Abdominal pain during pregnancy is normal. Remember, you’re growing a little human inside of you! So a little pain once in a while is understandable. However, the story is different if that little pain starts to ruin your day. It’s when you should see your OB.
Common causes of stomach ache
Round ligament pain
This is a brief uncomfortable feeling you get when suddenly switching position. Round ligament pain generates from the lower abdomen (or on the inside, the uterus) to the groin. It’s a brief, sharp and stabbing pain that will go away on its own eventually. Normally, you will experience this during your second trimester. But if extreme discomfort is what you feel, then consult your OB-GYN for diagnosis and treatment.
Constipation and gas
Being pregnant means your progesterone level will increase, this results in food traveling through the digestive tract slower. Fixing this should be easy as you can take in water frequently, eat fiber-rich foods, or exercise a bit. If you need a faster approach, talk to your doctor if you should use a stool softener.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Generally, Braxton Hicks contractions are benign, but they can be mistaken with real contractions which happen when you’re going into labor (or premature labor). The main difference lies between if or if not you’re able to carry on whatever you’re doing at the moment. True contractions leave you no choice but to call for help, while you can still have Braxton Hicks contractions and continue some normal activities.
Some other common discomforts
Besides the reasons mentioned above, there are some more causes that are natural and non-threatening when you’re pregnant. Those are your growing uterus, stomach viruses, kidney stones, fibroids, and food sensitivities.
Less common but more serious causes of stomach aches
If you ever have symptoms like bleeding, severe pain, fever or visual disturbances, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Occurring in 1 out of 50 pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy means the egg has been developing somewhere other than the uterus, most often in the fallopian tube. Pain and severe bleeding between your 6th and 10th week may indicate this phenomenon. Women who are at a higher risk of getting an ectopic pregnancy are those who have experienced this before or have had endometriosis, a tubal ligation or an intrauterine device (IUD) in place at the time of conception. Medical care should be given immediately due to the improbability of continual pregnancy.
While you’re in your first trimester, bleeding and cramping rhythmically may be something to look out for. These might indicate a miscarriage. Other symptoms are a severe back pain, clot-like tissue passing through the vagina, and a decrease in pregnancy signs.
Happening prior to the 37th week of pregnant, preterm labor is accompanied by regular contractions and a persistent backache. More symptoms include a change or an increase in vaginal fluid, vaginal bleeding and of course, abdominal pain with menstrual-like cramping.
A pretty dangerous case. Placental abruption means the placenta prematurely separates from your uterine wall. Commonly witnessed in the third trimester, it is characterized by severe abdominal pain. Your abdomen tenses for an extended period of time. Vaginal discharge includes dark, red blood or maybe your water. Some women actually go into labor when suffering a placental abruption. The baby is usually then delivered by an emergency C-section. Other cases, if the abruption is not that serious, a normal vaginal delivery will take place.
Pregnancy is a delicate process. Therefore, it’s best to learn all the basic information first and keep an eye out for the uncommon signs. As always, if you suspect anything out of the ordinary is occurring you should consult your doctor.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: February 6, 2017 | Last Modified: December 6, 2019
Abdominal pain during pregnancy. http://www.babycenter.com/0_abdominal-pain-during-pregnancy_204.bc?page=1. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy. http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/aches-pains/pregnancy-abdominal-pain/. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy: Cause and Treatment. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/abdominal-pain-during-pregnancy/. Accessed August 18, 2016.