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Cramping in early pregnancy

Early pregnancy cramping

Stomach cramps in early pregnancy are fairly common. Although early pregnancy pains are usually nothing to worry about, it’s worth mentioning them to your midwife or GP.

Are cramps in early pregnancy normal?

In most cases, mild tummy cramps are a normal part of early pregnancy. They’re usually linked to the normal physical changes your body goes through as it gears up for carrying your baby.

  • Some women get cramps with a little bleeding when the embryo implants itself into the wall of the womb. This happens at roughly the same time your period would normally start.
  • You may also feel some cramping as your womb starts to change shape and grow ready to accommodate your baby.
  • Some women experience cramps when they have an orgasm during sex – this can be a little scary, but there’s no reason to stop having sex unless your doctor tells you to.
  • At around 12 weeks lots of women start to feel sharp pains on one or both sides of their groin when they stand up, stretch or twist. This is just the ligaments that support your womb stretching as it grows.

What do early pregnancy cramps feel like?

Stomach cramps can often feel similar to a variety of other more familiar pains and cramps. You may experience pains that feel like heartburn or period pains in early pregnancy, but in most cases they manifest themselves as a stomach pain or tummy cramp.

How to soothe tummy cramps

You may find it helps with the pain of cramps if you:

  • take the recommended dose of paracetamol
  • try relaxing in a warm bath
  • do some gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming
  • curl up on the sofa with a magazine and a hot water bottle
  • ask someone to give your lower back a gentle rub.

When to call the doctor

Although mild tummy cramps are a very normal part of early pregnancy, it’s a good idea to mention them to your midwife or GP, especially if they get worse. They can check that there aren’t any underlying problems, such as constipation or a urinary tract infection.

If you have spotting or bleeding as well as cramps, it’s important to see your midwife or GP as soon as you can. Like cramping, these are often normal symptoms of early pregnancy, but can also be the early signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Your midwife or GP will be able to examine you and, hopefully, reassure you. They may also refer you for an early scan to make sure that everything is OK.

A mum says...

"I had cramping pain at eight weeks. I called my midwife and she arranged an early scan for me as I felt terrified that something was wrong. The scan concluded that I had a small bleed next to the womb. I was assured that this can be normal and that the bleed would be absorbed in to my body as the pregnancy progressed. Sure enough, at my 10-week scan, the bleed had disappeared and my cramping pains have now gone."

