How Can I Tell The Difference Between Normal Pain And Worrisome Pain
During pregnancy, you become extraordinarily aware of every twinge, cramp, and kick you may feel. Pregnancy may bring hip and joint issues, abdominal pain and cramping, aching in your lower back, and leg pain. Many of these aches and pains are perfectly normal. However, it’s so hard to know which pain is normal and which is something to worry about.
Which Pregnancy Pains Should I Worry About
In some ways, the first trimester of pregnancy is the “riskiest.” Although it is true that the loss of a pregnancy is most likely during the first three months, I’m here to reassure you that most of the aches and pains you experience are natural and normal.
Before I proceed, however, I want to make it clear that miscarriage is a risk of early pregnancy, and so you should contact your doctor if you are concerned about pains that you feel. Any pain which is sharp or accompanied by bleeding should prompt a call to your doctor and possibly a visit to be examined.
When Is Abdominal Pain A Worry In The First Trimester
- pain in your lower abdomen, which may come on gradually or suddenly and be just on one side.
- vaginal bleeding or spotting thats different to your normal period. It may be lighter, and brighter, or darker red than usual, or watery.
- an upset tummy, such as diarrhoea or pain when you poo.
- A sharp, sudden intense pain in your tummy .
- Feeling like youre going to collapse . You may feel sick, dizzy or faint and look pale .
- Shoulder-tip pain that is constant even when you move around and may be worse when you lie down . This can be a sign of internal bleeding.
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Ovarian Cysts In Pregnancy Causing Left Side Abdominal Pain
A cyst on your left ovary may cause left side lower abdominal pain during pregnancy.
According to a study in France, ovarian cysts can form during pregnancy and cause pain. Usually, doctors will only remove ovarian cysts if they will obstruct labor and cause complications.15
Other signs of ovarian cysts during pregnancy include pain during bowel movements, pain during intercourse, or breast tenderness.
Heartburn And Left Side Pain During Pregnancy
During your second and third trimester, you might find that heartburn causes pain in your right or left abdomen and chest area.
According to Dr. Nivin Todd on WebMD, more than half of all pregnant women suffer from heartburn in the later stages of pregnancy. This can cause a burning sensation in the chest and pain in the upper abdomen. Dr. Todd says that many women suffer from heartburn pain because of pregnancy hormones that affect the digestive tract.9
To get rid of the abdominal pain heartburn causes, you should eat several small meals a day. Also, avoiding spicy and acidic foods can reduce the irritation in your esophagus and digestive tract. Your obstetrician can advise on the best way to relieve your heartburn symptoms during pregnancy.
Many pregnant women have found relief from heartburn by taking baking soda as an antacid. However, if you are on a sodium-restricted diet, you should avoid taking excess sodium.
Treatments For Left Side Pain During Pregnancy
Treatment for your left side pain will depend on the cause. It may include a combination of home treatments, medication, or therapy.
Normal changes of pregnancy
For left side pain that is related to normal pregnancy changes, the following may be helpful:
- Dont do any heavy lifting
- Try sleeping with a pillow between your knees
- Move more slowly but more often
- Use a heating pad, but never for more than 10 minutes at a time
- Rest more often
- Use a maternity belt for extra support
Round ligament pain
If your left side pain is caused by round ligament pain, try some of these options:
- Get extra rest
- Move and change positions slowly
- If you know you need to cough or sneeze, bend and flex your hips
- For persistent pain, your doctor may recommend stretching exercises
Pelvic girdle pain
Pelvic girdle pain can range from mild to severe. You can try the following options for relief:
- Avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting
- Try a heating pad or ice pack on painful areas, but dont use a heating pad for more than 10 minutes at a time
- Wear a pelvic support belt
- Do kegel exercises
- Sleep with a pillow between your legs
- Talk to your doctor about pain relievers if the pain is severe
- Talk to your doctor about physical therapy if home measures arent helping
Urinary tract infection or kidney infection
Cramps: Not Just A Monthly Thing
You know what period cramps feel like? During pregnancy, you may also feel cramping as your uterus stretches to make room for the fetus.
Stretching pains may include spasms or mild discomfort in your uterine or lower abdominal area. Most cramps go away with time and are not a sign of a larger problem.
To ease your cramps, try:
- taking a warm shower or bath
- drinking plenty of water and other fluids
- lying on your back and shifting your knees toward your chest to take pressure off your uterus
Try not to worry light cramping is actually a sign your pregnancy is going well.
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Avascular Necrosis Of The Femoral Head
Biological changes in pregnancy resulting in high levels of natural steroids, including adrenocorticoid, estrogen, and progesterone hormones, combined with weight gain, may cause increased joint pressure and muscle strain in the hip. These changes may result in a condition called avascular necrosis of the upper part of the femoral bone . The condition causes destruction of bone tissue in the femoral head due to lack of blood supply.2
The symptoms of avascular necrosis of the femoral head start around the third trimester and include2:
- Pain that is felt deep in the groin
- Radiating and referred pain to the lower back, thigh, and/or knee
The symptoms are exacerbated on bearing weight, such as while standing and/or walking.
