the ligaments and the muscles in the abdomen. So, you can expect to feel some amount of cramping throughout the first trimester, as the muscle tissue will become fatigued and ache.

However, some women don’t feel this pain till the second trimester. If this happens, the discomfort can be attributed to round ligament pain. As the fetus grows, the ligament stretches to accommodate the bulge, which in turn causes a sharp or stabbing pain. However, some women will just feel a dull ache in the lower abdomen. It is also common to experience the cramps radiating down from the abdomen into the leg at this stage.

Must You Suffer in Silence?

There are several small measures that can help you to ease the pain if not eradicate it completely. Try to do the following things:

• Try sitting down. This can take the strain off the abdominal muscles.

• Simply change your position and lye on the other side. It can also help a lot.

• Light exercise in the form of a walk, general body movement or stretching is also known to aid in relieving the discomfort.

• Take a warm shower.

• Loosen any constrictive clothes that you may have on.

• Give yourself a gentle tummy massage.

• Use the toilet, full bladder and intestines can intensify cramping.

• Avoid foods that can cause constipation.

• Drink a lot of fluids and get your daily quota of fruits and veggies.

• Try relaxation techniques and deep breathing; muscle tenseness increases the pain.

• Support your feet when sitting with a stool placed underneath them.

• Use a wheat bag or a hot water bag on the tender areas.

Yes, most women will experience early pregnancy cramps, but it is crucial not to ignore the pains that are too intense to bear or just don’t feel right. Your body goes through a lot of changes from the very first day of conception. This is long before you actually become aware of the pregnancy and start noticing visible physical changes.

The dull aches and pains are simply a part and parcel of the transformation that your body is going through. Your motto during this stage should be to relax, let go of the stress and keep yourself healthy and fit. Scheduled appointments with your gynecologist will help you to confirm a normal pregnancy and enjoy this best period of your life.

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