What Causes Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy? How To Treat It?

During pregnancy many women experience lower abdominal pain. Most of the time this pain lasts for short time and it subsides on rest. This pain is harmless but if the pain is severe and persists even after taking rest or if pain is associated with fever, nausea, vomiting or vaginal discharge or bleeding, one must consult the doctor immediately.

  • During the time when embryo embeds itself in the uterine lining many women feel period like pain for a day or two during early days of pregnancy.
  • The muscles and ligaments that support uterus are stretched during second trimester.
    This may cause some lower abdominal pain, which is felt while getting up from chair or while coughing.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions or false labor pains are felt during second and third trimester. False labor pain are short contractions which disappear on walking, they are irregular and do not get stronger with passing time.
  • In last weeks of pregnancy abdominal cramps may indicate that labor has started. These are felt like strong cramps which come every five to ten minutes and become more strong and painful over the period of time.
  • Abdominal pain can be due to gas, indigestion, constipation and pressure of growing uterus.

Serious Causes Of Abdominal Pain While Pregnant

The more serious causes of the pain in abdomen during pregnancy are:

  • Preterm labor – Patient gets increasingly strong contractions, vaginal discharge, feeling that baby is pushing down, backache. This usually occurs before 37th week of pregnancy.
  • Ectopic pregnancy – This can be diagnosed during the first trimester of pregnancy. In ectopic pregnancy fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus, usually in fallopian tubes. It is very serious and life threatening condition hence requires immediate medical attention.
  • Preeclampsia – If a woman has high blood pressure and proteins in urine after twenty weeks of pregnancy, preeclampsia is diagnosed.
    Here abdominal pain is associated with oedema, puffy face and in severe cases one may have headache, visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting. It is necessary to consult the doctor immediately.
  • Urinary tract infection – Woman is more susceptible to urinary tract infection during pregnancy. Bladder infection is associated with burning, frequent urination, lower abdominal pain. There may be fever and chills. Urine appears cloudy and If bladder infection is not treated it can lead to kidney infection and preterm labor.
  • Miscarriage – Bleeding is followed by abdominal pain. Consult the doctor immediately if there is heavy bleeding.
  • Placental abruption – If separation of placenta occurs before the baby is born, it can lead to uterine tenderness and vaginal bleeding. Uterus may remain contracted and hard. Baby’s activity is reduced. Seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment For Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy

When the pain is mild and short term, take following steps to relieve the pain.

  • Take some rest and Relax for a while.
  • Do not change your position quickly. Bend towards the site of the pain.
  • Take a small walk.
  • Do some light household work.
  • Take warm shower.
  • If pain is persistent or increases in severity or associated with other symptoms mentioned above get yourself examined by doctor immediately.

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