Occasional, short-lived abdominal discomfort is commonly found among the very early pregnancy symptoms; cramping signals hormonal changes and the enlargement of the uterus. It can be associated with many normal causes, though it can also be a sign of something more serious.
Harmless abdominal pain is one of the very early pregnancy symptoms. Cramping can be caused by gas and bloating, constipation, and Braxton-Hicks contractions. If the pain doesnt subside, and/or it is accompanied by spotting, bleeding, fever, chills, vaginal discharge, faintness, discomfort while urinating, or nausea and vomiting, it may indicate a problem.
Abnormal abdominal pain could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants anywhere outside the uterus. A woman will usually feel the symptoms of this condition around six or seven weeks after the fertilization, though they could present earlier, along with other very early pregnancy symptoms.
Cramping or pelvic pain or tenderness, vaginal spotting or bleeding, pain that gets worse during physical activity or while moving the bowels or coughing, or pain in the tip of the shoulder are all symptoms of ectopic pregnancies. If left untreated, ectopic pregnancies could be fatal. Abdominal pain can also be caused by a miscarriage, or the loss of pregnancy within the first 20 weeks.
Usually vaginal spotting or bleeding appears first, which can be light or heavy, and may be confused initially with one of the more common very early pregnancy symptoms; cramping then follows, which could be sporadic or persistent; furthermore, the pain could be mild or sharp and may actually feel more like low back pain
or pelvic pressure.
Preterm labor, or contractions that dilate your cervix before 37 weeks of pregnancy, can also cause abnormal abdominal pain. Symptoms include an increase or change in vaginal discharge, vaginal spotting or bleeding, abdominal pain, cramping, or more than four contractions in one hour, an increase in pelvic pressure, low back pain
A serious condition which can cause cramping is placental abruption, when the placenta separates from the uterus, partially or completely, before a baby is born. Symptoms of this condition include sudden bleeding (though bleeding may be absent or light), uterine tenderness, back pain
, prolonged uterine contraction, and decrease in activity of the baby.
Preeclampsia is another disorder which can lead to abdominal pain; in this condition, blood vessel changes occur and this can affect many organs such as the liver, kidneys, brain, and the placenta. Though one of the important signs of the condition manifests itself among the very early pregnancy symptoms cramping – high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy are the definitive diagnostic symptoms of the disorder.
A women suffering from preeclampsia may show swelling in the face or puffiness around the eyes, swelling in the hands, and excessive and sudden swelling of the feet and ankles. When the condition is severe, intense pain or tenderness in the upper abdomen, a severe headache, visual disturbances, and nausea and vomiting could be felt.
About Author: Azzam Sheikh Facilitator ‘Strengthening families, strengthening communities’ parent programme. pregnancy resource center
Article Source: ArticlesAlley.com