12 Causes of Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
For all of the women, having a baby, especially the first one, after they are getting married is one of the most beautiful things to come. No wonder that women will always get very exciting during their pregnancy. During their pregnancy, they would experience a lot of changes in their body and that’s pretty normal.
Sometimes, women will suffer any discomfort during their pregnancy’s period and the most common discomfort that every woman would get is an abdominal pain. If you one of the women who suffering from abdominal pain when you are pregnant, you definitely have some concerns and want to know what happen to you and your upcoming baby. Some experts say that have an abdominal pain during your pregnancy is a common condition. But, an abdominal pain could be a sign for you that there are some serious problems with your pregnancy. Below are the causes of why you are suffering an abdominal pain during your pregnancy.
Abdominal Pain During Your Pregnancy is A Normal Condition
Most of the abdominal pain that can occur within pregnant women is harmless. Some experts say that it is pretty normal to have an abdominal pain during your pregnancy. In fact, every woman would experience this pain because when you are pregnant, your body will shift constantly, your uterus would expanding, and your ligaments would stretching together with your belly that getting bigger and bigger every time. Here are the causes of an abdominal pain during your pregnancy that would not harm you.
- Braxton Hicks Contraction
Braxton Hick contraction is commonly known as “practice contractions” before your body experiencing the real labor. This contraction could be annoying for pregnant women, but this cause is harmless and is pretty normal. This Braxton Hicks Contraction could happen because during your pregnancy, your pregnancy hormones will work very hard. They are sending messages to your body to start the process of childbirth.
Braxton Hicks Contraction is commonly happen when you are already in your 20 weeks of your pregnancy and usually lasts for about 15 seconds to two minutes. This contraction, although infrequently, will always increase after you are already in your 32 weeks of the pregnancy until the time you are experiencing the real labor.
- Your Uterus Are Growing
One of the most common things on why you feel a pain in your stomach during your pregnancy is because your uterus grows. It is because when you are pregnant, your body sends more bloods into your uterus and it would displace your bowel. As the result, you will feel a pressure and pain in your abdominal area. You can overcome the pain by eating more frequent in smaller portions, get rest, and stay active during your pregnancy.
- Round Ligament Pain
When you have an abdominal pain, have you also ever felt the pain when you change your position suddenly, get up from sitting, or when you cough and laugh? If yes, you might be having an abdominal pain because of round ligament pain.
Round ligament pain is caused from your uterus. As you know that your uterus is supported by thick bands of ligaments. When you are pregnant, your uterus grows and it will make your uterus become stretches and stretches to facilitate your weight that increased periodically, which will pull your ligaments. That incident will make you feel the pain in your lower abdominal area.
- Gastric Distress and Constipation
When you are getting pregnant, you will be most likely to suffer an abdominal pain because of gastric distress and constipation. When you are pregnant, your progesterone hormone will increase suddenly, which will make the muscles in the digestive tract become relaxed. As the result, the foods that you just ate will move slowly through your gastro-internal tract. The slowdown of digestion process will lead to constipation. Although you can’t run from this problem, but you can at least make it less painful by eating foods which have great amounts of fiber. Also, don’t forget to eat small portions food rather than huge ones.
- Cramps After Orgasms
Getting pregnant doesn’t mean that you are suggested to stop having a sexual intercourse for a while. Many people have some concerns that having sexual intercourse during your pregnancy would hurt the baby, but in fact, it is not. You are allowed to have sex during the pregnancy. After you have sex, that would be great if you’re having an orgasm. If you are suffering an abdominal pain after having an orgasm, you are most likely to have a cramp due to increased blood flow in the pelvic area. So, you shouldn’t be worried since it is harmless for you and your baby.
You might also suffer an abdominal pain because of implantation. In the early period of your pregnancy, you will be most likely to experiencing a cramping just like when you are in menstrual period and you will see some light bleeding. This bleeding has resulted from the fertilized egg that attached to the uterine wall, which will happen in eight to ten days after ovulations occur. You shouldn’t be worried because of this discomfort.
