Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy – Causes and Treatments

When you start to enter into the second trimester of your pregnancy, you might start to experience some of the abdominal pains. There is no reason to panic usually but if you have some of the conditions under observation, then you might have something to worry about. Either way, it pays to play safe when it comes to the life of you and your baby. So, have a check on what is alarming and what isn’t and if you are not convinced with it, you always have your doctor to turn to. While there are several causes for abdominal pain during pregnancy, there are some which are a reason to worry and some which are not quite so much.

abdominal pain during pregnancy

What causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy do I need to be concerned about?

Ectopic Pregnancy:

Facts point out that 1 out of 50 women face the risk of an Ectopic Pregnancy which is the concept of the implantation of the egg someplace else other than the uterus. If you do however become a victim to this, you will be experiencing intense pain and may have some bleeding within the range of 6 to 10 weeks of your pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies cannot be taken forward and you will need immediate treatment. To be on a safer side check if your implantation has taken place in the uterus through an ultrasound scan.

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If women experience severe abdominal pain in pregnancy sometime during the first trimester, it cannot be good. Also, since almost 15% of pregnancies end in the form of miscarriages, you need to look out for bleeding and cramps just like the time of menstruation.

Placental Abruption:

In about 1 in 200 cases of pregnancy, the placenta might lead to separation from the uterine wall. That is a very serious complication to consider since the placenta is the source of oxygen and nutrients for the baby which leads to the hampering of growth on your baby. They are generally occurring in the third trimester and in the form of progressive lower abdominal pain during pregnancy. If you have had a history of placental abruption or if you are someone who might have high blood pressure or had any sort of abdominal trauma, then you are most likely prone to placental abruption.

Urinary Tract Infection:

Increasing the risk of preterm labor is the harsh role that Urinary tract infection plays in pregnancy. Some women generally complain of sudden urge to urinate, burning sensation while urinating and bloody urination as well. Most women with urinary tract infection also experience abdominal pain during pregnancy. Having your urine checked by your doctor frequently on the lookout for bacteria will be able to help in catching it early and the early stages allow to diminish the condition by the use of antibiotics alone.

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Upper abdominal pain during pregnancy can indicate the presence of stones in the gall bladder which is only common if you are older than the age of 35 and are overweight. The pain through this may however spread through your back and shoulders as well. So, keep your eyes open for all kinds of symptoms to make sure that you and your baby stay healthy.


Usually the pain should be concentrated as lower abdominal pain during pregnancy, but the whole fact of pregnancy shifts it to a little higher level. The enlargement of the uterus leads to the appendix getting pulled up almost to the belly button making it difficult to diagnose. It is also one of the many reasons women are prone to risk of dying i.e. the late diagnosing of it. You may tend to notice nausea, vomiting and a lack of appetite along with the upper abdominal pain during pregnancy.

What are the Causes that are Harmless to me?

Well, ranging from constipation to ligament pain there are lot of reasons which cause abdominal pain during pregnancy. While your growing uterus is displacing your bowel and you are more prone to constipation and gas all through your pregnancy, factors such as round ligament pain and Braxton Hicks contractions also contribute to the pain. While round ligament pain is also related to the uterus, it generally resolves itself. Braxton Hicks contractions are more like practice contractions. However, if you are not able to differentiate the Braxton Hicks from the labor contractions, do give your doctor a call.

When Should I Start to Panic?

Well, if by panic you mean you want to go meet your doctor then you need to be on the lookout for the following:

  • If you are experiencing abdominal pain during pregnancy well before 12 weeks.
  • If you are bleeding or having strong cramps
  • If you have had more than four contractions within an hour.
  • If you are having severe abdominal pain.
  • If you are having severe headache.
  • If you are having visual disturbances.
  • If your hands, legs or face is swelling up.
  • If you are experiencing pain while urinating or blood in your urine.
  • If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned points, it is time to call your doctor right away and pay them a visit. Do not delay even if you have a hint of any of these signs.

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How do I Treat This Abdominal Pain?

Well, to be precise your doctor needs to first figure out the actual cause for your pain. Although, if you have the abdominal pain due to the common and casual reason, you can try the following to ease the pain or even treat it yourself:

  • Do not have sudden movements.
  • Drink more fluids.
  • You need to eat small and frequent meals.
  • Rest as often as you can.

Now you may be in a position to have a say in it. But when you do visit your doctor, which you should, do ask him any doubts which you have in mind. You can figure out if your pain is a serious sign or anything that may lead to a complication or even ask if you can ease the pains once he figures out what caused these pains.