Lower Back Pain In Pregnancy
Mechanical instability in the lumbar spine and pelvis commonly results in lower back pain in pregnant women.
- The lumbar spine undergoes compensatory lordosisan increase in the reverse C-shaped curvaturewhich causes excess strain on the lumbar joints, muscles, ligaments, and discs.
- The psoas muscle in the hip, which stabilizes the spine and helps in hip and leg movements, is shortened due to the compensatory lordosis, exacerbating the lower back pain symptoms.2
Lower back pain symptoms may start at any time during pregnancy. These symptoms may feel like:
- A dull ache or sharp, burning pain in the lower back area
- One-sided pain in the right or left area of the lower and/or mid-back
- Pain that radiates into the back of the thigh and leg, and sometimes into the foot
- Foot drop, a condition characterized by the inability to lift the front part of the foot while walking
Sciatica symptoms typically occur if a lower lumbar and/or upper sacral nerve root is impinged in the lower spine due to a lumbar herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, facet joint disorder, or muscle sprain and spasm.
Women with a history of back pain, pre-existing lower back disorders, multiple pregnancies, and/or those who are in the younger or older age-groups may be at a higher risk of developing lower back pain in pregnancy.2
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Dont Let Cramps And Back Pain Ruin Your Pregnancy Experience
We understand that cramping and lower back pain in early pregnancy can be confusing, painful, and stressful. Despite this, however, it is important not to let those symptoms ruin the incredible experience youre in the middle of.
While its easy to get overwhelmed by whats happening with your body, the end result is really something to marvel at.
If youve experienced cramping and lower back pain during pregnancy, what types of pregnancy back pain relief did you use?
Are Cramps Normal During Early Pregnancy
Stomach cramps during early pregnancy are relatively common. If you get a few stomach cramps during the first trimester of pregnancy, its probably not a cause for alarm. These cramps are typically part of the normal physical changes in the body that occur in preparation for the baby.
Very early in your pregnancy, you may get cramps as well as light bleeding when the embryo is implanted into the wall of the uterus. This process can sometimes lead to implantation cramps and bleeding. As the pregnancy progresses, you may also feel cramping as your uterus changes and stretches to accommodate the baby.
In the following sections, we will talk about the causes of pregnancy cramps and when to call your health care provider.
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Ovary Pain Early Pregnancy : Causes Signs Treatment
Question: What causes Dull or sharp ovary pain early pregnancy on the right or left side of the abdomen?
During pregnancy, women experience changes to their pre-pregnancy body. Symptoms of pregnancy food cravings, weight gain, fatigue, breast pain are difficult to deal with And can make new-moms feel stressed out emotionally and physically.
Having an additional sharp or dull pain on one side of your belly could be even more troubling.
Some women quickly think of miscarriage each time they experience a dull or sharp pain on the right, left or lower part of their tummy.
The truth is women experience belly pain during pregnancy that is often described as dull aching pain or tiny cramps that usually disappear on their own.
You may now find that walking, running, turning, and sexual intercourse will sometimes cause pain in your abdomen and back.
Is it ovarian torsion or ovarian cyst?
If you are pregnant, your baby typically will grow within your womb. On each side of your uterus is the fallopian tubes that are about 10cm long and connect your uterus to your ovaries.
Before conception, your body will release an egg each month during ovulation. The process is controlled by hormones FSH , LH , progesterone and estrogen.
During ovulation, a mature follicle will burst open and causes the release of an egg that ends up being fertilized by the mans sperm.
Are Abdominal Pains During Pregnancy Normal
As your baby develops and your bump gets bigger by the day, your body will begin to adapt to the little one growing inside you. This extra strain can often lead to mild pregnancy pains such as backache and mild abdominal discomfort such as stretching.
If you are concerned, give your midwife or triage a ring to put your mind at rest. And of course, if theres anything on your mind about your pregnancy, dont forget our expert team is on hand 24/7.
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Side Pain In Early Pregnancy
Early pregnancy side pains are very common and usually make their debut when the embryo implants in the uterus. A menstrual-type cramping with a bit of blood loss often occurs during implantation, and depending upon the side the baby implants, the pain will be localized on that particular side.
Ruling out an ectopic pregnancy is important and assuming all is well, then other reasons for early pregnancy side pains can be the position of the uterus or stretching of ligaments. Some uteri are tilted forward, others backward, and some are misshapen. Depending upon the position and state of the uterus, pain may be localized to one side or the other and the woman will experience pain as the uterus grows with the baby.
