Lower Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
Abdominal pain associated with pregnancy can start before conception is even confirmed. During ovulation, when the egg leaves the ovary and begins its trek through the fallopian tubes, some women experience lower abdominal pain, especially on the side of the ovary that released the egg. The pain can be as small as a twinge or so sharp it causes the woman to double over, lasting from minutes to hours, and sometimes even to days. Generally, the pain subsides within 24 hours and does not require specific treatment. The best way to treat this kind of pain is to just rest and drink plenty of water. It is also good to check for fever, an indicator that an infection may be present. Over-the-counter pain relievers are a reasonable source of relief for women who endure severe pain during ovulation.
And Now It Begins
Symptoms of lower abdominal pain and lower pelvic pain are not uncommon in pregnancy, and most often they are related to the normal physical changes associated with the process. When the embryo implants in the uterus there is often cramping and lower pelvic pain. If the embryo implants on the right side of the uterus, then there is lower right abdominal pain. The pain will be felt on the left side if that is where implantation takes place. Lower back pain and cramping along with some vaginal bleeding are common discomforts that accompany implantation. As with most lower abdominal pains during pregnancy, the best tactic for relief is to sit down with the feet up and rest for a while. The pain often leaves faster that way.
Gas Or Appendicitis?
Lower right abdominal pain can also be an indication of appendicitis in pregnancy. Appendicitis has been shown to be the most common type of lower abdominal pain in pregnancy that is not actually associated with being pregnant. Yet, the diagnosis for this common occurrence is often slow because abdominal pain is a common symptom of pregnancy. Should the pain persist and worsen over a day or two, become aggravated through movement, and is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, immediate attention is required.
Other symptoms of lower back pain that are quite harmless but uncomfortable nevertheless, may come from gas and bloating. Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause digestion to slow down and as a result, food sits in the gut longer. The pressure of the growing uterus on the stomach and intestines can easily create lower abdominal, back, and even pelvic pain. Associated with the same hormonal changes is constipation, another uncomfortable and sometimes painful situation pregnant women experience frequently. Often, walking around or doing some light housework alleviates the pain associated with gas, bloating, and constipation. Gas pains can sometimes be relieved by just changing position as well.
My Stomach Is Where?
Occasionally the pain in the abdomen is caused by a condition called hiatus hernia, which happens when the stomach passes through an abnormal opening in the muscles and moves from the abdomen into the chest. The stomach is caught in the hole or tear and may be twisted or strangulated. This causes pain similar to heart burn or gastritis. It requires proper examination to determine whether the abdominal pain is due to the presence of a hiatus hernia and to determine the course of treatment for the condition.
As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby, lower pelvic pain may become an issue. Hormones are released during pregnancy to help the woman's body during the process. One such hormone is relaxin, which helps the ligaments and joints to soften and stretch in order to allow for growth and delivery. As the ligaments around the uterus stretch, symptoms of lower abdominal pain and lower pelvic pain generally accompany. Braxton-Hicks contractions trigger lower back pain and pelvic pain as well as they prepare the body for labor and delivery. Depending upon the intensity of the pain and cramping, walking can be a good method for dealing with this. A warm bath is another great tool to relax and ease the pain and discomfort of most types of pregnancy abdominal pains.
It's All Part Of The Process
Cramping, abdominal and pelvic pains, and lower back pains, are common to pregnancy and can generally be relieved with rest, elevating the feet, drinking plenty of fluids and warm baths. Walking and light housework are other ways to deal with some of the pains. Severe abdominal pain and cramping could be a sign of something more serious and medical assistance should be sought if such conditions exist.