Abdominal Pain During Your Pregnancy Could Be a Signal for Serious Problems
Although many experts say that it is pretty normal that you are suffering from abdominal pain during your pregnancy, but you still need to give your full attention to it, especially when you have some symptoms alongside your abdominal pain such as bleeding or fever. Those symptoms may indicate that you are suffering an abdominal pain because of causes that listed below.
- Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy can happen when a fetilized egg implants somewhere else outside the uterus. Your ovaries always transferring an egg every month into the fallopian tube. When this egg doesn’t fertilize with sperm, your menstrual period will come. But when this egg is fertilized with sperm, it will make its way into the uterus, a place that it will implants into the uterine lining and grows as a fetus. If the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, it wouldn’t grows properly as a fetus, and this is why ectopic pregnancy occurs. This serious problem occurred because of the egg’s movement through the fallopian tube is obstructed.
It is very rare that pregnant women would have this serious problem, because based on research, ectopic pregnancy occurred approximately 2 percent of all pregnancies. You will be most likely to avoid from this problems if you don’t have any history of pelvic, abdominal, fallopian tube surgery, and also pelvic infection, endometriosis, or a tubal ligation.
- Premature Labor
About 89 percent of pregnancies last for about 37 weeks. But there are some cases that the baby unexpectedly arrives sooner that the predictions. If you are having an abdominal pain and you are experiencing frequently contractions before your pregnancy lasts about 37 weeks, especially when its accompanied by blood that come from your vagina, you might have premature labor and you must go to the doctor as soon as possible.
Many experts say that your habits during pregnancy could affect your condition that leads to premature labor. If you don’t want to experience it when you are getting pregnant, you shouldn’t do the following things:
- Smoking, consuming alcohol, or use drugs. These things would stimulate the early birth of your baby if you’re lucky, since it will raise the risks of miscarriage.
- Over-stressed. Researchers already prove that your stress levels, if it is accumulated, would stimulate the release of hormones that can cause early contractions during your pregnancy.
- Having a pregnancy under 17, and over 35. Doctors already say that women that having a pregnancy under 17 and over than 35 years old have higher risks to have premature labor.
If you are having an abdominal pain in the first of trimester of your pregnancy, you might be concerned that you are having a miscarriage. The most common thing that happens with this problem is the bleeding from your vagina that continues for several days.
A miscarriage could happen because of the biological way of ending the pregnancy that is not going right, specifically when the fetus is gone from the uterus. This could happen because of many factors, but the most common things that caused a miscarriage is because the baby’s genetic defects and immune reactions by the mother’s body.
Preeclampsia is a condition that can develop after your pregnancy lasts about 20 weeks. It is a condition where characterized by high blood pressure and protein that contains in your urine, and some of your organs may not work properly. If you feel some pains in the upper right of your abdomen, and accompanied by some symptoms like nausea, headaches, or swelling, you might have a problem associated with preeclampsia.
According to some researches, this problem could happen to about 10 percent of the women during their pregnancy. If you are suspected by your doctors that you have preeclampsia and you left it untreated, this could be dangerous to both of you and the baby. Untreated preeclampsia can prevent the fetus or embryo to get enough blood and oxygen, which will lead to kidney and liver damages in the mother’s body.
- Placental Abruption
This is one of the dangerous complication that could happen to a pregnant woman during their times before have a labor. This placenta abruption could happen because the placenta, the perfect source of oxygen and nutrients for your baby, doesn’t detach until your baby is born and separated from the uterine wall. While this problem is very rare, occurs in about less than 1 percent of all of the pregnancies, you must call your doctor immediately if you feel an abdominal pain accompanied with back pain and vaginal bleeding as you might be suffering from placental abruption.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
If you feel an abdominal pain accompanied with a sudden urge to urinate or bloody urination you might be suffers from UTI. This problem could happen because of the invasion of bacteria in your expanding uterus during pregnancy. Well, there are some sources so the bacteria could invade your urinary tract during your pregnancy. These sources could be from:
- The bacteria that cause UTI can come from your bowl, for example, the famous E. coli. Because the location of urethra is close to the rectum, these bacteria can be transported to the urethra.
