Your body undergoes a series of changes during pregnancy to accommodate the growing fetus in your womb. Therefore, experiencing abdominal pain during the term is quite normal. If your vital parameters remain normal and you maintain a healthy pregnancy, chances of abnormal abdominal pain creating risky conditions are quite low. This again depends on the intensity and duration of the pain. However, abdominal pain in pregnancy can be quite baffling. Therefore, it is better to be aware of the causes and ways to deal with it. A professional consultation is always recommended to rule out any complication arising from abnormal pain.
The following list will help you in understanding the common causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy and the ways to deal with them. This will help you take timely action without getting panicked.
1. Bloating And Constipation:
During pregnancy, the levels of progesterone and relaxin increase that slow down the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, you may experience bloating followed by mild to moderate abdominal pain. This may be also accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Women with preexisting acidity and digestive problems are likely to experience this pain more.
To reduce this pain, you can apply hot water bag. The pain should recede within an hour or so. Drinking ginger tea may also improve the condition. If the pain lingers, it is better to consult your doctor for medications.
To avoid its recurrence, include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Drink enough water and other liquids to enhance your bowel movement. Indulge in light exercises to improve the functioning of your digestive system.
2. Round Ligament Pain:
You can experience a sharp stabbing pain or moderate lingering pain while changing your posture. This is caused by the stretching of the ligaments of uterus as it expands causing enough discomfort. This is quite harmless.
Rest your body in a comfortable position till the pain subsides. A support with extra pillows may be helpful. Consult your gynecologist and seek some physical exercises to avoid its recurrence.
3. Urinary Tract infection:
Urinary tract infection is quite common during pregnancy causing sudden pain in the lower abdominal region. You will experience frequent urination, burning sensation while urinating and localized itching.
Immediately reach out to your gynecologist for necessary medication. Avoid self-medication. Reduce the intake of sweets as it may aggravate the situation. Increase the intake of water to cleanse your urinary tract.
About 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage or what may be called as spontaneous abortion. You may feel a moderate or sharp abdominal pain gradually spreading to your back. You may also experience mild contractions every 5-20 minutes followed by light or heavy brownish bleeding from the vagina. The chances of miscarriage are very high in the first trimester of pregnancy.
In such a condition, rush to your gynecologist immediately.
5. Placental Abruption:
In this condition, the placenta gets separated from the uterus before the birth of the baby causing a serious condition. You may feel a constant pain in the abdomen. The pain lingers causing hardness in the stomach. Other signs may be constant back pain and premature discharge of the placental fluid.
Placental abruption can be life threatening. You have no other way than to rush to your gynecologist.
6. Ectopic Pregnancy:
Fertilization of the embryo in the fallopian tube instead of uterus causes ectopic pregnancy that cannot culminate in a full term pregnancy. In an unlikely situation, if you have ectopic pregnancy, you may experience intense abdominal pain followed by bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy. The growing fetus usually ruptures the fallopian tube causing a sharp pain. Most of the doctors suggest an ultrasound scan just after confirmation of pregnancy to rule out ectopic pregnancy.
Rush to your doctor in case of above symptoms. If ectopic pregnancy is confirmed, a laparoscopic surgery may be advised.
7. Braxton Hicks Contractions:
This type of pain mimics labor pain but actually is not the real labor pain. You may experience abdominal pain of mild to moderate intensity at certain intervals. This is observed mainly during the later stages of pregnancy when the body gets ready for actual labor. This often confuses women who rush to hospital anticipating real labor pain.
Follow the nature of the pain whether it is persistent or not. Real labor pain is intense causing breathlessness and does not subside. Dehydration often causes such type of contractions. Keep your body hydrated with sufficient intake of liquids. However, it would not be a bad idea to consult your gynecologist to confirm the nature of your abdominal pain.