Pregnancy Cramps: What’s Normal, What’s Not

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Many things change when you’re pregnant. Most of them, unfortunately, are unpleasant. One particular case in point: cramps.

The tugging sensations on one or both sides of the abdomen are never easy to deal with. Sometimes, they rouse you up from a good night’s sleep. Worse, they make you so anxious if your baby’s well and safe. It’s important to listen to your body well and work closely with your ob-gyn to take better care of your health.

What’s Normal

At the first trimester, cramps are common. But most of these pains shouldn’t be a cause of concern. In fact, they’re only an indication that your body is getting itself ready for the growing baby. The uterus expands, so mild cramps become frequent at the lower abdomen or the lower back.

As you progress into the pregnancy, the cramps may get a little more painful or uncomfortable, as you experience other symptoms like bloating, constipation and bladder control problems. Most pregnancy doctors in Pleasant Grove recommend changing your sitting or lying positions and putting a hot compress on the affected area to relieve the pain.

Do note though that aside from the changes happening in your body, lifestyle routines can also aggravate cramps. For instance, you may feel your tummy aching when working out. This is a sign that you should stop and take a rest. It’s also important not to overdo routines and stick to the exercises your doctor allowed.

Aside from working out, engaging in sexual intercourse can also trigger cramps. This happens because there’s increased blood flow to the abdominal area. At the same time, pregnancy causes the cervix to be more sensitive. The pains can be relieved by a simple nap or a warm bath.

When to Call a Doctor

Pregnant woman consulting a doctor

Abnormal cramps are those that are severe and persistent. These usually symptoms signal ectopic pregnancy, the type of pregnancy where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. This can be life-threatening, so the ectopic tissue needs to be removed through either medication or surgery.

In the event that you experience rapid contractions and tenderness around the pelvic area as you struggle through the abdominal pains, a condition called placental abruption may have occurred. What happens here is the placenta breaks away from the uterine lining before labor. This is an emergency case that can put you and your baby’s life at risk, so vaginal or cesarean delivery will be necessary.

If your cramps are accompanied by vaginal discharge or urine changes, it could be a case of yeast infection or urinary tract infection (UTI). These are health issues common to pregnant women, as the hormone level upticks cause changes in the vagina’s pH balance. Doctors recommend anti-fungal vaginal creams or suppositories to treat yeast infection. As for the UTI, antibiotics are prescribed. With these infections managed, the cramps should clear up or at least get minimized.

Are you experiencing pregnancy cramps? The best way to know if they’re serious or not is to ask your ob-gyn. Take note of your symptoms and discuss them openly with your doctor on your next appointment.

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