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Stomach Cramps During Pregnancy, Understand the Causes and How to Overcome Them

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Stomach Cramps During Pregnancy, Understand the Causes and How to Overcome Them

Stomach cramps are common during pregnancy. There are multiple reasons why someone might experience this issue, but it can often be resolved with a simple solution.

Even so, pregnant women should not take stomach cramps as trivial because they can be a sign of complications during pregnancy.

Every pregnant woman will experience various changes as the gestational age increases. Pregnant women may experience multiple symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia, and reduced sex drive.

Well, one of the common complaints during pregnancy is stomach cramps. These complaints usually occur more frequently in the final trimester of pregnancy. Read also 7 easy tips for overcoming morning sickness in early pregnancy.

Causes of Stomach Cramps During Pregnancy

Every pregnant woman needs to know several causes of stomach cramps during pregnancy. The following are the causes:

1. Changes in the size of the uterus

As gestational age increases, the size of the uterus will adjust to the development of the growing fetus.

To support the development of the uterus, the connective tissue or ligaments that connect the pelvic bones and the uterus will stretch so that the uterus feels tight and triggers stomach cramps.

2. Pressure on muscles, joints, and blood vessels

A larger stomach will put more pressure on the muscles, joints, and blood vessels. This condition will make pregnant women easily get tired and experience excessive pain in the stomach when sitting or standing for too long.

3. Changes in the position of the uterus

As the fetus grows, the position of the uterus tends to tilt to the right or left. This condition can cause the ligaments that support the sides of the uterus to become tight or experience contractions, making it possible for pregnant women to feel cramps in the stomach more often.

4. Excess gas

The increase in the hormone progesterone causes the digestive tract muscles to relax more and be slower when digesting food. The longer food stays in the colon, the more gas is produced.
Sometimes, the gas not only causes discomfort in the stomach but can also spread to the back and chest.

5. After sex

Having sex and orgasm can cause stomach cramps during pregnancy, which are often followed by mild back pain. This happens because the vagina and uterus experience a throbbing sensation during orgasm and leave a feeling of stomach cramps afterward.

Apart from the causes above, stomach cramps during pregnancy can also be caused by other health problems, such as kidney stones, ovarian cysts, appendicitis, or urinary tract infections.

How to Treat Stomach Cramps During Pregnancy

Even though it is normal, stomach cramps during pregnancy can cause discomfort. To alleviate stomach cramps during pregnancy, there are several methods that pregnant women can try.
  • Sit or lie down when stomach cramps appear, and avoid making sudden movements.
  • Consume enough water because stomach cramps can be a sign that pregnant women are dehydrated.
  • Move your body or do light exercise if stomach cramps occur during pregnancy due to excess digestive tract gas. 
  • Avoid consuming foods and drinks that produce excess gas, such as nuts, cabbage, and fizzy drinks.
  • Try taking a warm shower if stomach cramps during pregnancy occur after sex.
  • Use a pregnancy belt to support your stomach to prevent vaginal cramps. However, make sure you do not use it too strictly.
Stomach cramps during pregnancy, especially in the final trimester of pregnancy, can be caused by false contractions.

If this happens, lie down to relieve the pain. If the pain is felt on the left side, lie to the right or vice versa.

Symptoms of stomach cramps that need to be watched out for

Even though it usually does not indicate a dangerous condition, it does not mean that stomach cramps during pregnancy can be considered trivial.

Several symptoms accompany stomach cramps, and pregnant women should be aware of them, such as:
  • Pain when urinating.
  • Stomach cramps that feel very severe and do not go away, 
  • Spots or blood coming out of the vagina, 
  • Vomiting,
  • Fever and chills.
Stomach cramps accompanied by these signs are an emergency condition and require immediate examination and treatment from a doctor. 

Therefore, even though stomach cramps during pregnancy are common, do not take this symptom lightly.

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