The hormonal and physiological changes occurring in the body of a woman during pregnancy can make her more prone to disorders that can cause pain in the abdomen. So, pain in the abdomen in a pregnant female has to be dealt with, with the utmost care. The possible cause of the pain has to be detected in a methodical way.
Some of the harmless causes of pain in the abdomen during pregnancy can be stretching of uterine ligaments or strain on the pelvic joints. Mild pain killers like paracetamol can be given safely in these conditions to relieve the pain. However, some conditions may require detailed investigations and even hospitalization. They may require advanced procedures like MRI or laparoscopy. Some of these conditions that can cause pain in the abdomen on the left side during pregnancy, along with their treatment are given below-
This is the commonest cause of pain in the abdomen in the last trimester of pregnancy. The pain starts gradually, pointing towards the lower part of abdomen. The woman can be admitted to the hospital once the labor pains start to ensure the safe delivery of the baby.
Pain in the abdomen during early pregnancy can be due to miscarriage. It presents with cramping pain in the lower part of the abdomen, on the left or right side, along with bleeding from the vagina. Complete bed rest can help in such cases to avoid complete abortion. Also, thorough investigations are required in this case to rule out conditions like ectopic pregnancy.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Pain in the abdomen during pregnancy can be due to UTI when associated with other symptoms like:
A sample of the urine can be tested to diagnose any infection in the urinary tract. It can be treated with antibiotics which are safe in pregnancy, like amoxicillin, cefalexin or erythromycin in the dosages prescribed by the doctor.
A condition, in which the pregnancy occurs outside the uterus, is known as Ectopic Pregnancy. The fetus, in this case, is implanted in the ovary, along the fallopian tube or on the uterine ligaments. This can lead to massive internal bleeding, when the part enclosing the fetus ruptures. It can occur between 6-10 weeks of pregnancy. Though it is a rare complication of pregnancy, it can be a severe life threatening condition. This case has to be treated as an emergency and immediate surgery has to be performed on the patient to repair the rupture and control the bleeding.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
This condition can cause cramping pains in the abdomen during pregnancy on the left or right side. These are often noticed after the forth month of pregnancy and are known to occur as the fetus is presumed to be practicing for labor.
Fibroids are abnormal growth of the uterine muscles, which can hamper the blood supply of the uterus. It presents with severe pain in the abdomen. This can be detected by the abnormally larger size of the abdomen during pregnancy, compared to the completed weeks of gestation. This condition may require surgical intervention in non-pregnant females. But, performing such surgery in a pregnant female is very risky. The decision has to be taken after weighing the pros and cons of the same.
Some other rare conditions that can cause pain in the abdomen on left side during pregnancy are given below: