Cramping: An Early Pregnancy Symptom
By: Julie Fletcher
Reasons For Cramping In Pregnancy
In early pregnancy many women have cramps. The cramps feel very much like the cramps you have when expecting your period. Some women will feel so sure their period is coming that they will wear a pad all day, but then have nothing to show for it. The cramping may be caused by the uterus getting ready for the baby, implantation, or hormonal changes. The cramping might also be accompanied by spotting which is enough to trick some of us into thinking our period has started. Usually the spotting is light and lasts around two or three days. If your period is late and you've been having some cramps, it may be time to take a pregnancy test.
Cramping Is a Normal Occurrence In Pregnancy
In most cases there is a perfectly normal reason for the cramping. It isn't always an ominous sign, nor does it mean you have missed your chance to get pregnant if you have been trying for a baby. Low back pain, uterine pain, even some shooting pains in the vagina or vulva is a completely normal sign of pregnancy! Yes, it sounds odd, but these cramps aren't usually any more than that, cramps. Muscles and the uterus becoming ready for the expansion to come, hormones causing ovarian cramps, and the implantation of the egg. The embryo actually burrows into the lining of the uterus and causes cramping of it's own, along with the spotting.
Some women who have had more than one child will experience a very strong, shooting pain in their groin/hip area. These pains subside with walking or standing but are very intense when the woman first stands from a lying or sitting position. Many women have asked their doctors what this is only to come away with no concrete answer because the pain varies each time it strikes. What this pain actually is, is the tendon(s) in the groin area. They become weaker with each pregnancy and can cramp strongly. The only way to combat this type of cramping is exercise to strengthen the muscles in this area to compensate for the weakness in the tendons. A lot of walking through the pregnancy will not only help with this cramp, but will also make labor and birth easier in the end.
Tell Your Doctor If
If you find yourself with cramps that are increasing in intensity and with heavy spotting, if your cramps continue past the sixth week, or if your spotting becomes heavy even in the first few weeks. If your cramps are all on one side of the lower abdomen area, this could possibly signify an ectopic pregnancy. Another cramp that may come after eating is an odd cramp in the upper abdomen, just under the rib cage. This cramp is sometimes very severe and will extend into the right shoulder area. This could mean gallbladder disease which sometimes affects pregnant women. Your doctor can tell you if you have gallbladder disease, but in the meantime avoid rich and greasy foods to help soothe your symptoms.
To soothe any cramps, a warm bath or hot shower cascading on your back is wonderful. A hot compress or heating pad on low and placed on your lower back will help with almost all back pain. Acetaminophen is the staple of pregnant women everywhere to help combat aches and pains. Just be careful to stay within the proper dosage as too much of this drug can interfere with liver function.