Cramps During Pregnancy – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

cramps during pregnancy

Cramping is considered as a standard part of pregnancy. It is a process in which the body’s lower abdomen encounters from sharp pain after regular intervals. It can be troublesome if you are not used to such kinds of sudden pain attacks. But getting cramps is entirely harmless during pregnancy, and it occurs due to physical and hormonal changes in the mother’s body. The unborn child responds to the mother in her wound through some biological action like vomiting, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, back pain, cramping, and many more.

In this article, we will have a brief overview of the major causes of cramps in pregnancy and how can it be treated to avoid discomfort for the mother.

In This Article

Is Abdominal Pain And Cramping Normal During Pregnancy?

Abdominal pain and cramps are entirely normal in pregnancy as it signifies the intensity of changes and growth level in the woman’s body. You might experience stress, cravings, discomfort, and cramps, as well. Cramping can be mild, which continues to come and go, whereas if the pain in the abdomen is severe and unbearable, then it is advisable to consult your gynecologist or medical health expert for the same.

Why Does Cramping Occur During Pregnancy?

During the first trimester, the woman can experience cramping in her abdomen. This occurs because of the expanding uterus, and the stretching of the ligaments attached in the pelvic region. Mild cramps are common, and it goes on during the whole pregnancy stage. However, if the pain turns severe, you need to consult your medical doctor to avoid health issues.

Top 5 Common Causes of Cramps Throughout Pregnancy

Causes of Cramps Throughout Pregnancy

Given below are some of the most common causes of Abdominal pain throughout the pregnancy:

1. Urinary Tract Infections

Sudden discomfort in pelvis and back pain can result in urinary tract infections, which are quite harmful during pregnancy. Urinary tract infections during pregnancy often cause cramps, and the mother experiences pain in her abdomen throughout her pregnancy.

2. Physical Exertion

Excessive fitness sessions and advanced exercises can also lead to cramping. Not only this, an increase in the blood pressure on the uterus can cause abdomen pain.

3. Hormones

Progesterone is counted as the primary culprit in bringing about the cramps throughout the time of pregnancy.

[Read : Progesterone During Pregnancy]

4. Digestive Issues

Digestive issues during pregnancy like indigestion, constipation, slow digestion, and bloating can also stretch the abdomen muscles causing pain in the pelvic area.

5. Sexual Intercourse

Sexual intercourse might result in discomfort in the abdomen. Thus, it is advisable not to have sex with your partner for a while to avoid the excretion of orgasms, which can cause cramps.

What Causes Abdominal Pain During Early Pregnancy?

women having miscarriage

Abdominal pains during early pregnancy can make an expecting woman worried as she may take it as an indication of miscarriage. What you have to understand is mild cramps are not a matter to worry as it is more often connected to the normal physical changes during this phase of pregnancy.

Now let’s have a look at some of the interesting reasons which can result in cramping during pregnancy:

1. Miscarriage

Cramps during the first ten days of your pregnancy might result in miscarriage. There can be a bit of spotting or bleeding too.

[Read: Miscarriage Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention]

2. Implantation

Implantation is a primary reason that can lead to cramping during the initial days of pregnancy. It is not unusual during pregnancy and occurs 6 to 12 days after conception. Moreover, you might also experience some bleeding, but it’s natural.

3. Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a severe condition wherein the embryo gets fertilized outside the uterus. This can cause excessive cramping with lightheadedness leading to vaginal bleeding and miscarriage.

4. Placental Abruption

Placental abruption, a condition, which is life-threatening, in which the placenta separates from the uterus. It is indicated by an unbearable cramp that will not go away. This condition demands immediate medical attention.

5. Other Reasons

There will be much simpler and “nothing to worry about reasons” for the cramping during the early stage of pregnancy like Gas formation and Constipation.

What Causes Cramps During The Later Part of Pregnancy?

There are some causes which might result in abdomen pain in the second as well as third trimester of pregnancy, which is mentioned below:

  1. Placental abruption is one of the vital causes of abdominal pain during the later part of the pregnancy. It is usually accompanied by vaginal bleeding and back pain.
  2. Uterine growth and contractions in Braxton Hicks can lead to occasional discomfort in the uterus.
  3. Preeclampsia, along with vomiting, nausea, headaches, and eye problems, can also cause cramping later in pregnancy.
  4. Cramps during the latter part of pregnancy can be a sign of premature labor. In that case, one must look out for other signs of preterm labor like severe pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, dull backache, fluid leak, increased number of contractions (more than 5 per hour), etc.

[Read: How To Identify Braxton-Hicks Contractions?]

Top 20 Tips to Prevent And Treat Cramps During Pregnancy

pregnant women sleeping

Here is a list of top 20 tips that can help you treat abdomen pain and cramps during your pregnancy:

  1. Have a balanced nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  3. Simply lying on a flat area can reduce cramps.
  4. Avoid all kinds of tough, muscular exercises, and fitness training sessions.
  5. Keep a warm compressor on your abdomen as it prevents pain.
  6. Have a proper 8 hours of sleep.
  7. Prenatal yoga helps prevent stretching of ligaments in the uterus.
  8. Try not to do any activity that makes you feel tired and exhausted.
  9. Correct your sitting postures.
  10. Use all kinds of support to avoid back pains during exercising.
  11. Rest on your left side to increase blood pressure and ease the reduction of discomfort.
  12. Easy stretching exercises in the morning and can relieve a lot of pain.
  13. Try not to eat fermented products and junk food items as it might cause constipation, bloating, or gas in your stomach.
  14. Prenatal vitamins are essential for reducing the deficiency of nutrients and minerals.
  15. A bubble bath with warm water can relieve stress as well as cramps.
  16. Prenatal massages are helpful.
  17. Keep your spine straight.
  18. Keeping a soft pillow in between the legs will help to alleviate the leg pain and cramps during the later stages of pregnancy.
  19. Try not to stand for too long.
  20. Stand straight on the cold area.

All the tips mentioned above will help to reduce the pain and discomfort of pregnancy cramping. So, take care of your health that will undoubtedly lead to recovering fast and eliminating any risks that may get high!

Read Also: Leg Cramps During Pregnancy


1. Where do Cramps Hurt When Pregnant?

You may feel the pregnancy cramps in the lower abdomen or lower back area. Their severity ranges from mild to moderate.

2. How Long Does Cramping in Early Pregnancy Last?

Cramps usually occur during initial few days to few weeks and may continue till the end of first trimester for some women. 

3. Is Daily Cramping Normal in Early Pregnancy?

Yes. Cramps ranging from mild to moderate intensity are normal in early pregnancy even if you get them everyday.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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