Experiencing pain during the first trimester of pregnancy can be normal, though it can be concerning for some women. Most of the time, there are simple explanations for these aches and twinges. However, even though these early pains are often not serious, it’s important for pregnant women to stay informed and seek medical help when necessary.
There are a lot of different things that can go on during pregnancy, and it can be hard to know what’s normal and what’s not. It’s especially scary during the first trimester, when miscarriage is most common. However, understanding the difference between the normal pains of a healthy pregnancy and the symptoms of miscarriage will help you get through those uncertain weeks.
Rounding Ligament Pain
Low abdominal cramping is one of the most common complaints from pregnant women in the first trimester. This type of cramping feeling is typically the result of rounding ligament pain.
As your pregnancy progresses, your uterus will grow larger. This increase in size is supported by the round ligaments. These ligaments are strong, but as your uterus becomes heavier, they may stretch and cause some discomfort in the lower abdomen or groin.
Rounding ligament pain is common during pregnancy and can feel like sharp, quick pains. It can be centralized on either side of the abdomen or in the middle. Moving quickly from sitting to a standing position, coughing and even laughing can bring on rounding ligament pain.
Cramping can be a total pain (literally), but there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort. A doctor can’t usually tell you definitively what’s causing your cramps, but they can rule out other potential causes of pain. To help manage the pain, your doctor may recommend some stretches. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to take it easy in general when you’re experiencing a lot of round ligament pain.
Aspirin can help ease the pain of cramps, but check with your doctor before taking it while pregnant. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever that can be used during pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy symptoms typically begin around the sixth week of pregnancy. However, according to the March of Dimes, approximately 2 percent of all pregnancies are ectopic. This means that the embryo implants itself outside of the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tube. If not caught early, ectopic pregnancies can be life-threatening to both mother and child.
When a fertilized egg doesn’t attach to the uterus as it’s supposed to, it’s called ectopic pregnancy. The pain associated with this condition is typically a sharp pain that’s focused on one side of the abdomen, though it can also be centralized. In addition to the pain, you might also experience spotting.
An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus. This can not result in a baby and can be dangerous for the mother. Rounding ligament pain is often mistaken for an ectopic pregnancy, but your doctor can rule it out through a pelvic exam and an ultrasound.
If you think you might have an ectopic pregnancy, it’s important to get medical help right away. Contact your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
When Pain Is A Warning Sign
Just as there are different types of pain, there are also different types of early pregnancy pain. Some early pregnancy pain is harmless, while other types can be a sign of something more serious, like a miscarriage. If you’re experiencing pain in early pregnancy, it’s important to pay attention to other symptoms you might be having and talk to your doctor to rule out anything serious.
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a miscarriage, especially if you’re pregnant. Cramping and pain in the early stages of pregnancy can actually be contractions. If the pain starts out mild but gets worse, and is accompanied by other symptoms like bleeding, you may be experiencing a miscarriage. If you’re worried about miscarrying, talk to your doctor. They can help you understand what’s happening and what to do next.
If you experience sharp and persistent cramping in your lower abdomen, light spotting or heavy bleeding, or passing tissue, it could be a sign of a miscarriage. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to call or visit your doctor as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns about pain during pregnancy, always contact your doctor. If you experience sharp, consistent pain with other symptoms, go to your local emergency room.