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Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy - Causes Behind It!

Dr. Neelima Deshpande 92% (171 ratings)
EMDR, FRCOG (LONDON) (Fellow of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists), MFSRH , Diploma in psychosexual therapy, Medical diploma in clinical Hypnosis, Diploma in Evidence Based Healthcare, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Pune  •  27 years experience
Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy - Causes Behind It!

The problem of abdominal pain is very common in pregnant women. Almost every woman faces this problem at some point during pregnancy. It mostly occurs due to changes in the body for having to accommodate the new baby. While some pains are harmless and go away without much bother, some pains can be a real threat. As an expectant mother, it is important to recognize the symptoms and visit your doctor if you experience persistent discomfort during pregnancy.

Some common causes of abdominal pain:

  1. Round Ligament Pain- This pain is harmless and is commonly witnessed during the sixth to ninth month of pregnancy. This pain occurs due to the stretch of the two large ligaments running from the uterus to groin. This pain is sharp and stabbing. It is often felt while changing sides during sleep.

  2. Constipation and Gas- Gas is a common problem during pregnancy. This is a result of increased production of progesterone. The latter is responsible for slowing down the gastrointestinal tract resulting in the slow movement of food inside the body. Few best ways to refrain from this problem are drinking plenty of water, eating food rich in fiber content and exercising.

  3. Braxton Hicks- Such type of pain feels like contractions but in reality, it is nothing more than mild discomfort. This is a condition where the stomach muscle tightens and gives a hard and firm feeling. Doctors are of the view that Braxton Hicks result from dehydration and hence drinking lots of water is necessary to prevent this kind of pain.

Some serious pain that needs medical attention:

  1. Placental Abruption- It is a condition where the uterus gets detached from the placenta. Common symptoms include abdominal pain and breakage of water. It is a life-threatening condition and needs immediate medical care.

  2. Urinary Tract Infection- UTI is easily treatable. If ignored, it can lead to serious complications. One common symptom is a lower abdomen pain accompanied with fever, sweats, and nausea.

  3. Ectopic Pregnancy- This is a condition in which the egg does fail to get implanted in the uterus. This condition causes intense pain in the abdomen. This pain often surfaces during 6th to 10th week of pregnancy.

  4. Preeclampsia- A Preeclampsia is characterized by the more than normal protein in the urine and abnormal blood pressure. This is experienced from the 20th week of pregnancy. Common symptoms are; pain in the abdomen, nausea and throwing up.

When to visit a Doctor?

If abdominal pain is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, burning sensation while urinating, bleeding from the uterus, vomiting and light-headedness, one should immediately contact a doctor to mitigate the risk of pregnancy complications. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

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