Been experiencing cramps in the early days of pregnancy? Here are some tips to manage them

If you’re cramping during early pregnancy then you need not worry because it is quite common. A gynaecologist discusses when to see a doctor.
cramping during pregnancy
Here’s all you need to understand about cramping during early pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Pratima Thamke Published: 30 Jul 2021, 15:06 pm IST
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Have you been encountering cramps in the early days of your pregnancy? You’re probably wondering whether it is normal. We’re here to clear all your doubts regarding it.

Cramping during early pregnancy is normal and isn’t a big problem. But, if you experience your cramps becoming intense, then you may have to get yourself evaluated by a gynaecologist.

Internal changes occur to prepare the body to grow a baby for approximately nine months in the womb. So, cramping and other aches can bother you simply due to the changes happening in your body as you’re growing a baby in the womb!

Know about the causes of cramping
  • Cramping can be a sign of pregnancy that occurs only a week or two after conception. After the egg is fertilized in one’s fallopian tubes, it tends to travel into the uterus and needs to implant itself into the uterine wall. This implantation can cause a little bit of early pregnancy cramping. Changes in the uterus can also lead to cramping. You might not look pregnant but your body changes very rapidly in the first trimester.
  • Early cramping can occur as the uterus is growing and stretching.
  • Dehydration during pregnancy can also lead to cramping. In fact, it’s easy for pregnant people to get dehydrated very quickly.
  • Abdominal distress can also invite cramping. Yes, you have heard it right! Gas, bloating, constipation, and even other digestion woes are problematic. Moreover, pregnant women might also feel constipated.
cramping during pregnancy
Your body is preparing for the growing baby, therefore it can cause cramping that would be considered normal. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Other serious reasons behind cramping
  • Ectopic pregnancy happens when the egg implants into a fallopian tube or somewhere else that’s not the uterine lining, leading to pain. This can raise the risk of cramping.
  •  Cramping can also be seen owing to miscarriage that is a spontaneous loss of pregnancy. Usually, with miscarriage, the cramps are accompanied by bleeding.
  •  A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause cramping.
How will you feel when you have early pregnancy cramps?

Early pregnancy cramps may feel like a pulling or stretching sensation in the abdomen. They are often more of an ache than a pain, and you might find this sensation similar to menstrual cramps. You may notice them when you change positions or sneeze or cough. If these cramps are mild and you don’t have any other symptoms, they’re probably no cause of concern. But, if the cramping is intense then instead of neglecting the feeling, just consult the doctor.

Tips to manage cramps 
  • Try to sit, lie down or change positions from time to time
  • Just soak in a warm bath to relieve cramping
  • Don’t forget to do relaxation exercises
  • Place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on the ache
  • Drink enough fluids to stay hydrated

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About the Author

Dr Pratima Thamke is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar ...Read More

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