During the first trimester of pregnancy, the woman’s body is changing so much to accommodate the growing baby. Cramping is an unavoidable experience of early pregnancy. Uterine expansion is one of the most important changes that occur in the woman’s body. This is a reason why a pregnant woman may experience cramping during early pregnancy. Another reason is the high progesterone level in the body to facilitate implantation. Implantation happens after fertilization, when the egg implants in the uterus.
A woman may consider the cramping as something similar to menstrual cramps, especially if she still does not know that she is pregnant. However, a pregnant woman may do several methods to relieve the pain brought about by cramping. Here are ways on how to treat cramping in early pregnancy.
- Apply warm compress. Application of heat works wonders in cramping. Heat relaxes the muscles and thus relieves pain. Apply a heating pad in your lower abdomen. Be sure it’s not too hot. Apply heat for not more than 15-20 minutes because applying it for more than that may lead to increased pain rather than decreasing it.
- Have a warm bath. The heat would also relax the surrounding muscles and ligaments near your uterus. This would relieve some of the weight off your ligaments. The round ligaments are the ones supporting your uterus as it expands. These ligaments expand as well to be able to give the needed support to a growing uterus. This expansion causes cramping or a dull ache in the lower abdomen.
- Drink plenty of water. Increasing your fluid intake may help relieve the cramping. This may relieve the pain caused by an increase in HCG levels.
- Take acetaminophen as pain reliever. Be careful when taking any medications during pregnancy. Take them only when necessary. Before taking any pain relievers, it is best to consult your doctor first because some pain relievers such as ibuprofen or other NSAIDs may cause miscarriage.
- Abstain from sex. Sex may increase the amount of cramping. It does not have a direct relation in producing cramping itself. However, sex may cause spotting, and spotting, together with cramping, may be perceived by others as miscarriage.
- Have a healthy lifestyle. Remember that you are not only responsible for your health but also your baby’s. Be sure to eat balanced meals and drink plenty of water. Take time to rest, and get plenty of it. Increase your fiber and fluid intake when you feel that you are getting constipated. This may happen because the changing levels of hormones in your body may cause your digestion to slow.
Cramps experienced during pregnancy should be mild and tolerable. If it becomes unbearable and has accompanying symptoms like fever, bleeding and other unusual symptoms, make sure to consult your doctor immediately. Abdominal cramps may be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. These are conditions that need immediate attention. If your abdominal cramps persist for several weeks, consult your doctor immediately.