- Having sexual intercourse would not harm you as long as you keep yourself clean beforehand. When having a sex, the bacteria near the vagina could be pushed into the urethra. So, it is really important to urinate before and after having sex because it will get rid of the bacteria out of your urethra.
You Should Call a Doctor if These Symptoms Happens To You
Well, now you already know all of the causes of why you feel a pain in your stomach during the pregnancy. While some of the causes are harmless for you and your baby, you still need to be aware of you and your baby’s condition if these symptoms happen. Our suggestion is that you must call the doctor every time you experience these symptoms, including abdominal pain during your pregnancy to suppress the unwanted causes that already listed above.
If you have a fever, and your body temperature at around 37,5 ˚C with no cold or flu symptoms, you need to call the doctor immediately as you might suffer from infection.
- Vision Disturbances
If you have problems associated with your vision like blurring, flashing, or double vision for more than two hours, call the doctor immediately as these symptoms could be the sign of preeclampsia
- Swelling on Severe Headache
If you have a great headache that lasts over two hours, you should call your doctor. This headache could be caused by a blood clot in the brain as it also could be the sign of preeclampsia.
- Vaginal Bleeding
You should call your doctor if you have these symptoms as this could be the sign of complications. Please note that you must call the doctor if:
- You have darker, lighter, or heavier bleeding that is different from your normal period accompanied with severe pain the abdomen as it could be the sign of ectopic pregnancy.
- You have heavy bleeding accompanied by abdominal pain or back pain, as it could be the sign of miscarriage.
- You have bleeding in the near-end of your pregnancy stages, as it could be the sign of placenta abruption or premature labor.
- Thirst Over Frequently
If you feel thirsty over frequently, call your doctor immediately as it could be the sign of dehydration and gestational diabetes, which will lead to various complications to you and your baby.
- Burning During Urination
If you feel this symptom accompanied by back pain, call the doctor immediately as this could be the sign of various problems related to your pregnancy, such as urinary tract infections. Left it untreated will lead this symptom to more serious problems, such as premature labor and other infections.
- Severe Vomiting
While vomiting is a common thing that occurred on every pregnant woman and it wouldn’t hurt your baby, but if you feel an extreme vomiting that would cause a problem in the future. Vomiting that affects your day-by-day will lead to dehydration, weight loss, and dizziness. If you feel vomiting accompanied with an abdominal pain, you should call the doctor as this could be the sign of preeclampsia.
- Fainting or Dizziness
If you feel fainting or dizziness, that could be the sign that you don’t eat enough food, which is not good for your baby’s health since your baby needs a lot of nutrients from the food that you just ate. The doctor will help you to maintain your eat schedule and of course your nutrients.
- Vaginal Discharge and Itching
While some vaginal discharge is normal, you can’t underestimate this symptom as it could be the sign of treatable infections or sexually transmitted diseases that will lead to negative effects for your pregnancy.
- Leaking Fluid From Your Vagina
You should go to the hospital immediately if you see fluids leaking out from the vagina before your pregnancy lasts for about 37 weeks, as it is a sign that your membranes ruptured prematurely and you could have a premature labor.
Some Ways to Prevents and Relieves Abdominal Pain
While you can’t run from the fact that you will suffer from an abdominal pain once you are getting pregnant, but there are some ways that you could do to ease the pain or relieves the pain during your pregnancy. Here are some tips to relieves your abdominal pain during pregnancy.
- Stay hydrated! Drinking enough water.
- Change positions frequently, if you’re standing up, try to sit down after several moments, and vice versa.
- Eat foods that contain high amounts of fiber.
- Eat in small portions but frequently, rather than eat huge portions at once.
- Clean yourself frequently to get rid of the dangerous bacteria out of your body.
- Use antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
- Keep yourself away from smoke, alcohol, and drugs
- Exercise regularly, but don’t exercise in high intensity.
- Take a warm bath or shower rather than the cold one.
Now you already know everything about abdominal pain during pregnancy. We know that experiencing a pregnancy for the first time might give you some concerns. But, you shouldn’t worry since the harmful problems during pregnancy is relatively rare. By keeping yourself with healthy lifestyle and following the guidance from your personal doctor, we assure that you will have a healthy pregnancy.