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Abdominal pain during pregnancy – Part 1

A pregnant woman might experience pain in the lower or upper or middle part of the belly many times. There are many reasons associated with this pain. The pain can be on one or both sides of the belly.

Primary (many) reasons for a pain in the abdomen/lower belly:

• Pulled or stretched ligament
• Braxton Hicks contractions
• Miscarriage
• Ectopic pregnancy
• Preterm labor
• Placental abruption
• Preeclampsia
• HELLP Syndrome
• Urinary tract infections
• Fibroids
• Pancreatitis
• Kidney Infection
• Gallstones
• Appendicitis
• Stretching of Ribs

The reason associated need proper care and inspection by the doctor so that any risk of complication to the pregnancy is warded off. A fibroid may break down or bleed, placenta might separate from the uterus lining, a premature labor, etc are all conditions that are serious and to be taken care immediately.
It is ok if there is a harmless abdominal pain which may be harmless to pregnancy as such. It may not be serious when the pain is not persistent. When a pregnant woman has pain in the middle or upper belly, it might be associated with stomach problems. This may or may not be accompanied with nausea and vomiting.
The causes of this sharp pain may be due to:
• Severe indigestion
• Stomach virus
• Food poisoning
• Heartburn
• Gas
• Bloating
• Constipation
• Loose motions

If a pregnant woman is in her second half of pregnancy, pain in the middle may also be due to a condition called preeclampsia.

Abdominal pain symptoms to be taken care of:

• Cramping along with spotting
• Bleeding
• Fever
• Chills
• Vaginal discharge
• Faintness
• Discomfort while urinating
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Pain not subsiding even after taking rest

Abdominal pain in pregnancy can be due to different conditions that arise in pregnancy. They are as follows:
• Round ligament pain: This is a brief but sharp and a stabbing pain which is followed by a dull ache which you may feel on both or one side of the lower abdomen. This is a long lasting pain deep in the groin area. It arises somewhere in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. The pain begins when uterus supporting ligaments stretch in the pelvis region and bulge in order to accommodate and support the developed size. The jabbing feeling occurs when you alter the position suddenly. For example when getting out of the bed or chair, roll over or sit and stand or cough, the position alters suddenly leading to this sharp ligament pain. This might happen even when you have been standing long or walking long or doing a physical activity for long. If the pain remains persistent then it is best to take rest. If it doesn’t subside even then, consulting your doctor is essential.
• Braxton Hicks contractions: In or after mid pregnancy, a pregnant woman may experience tightening of muscles of uterus often. These contractions are generally irregular and painless prior to 37 pregnancy weeks. It is best to consult the doctor if these contractions come along with pain in the lower back. It is especially essential if the pain or contractions come every hour say 5 in one hour continuously. If there is any discharge or bleeding from vagina then it may be leading to a preterm labor.
• Miscarriage: This is a loss of pregnancy in the initial 20 pregnancy weeks. This is associated with vaginal spotting and bleeding. Abdominal pain follows. The bleeding from vagina is generally heavy to light. It may be persistent and cramps will come and go along with sharp pain. There will be some pelvic pressure. It is best to call the doctor for further examination.

Read more about Abdominal Pain during Pregnancy – Part 2 (link)

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