How Can I Ease Pregnancy Abdominal Pain
- Lie down on the side opposite to the pain .
- Have a warm bath .
- Use a hot water bottle or wheat bag on the painful areas .
- Get in the habit of standing up and sitting down more gradually, avoiding sudden movements . This may help to decrease the spasms.
- Avoid activities that you notice trigger ligament pain .
- Standing for too long or lifting heavy objects can make the pain worse, so avoid these if you can .
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Is Left Or Right Ovary Pain Early Pregnancy Sign
A sharp pain in your abdomen days before your period is likely because of your period coming. When you are expecting your period, your body hormones will cause women to get an unusual kind of symptoms. Back pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea are common symptoms.
On the other hand, a mild ache in your belly with spotting may be an early pregnancy sign. Pain is usually in the lower abdomen and due to implantation.
If you are expecting a baby, its better you confirm after missing your period. A pregnancy test is the only reliable way to know if youre pregnant or not.
Coping With Pregnancy Pains
If you are experiencing sharp or stabbing pain during pregnancy, there are some possible solutions that you can try to alleviate the pain:
- Pregnancy safe stretches
- Experiment with sleeping and sitting positions
- Go on a walk
Again, if the pain becomes too intense or prevents you from doing day-to-day activities, contact your health care provider immediately. Consult with your doctor for more pregnancy-safe pain management ideas.
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Constipation And Trapped Wind
You probably know what constipation and trapped wind feels like. Unfortunately, it can get worse during pregnancy – the culprit is usually hormonal changes that slow down the whole digestive process. To combat wind and constipation, try drinking lots of water, eating fibre-rich foods, or talking to your doctor or midwife about taking something to get things moving again.
You Are Having A Miscarriage
The common fear of expecting mothers, especially women who have had a miscarriage before, is losing their baby very early in pregnancy.
First of all, miscarriage rate during the first two months of pregnancy is very high.
Secondly, you may get cramps from time to time when pregnant. In most cases, its not something you should worry about.
Symptoms of miscarriage in early pregnancy are vaginal bleeding, waist pain, and belly cramps. Cramps may be very severe as your uterus contract to expel the fetus
The common causes of miscarriage are a chromosomal disorder. Other causes are infections, uterus abnormalities, smoking, autoimmune diseases and first-trimester strenuous exercise.
Though symptoms of a miscarriage will vary from woman to woman, a heavy bleeding with visible fetal parts or blood clots is likely because of a miscarriage.
Talk to your doctor.
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What Causes Round Ligament Pain
A womans body makes hormones during pregnancy to make ligaments loose and stretchy. This helps the body adjust to the growing baby. As a baby grows in the womb, it stretches the uterus and the round ligaments. This stretching can cause spasms in the round ligaments, leading to the pain.
Round ligament pain occurs almost exclusively in pregnancy. But rarely, round ligament pain may occur in women who are not pregnant. This could be a sign of endometriosis, when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus.
Vivid Dreams Or Nightmares
“It is completely normal to have extremely vivid, even scary nightmares or dreams because of the pregnancy,” Dr. Domar says. Many pregnant people report an increase in random, lifelike dreams. “Hormones make it hard to differentiate in the middle of the night between reality and nightmares,” Dr. Domar says. “While these dreams seem to heighten in the third trimester, they are normal and typically subside once pregnancy is over.”
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What To Do If You Get Further Abdominal Pain Or Vaginal Bleeding
Most women who have had a scan confirming an early pregnancy with a heart beat do not need a further scan in the early pregnancy unit. It is understandable to be concerned if you get more symptoms, however, in most women there is nothing to worry about.
If you get mild or moderate bleeding wear a pad and monitor the loss over the course of two days. In most cases the bleeding settles. If it increases in its amount during this time or persists as fresh bright red bleeding after two days then contact the early pregnancy unit for advice.
If you have heavy bleeding or bleeding with clots please contact the early pregnancy unit for advice.
If you get mild or moderate abdominal pain take pain relief and have a bath. Usually this helps relieve pain. If this does not help then either contact your GP or the early pregnancy unit if you are already under their care. We do not accept self-referrals.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust contributes to life in the Leeds region, not only by being one of the largest employers with more than 20,000 staff, but by supporting the health and well-being of the community and playing a leading role in research, education and innovation.
Whats The Pelvic Floor And Why Does It Hurt
Your pelvic floor spans the bottom of your pelvis, or the area between your abdomen and legs. Its covered with a layer of muscle and supports the organs in your pelvis, like your bladder and ovaries.
Both men and women have pelvic floors. Womens are wider, since we may need to accommodate an expanding uterus. Early pregnancy pelvic pain can include discomfort in your pelvic floor, bladder, vagina, back, or abdomen.
When done correctly, Kegels are the gold standard for strengthening your pelvic floor and keeping you from dribbling pee down there.
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