What Do Early Pregnancy Cramps Feel Like?

Early Pregnancy: Cramps Feel Like

Cramps in early pregnancy usually feel like a tinge or sharp, prickly pain. Cramping happens when an embryo attaches to a woman’s uterus wall. Cramps in early pregnancy may also feel like an ache or pull around a woman’s lower abdominal area.

Correct information is essential to ease cramping at early and late stages of pregnancy.

That’s why this guide provides vital information about cramps, what they feel like, and how to reduce them. Taking cues from this article will make your early pregnancy more comfortable and hassle-free.

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Are Cramps Normal in Early Pregnancies?

Cramps along the lower abdominal area are common at early stages of pregnancy. Few cramps throughout the first trimester shouldn’t raise any red flags.

Several elements critical to a successful pregnancy might cause cramping multiple times in the first 3 months. But such pains should reduce as a woman’s uterus stretches to house a growing fetus.

Causes of Cramps in Early Pregnancy

Since it’s now clear that cramps are common, what causes cramping during early pregnancy? Multiple factors might be responsible for cramps women feel at early stages of their pregnancy. Some common causes of early pregnancy cramps are:

Uterus Growth

An expectant mom’s uterus must grow during the first 2 trimesters to accommodate a growing fetus. Cramping could be common throughout this period as the mother’s uterus wall stresses to provide more space.

Cramps due to uterus growth might cause sharp pains whenever expectant moms cough, sneeze, stand, or change their position.


Whenever a fertilized eggs burrows into the wall of a woman’s uterus, it might cause mild to severe cramping. Women usually feel the cramps more along their lower abdominal area.

Cramping from implantation is common and might be one of the earliest signs of conception. Implantation-induced cramping can happen between 6 and 12 days after a woman has sex and begins egg fertilization.

Cramps due to implantation might feel severe at the early stages and reduce with time. A pulling or aching sensation might happen a couple of times before subsiding.

Some expectant moms might experience twinges from these cramps for a few minutes. However, other moms-to-be might experience severe pain at different levels for days.

Early Miscarriage

Severe, intermittent cramps might be a sign of miscarriage during early pregnancy, but not every time. Long cramps accompanied with vaginal discharge and bleeding might signify an early miscarriage.

Seek medical attention if cramps experienced during the first trimester become too serious to ignore. Early pregnancy miscarriages might happen early or late in the first trimester after intense cramps in most cases.


Experiencing orgasms while pregnant may cause cramps, especially after climax. Post-orgasm cramps might feel similar to those women experience during their menstrual period.

However, these cramps tend to fade quickly, maybe within a few minutes to an hour. But cramps shouldn’t be a reason to avoid sexually stimulating your body while pregnant.

But if sustained cramps and bleeding happens after an organism, consult a qualified health care provider for assistance.

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Urinary Tract Infections

Pregnant women at risk of urinary tract infections are at risk of increased cramping at the lower abdominal area. Some common symptoms that might accompany the infection include urination, discomfort, blood in urine, fever, or incontinence.

Urgent medical attention is essential to solve cramping caused by urinary tract infections.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg burrows outside a woman’s uterus. Fertilized eggs might attach to the cervix, abdominal cavity or uterine tube instead of the interior uterus wall.

If an ectopic pregnancy happens, a woman might suffer severe cramps around her abdomen with bleeding in some cases. Urgent medical attention is essential for moms-to-be who experience severe cramping at any stage of their pregnancy.

How to Reduce Stomach Cramps during Early Pregnancy

Women can reduce the pain they experience from pregnancy cramps by:

  • Laying down, changing positions, or sitting
  • Taking a warm bath
  • Engaging in light relaxation exercise
  • Drinking more fluids
  • Placing hot water bottle or heat pad at the area where cramps are most severe

If these steps don’t bring much relief, you might consult your doctor for prescription medication effective against cramps.

Medications to Reduce Persistent Cramping in Early Pregnancy

Persistent cramping might make early pregnancies uncomfortable for soon-to-be moms. If the cramps refuse to go away, your doctor might recommend some over-the-counter drugs for pain relief. Several drugs are not ideal for pregnant women, but few options won’t cause any harm.

The most common drugs known to act against cramping without causing harm are:


Self-medicating with Aspirin to cure frequent cramps is dangerous. Aspiring might cause fetal or maternal bleeding at any stage of a pregnancy. However, certain low doses recommended by a doctor might be safe and effective.

Make sure you give your doctor complete information about every event of your early pregnancy. Aspirin is not ideal for women who experience light bleeding or spotting in the first trimester.


Overdosing on acetaminophen might be dangerous to a mother and her fetus. But recommended doses from a doctor could help ease cramping without causing any harm to the pregnancy.

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Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Expectant moms can use different NSAIDs recommended by a qualified health care practitioner during early pregnancy. But these drugs might have a negative effect on pregnancies at their late stages.

Some NSAIDs share a link with a rare, severe fetal problem known as pre-mature ductal closure. If doctors aren’t sure about expectant moms resistance to this condition, they could recommend other drugs.


Many women pregnant for the first time may ask “what do early pregnancy cramps feel like?”

Expectant moms will feel cramps differently and some might experience multiple sensations in early pregnancy. Cramping in early pregnancy can mean several things and expectant moms need expert guidance to resolve any lingering pain.

Consulting an experienced midwife, general practitioner, or other medical professional is vital after experiencing cramps. Guidance from such experts could prove vital to ease the cramping while keeping your baby safe.

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Kelly W
Kelly W
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