It is common to experience abdominal pain during pregnancy. The cause for the pain could be the same as found in non-pregnant women. The cause could also be specifically pregnancy related.
During pregnancy the body undergoes hormonal and physiological changes which make the pregnant woman even more vulnerable to conditions that may result in abdominal pain. Thus, a complaint of abdominal pain from a pregnant woman should be tackled with all seriousness right away and the probable reason for the pain should be determined in a proper way.
What are the causes for abdominal pain during pregnancy?
One of causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy is miscarriage. This pain is like cramping pain during menstruation. There is also bleeding from the vagina along with pain. If the pain and bleeding subside with rest then there is no threat to pregnancy. Heavy bleeding with some foetal parts would indicate loss of pregnancy.
Urinary Tract Infection:
Abdominal Pain caused by this infection is near the bikini line or at the side of the abdomen. Other associated symptoms are: passing urine frequently, burning sensation during passing urine, general ill health, increased body temperature, etc. Simple urinary tract infection tests can be used to determine this infection causing the abdominal pain. Antibiotics which are safe for use during pregnancy should be given.
This is a very common cause of abdominal pain on the right side during pregnancy and it due to irregular bowel movements. Hormonal changes, increase in size of uterus, medications taken during pregnancy are some the causes for constipation. Eating foods which are rich in fiber like vegetable, fresh fruits, nuts, figs, prunes, bread and cereals should help in relieving constipation and hence the pain.
Severe stress, increased acidity, intake of alcohol or spicy food, infection and certain medications may cause gastritis whereby there is swelling of the lining of the stomach. Apart from abdominal pain there is a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, feeling of illness, bloating and belching. For treating gastritis the following medications have been found to be safe for use during pregnancy: Gaviscon advance chewable tablets, Omeprazole (Prilosec), Ranitidine (Zantac) to be taken as prescribed by your health care professional.
This is the most frequent non-pregnancy reason for abdominal pain during pregnancy. During appendicitis there is pain on the right side of the abdomen. There is less pain in the initial stages but it increases within 2-3 days. Nausea, loss of appetite and vomiting are other associated symptoms.
Braxton Hicks contractions:
These contractions occur throughout pregnancy. In some women they can be felt even in the 12th week of pregnancy but they become more pronounced and noticeable from the 30th week of pregnancy. This happens due to the increase in size of the uterus. The pain is more intense in women who are in their 2nd or 3rd pregnancy. The contractions cause extreme pain leading to immense discomfort and tears. At times, these contractions have also disturbed the sleep of the expectant mothers. Doing too much work, tiredness and dehydration could lead to these contractions.
How to overcome the Braxton Hicks contractions:
A refreshing cold drink or if you prefer something warm, then probably tea should do the trick.
If the contractions start when you are at rest then a walk is in order. If the contractions begin when you are doing some work then you need to rest for the contractions to stop.
A bath or a shower may also help
Severe discomfort may be relieved by paracetamol tablets.
In case there is still no relief, then urgent medical aid should be sought.