What are the causes of cramping in pregnancy?

Colic in pregnancy can have very different causes. Therefore, it is very important Pay attention to the intensity of pain and other possible symptoms that we have. However, the doctor will be the one who will perform the appropriate tests and diagnosis.

In this article we review what are the causes of colic in pregnancy, both the most common and the most serious. The latter can indicate from an extrauterine pregnancy to a premature birth.

The causes of colic in pregnancy

1. Embryo implantation

To begin with, one of the early signs of pregnancy is colic that can be caused by the implantation of the embryo in the uterus. This type of pain They usually last from one to two days and are similar to those of menstruation.

These cramps appear even before the expected date in which we have to reach the period in the lower part of the belly. However, can be repeated as the baby grows by the pressure exerted on the uterus.

2. Gases and constipation: colic in pregnancy

The physiological changes that occur during pregnancy will affect the digestive rhythm, which can cause cramping and abdominal pain.

During pregnancy many physiological changes occur, including a much slower digestion. This causes greater swelling and accumulation of gases, which can affect a type of colic that does not show seriousness.

Further, As the uterus increases in size during pregnancy, the intestines move upwards. This makes the intestinal transit slower and can also cause pain.

3. Contractions of Braxton Hicks

The contractions of Braxton Hicks They are frequent in many pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters. They are sporadic and are not indicative of an impending birth, but rather a preparation of the body for when the time comes.

This type of contractions are uncomfortable but not painful, although they may intensify as the date of delivery approaches. We can recognize them because they are irregular and do not increase in frequency, but rather they decrease.

Read also: 4 differences between false contractions and delivery

4. Muscle and ligament pain

The presence of an embryo in the abdomen produces a stretching of ligaments and muscles.

As we have said in the first point, colic in pregnancy between weeks 16 and 20 may be due to the pressure of the baby on muscles and ligaments. In particular, we refer to the Cramps of the round ligament, which is responsible for supporting the uterus.

More than 70% of pregnant women feel this type of sharp, throbbing pain in the lower abdomen. However, in most cases it is usually a mild discomfort that lasts a few seconds or minutes without risk to the baby.

5. Sexual relations

Sexual relationships are safe in most cases. However, in some cases, The doctor may recommend abstaining, for example, for a high-risk pregnancy.

However, we should know that there may also be some colic-type discomfort after having intimate relationships. In general, they are mild and do not present risks, but if they do not disappear, we should consult with the doctor.

Read also: How to prevent preeclampsia in pregnancy?

Colic in risk pregnancy

There are more serious cases, whose pains may indicate an underlying cause that requires immediate medical attention.

In addition to these causes, which in most cases are not serious, there are others that do present risks:

  • Extrauterine or ectopic pregnancy: The ovum is implanted outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.
  • Spontaneous abortion: Some cases of severe colic accompanied by bleeding may indicate that there has been a miscarriage, but this is not always the case. In this case, the placenta separates from the uterus and can become very serious.
  • Preeclampsia: This type of colic in pregnancy is usually located in the upper abdomen. In addition, the pregnant woman suffers from high blood pressure and proteins appear in the urine.
  • Urine infection: One of the ways to detect it is because there is also pain when urinating.
  • Placental detachment: The type of colic that indicates placental abruption is intense and does not go away.
  • Premature delivery: It is considered premature birth when it occurs before 37 weeks and involves a dilation of the cervix.

Now you know the most common causes of colic in pregnancy, as well as those that carry a higher risk. Do not hesitate to go to the doctor for any symptoms, especially if it does not go away and is accompanied by other discomforts.