Cramps in Early Pregnancy
Most pregnant women experience some abdominal aches, pains and cramping in early pregnancy. Not surprisingly these early pregnancy developments are accompanied by significant changes in the way your body functions. Many changes are happening during this time and your amazing body is registering some of these changes in the form of cramping. I know cramps can be a source of worry so it helps to know and understand what is happening and why. That said, here are 6 common causes for cramps in early pregnancy:
- Hormones — your body is producing a flood of hormones some of which cause cramps as the body prepares to expand and change. Virtually every organ system in your body needs to adapt to cope with the increasing demands that your pregnancy will make on it.
- Implantation— When the newly fertilized egg implants into the lining of the womb a woman can experience implantation cramps sometimes accompanied by a very small amount of bleeding.
- Your uterus — The uterus begins to experience changes as soon as the implanted egg burrows into the lining. As the uterus stretches and expands, some women experience aches and cramps. These pains can also be referred to the groin and hip area. These cramps reflect changes in the pelvis in particular your growing uterus. It can be perfectly normal to experience menstrual-type cramps in early pregnancy because this growth occurs where the ligaments and muscles attach and support your womb to the internal abdominal wall, one ligament especially, called the round ligament and results in cramps.
- Gas and constipation— Elevated levels of the hormone relaxin causes the body’s muscles to relax, including those that make up the digestive system, which slows down during pregnancy. This can result in excess gas and constipation, which produces a wide range of pains and pressures, bloating and cramping.
- Ectopic pregnancy— Cramping and pain may occur on either side of the pelvis and be accompanied by nausea, spotting and dizziness. An ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency and you need to see a doctor right away.
- The corpus luteum cyst— This is the cyst of pregnancy and it is from this structure that your egg was released and subsequently fertilized. This cyst plays an important role in the early weeks of pregnancy as the corpus lutem cyst produces hormones that support the pregnancy. This corpus luteum cyst can vary in size and the larger ones can cause some tenderness and cramping. The presence of this cyst is usually assessed during your early pregnancy ultrasound and will resolves on its own.
Women in early pregnancy will experience quite a few strange and even uncomfortable sensations, twinges and cramping. Each pregnancy can be quite different; so consider these bumps along the road of an amazing journey!
Please note that if cramping is severe or prolonged this may not be normal and you must call your doctor immediately.
So those are some common causes for cramps in early pregnancy. If you have any questions or comments please join in the conversation in the forums at pregnancychat.com.