Comments

hi i am new just found out im haveing my 2cd baby but had really bad pains in my left side is this normal im really worried about this
hi im new to this site congratulations to u all on ur pregnancys im 6 weeks and im experiencing really bad cramps above my vagina and i was wondering if anyone knows how to get an early scan as i have 3 children and have had 2 miscarriges and im really scared as this baby is with my new partner can any one help? x thanks
Hi im on baby number 5, having cramps that feel like braxton hicks. Never experienced anything like this before, is it normal. Im 22 weeks and 3 days. Advice please.
Hey all i am now preg with number 4 :) i get the odd side pains am just 6eeeks but otherwise feel fine.......light exercise and healthy eating do the trick also take any vitamins the doctor prescribes.....congratulations and good luck x
Hi, I'm 6+3 weeks pregnant and getting these pains on the left side.. Really worried it only started yesterday! Is this normal? This is my first pregnancy and I have no idea what to expect! Xx
Hi im 14weeks pregnant next thursday, I had my 12week scan about a week ago and everything was fine there was a heart beat and the baby was moving around. I keep getting pains in my side and I keep getting twitching on my sides is that normal?
hello i am 5 weeks pregnant getting belly cramps and the signs i have are coming and going which is worrying me as my last pregnancy was a miscarriage. is there anyone else where one day there signs are really strong and then the day after nothing please ?
Im 5 weeks pregnant and im getting cramps. I have a nearly 4 year old boy and cant remember having these pains with him.... but I think its cause I had a cecerian with my first so its gunna be a bit tender still and stretching.
Hi Everyone! I just found out i'm pregnant. 3w+2 i think! I already have a son but he is 9! Wondering if anyone else has big age gaps between children?
I too suffer from cramping which feels like it has increased over the last week. Feels like period is coming. it doesnt last long but happens enough to worry me. I am 13 weeks and we had our scan this week - all is well but I still can't help freaking out every time I have this. We have suffered 2 MC in the past so we are nervous & excited. Do these cramps seem normal?
I too suffer from cramping which feels like it has increased over the last week. Feels like period is coming. it doesnt last long but happens enough to worry me. I am 13 weeks and we had our scan this week - all is well but I still can't help freaking out every time I have this. We have suffered 2 MC in the past so we are nervous & excited. Do these cramps seem normal?
Hi I'm 6 weeks pregnant and have been having period pain like cramps for the last 2 weeks, I miscarried last year and didn't feel anything (it was a missed miscarriage ) feeling slightly apprehensive as this time I feel so different. Is it normal to cramp for this long? my first midwife appointment is on the 23 rd of August at 8 weeks should I see my GP if the cramping persists? There has been no bleeding.
Hi everyone... I had the biggest shock last week when I found out that I am pregnant (just over 5 wks) I'm 41 and we already have a 19 & 12 year old (thought our baby days were well and truly over!) We are both over the moon but I am pretty scared. Six years ago I suffered a miscarriage, we lived abroad at the time and it was such a horrible experience which I think was exaggerated by the very cold response of the doctor. I've been having cramping on & off for over a week (at first I thought it was because of my period being due) After reading this thread though, I feel a little less anxious and am hoping it's just my body adjusting! Lots of luck to all you ladies & enjoy your pregnancies :)
Hi all congrats to you all, I'm 5 weeks and 6 days had scan done last week to see if the sac york was in the right place cause i had bad pains but today i went for a wee and wiped myself they found red blood but not much then wiped again pink but i had miscarriage in 2009 but do people have this through there pregnancy pink?
im 12 weeks 1day pregnant with my first baby, slight cramping and still had no scan letter in the post. i see my midwife 2 weeks ago and move town in 2 weeks and really want the scan before i move so i know baby is ok. any ideas??
Hi, I was 42 days since start of LMP on Saturday when I had what I can only describe as some slight spotting, a little more followed the next day and now nothing. I have been getting some cramping pains bud had -ve preg test. Has anyone else had similar situation and what was the outcome?
I'v just found out im pregnant 4weeks 5 days and im stressng myself out, i had a miscarriage in october but e didnt find out until 12 weeks scan as it was a missed miscarriage, then had constant problem till January as they had not removed all the placenta so i ended uprushed in to A&E early one morning with an infection. Now instead of enjoing the fact that im pregnant and being excited all i can do is wrooy and stress myself out. anyone got any advice as im to early to have scans to put my mind at ease xx Thanks and congratulations to all of you xx
hi everyone. i am due my period next week so i am unsure as to if i am pregnant but today ive had really bad cramps in shooting pains in my groin area. ive got 2 kids already and i dont remember having anything like this during those pregnancies. a little info from someone who might know what im talking about would be great. thanks xx
Hi I'm 7 weeks and 2days prengnant with my second child. Over the last few days I've been experiencing some cramps and a slight pinkinsh/brown colour when I pee, should I be worried? I haven't spoken to my mid wirfe yet so I'm naturally a little worried and not sure what to do. Any suggestions :)
Hi, pls do anyone the symptoms of twins ' pls do share your experience with me .xxxxxxx am around 7 to 8 wks
I'm 25 weeks 5 days and keep getting cramping on regular basis it really annoying as its gets really hurts sometimes it kinda over takes over me and makes me stop what I'm doing I know part of pregancy But I will speak to my widwife as sometimes find the pain so nd I just want to cry I have had no bleeding do so I know that's good :-) x
I am 15+6 and had some cramping every now and then although I didn't know it was that (this is my first pregnancy) as the pain was exactly like my period pain and wasn't for too long and too bad I thought it's just something about the body changes going on or something like that but didn't get any bleeding and so not worried...hope all of you are doing well...
I'm 5 weeks 4 days. Iv got a little cramps, but so worried As mc 2 times last year. Having Hgc bloods taking Tom and mon to make Sure levels are goin up then a scan at 7 weeks. Totally worried Always on my mind just wish there was something's we could do X
I'm 2-3 weeks on and have had some light bleeding and period like cramps..... Which was quite upsetting. I can now see that I'm not the only one x I've just been told to take it easy x as this is normal x
Hi everyone i am new to the site i joined yesterday :) , I have only just found out i am pregnant and i am 9 weeks , I have been experiencing muscle pulling as i stand and have been getting some mucus like spotting this was about 2 days ago & have had none since then. Is this normal ? My sister in law is also pregnant and she said it's normal it's just the baby making a bed for itself ? Is this true or should i still phone doctor tomorrow to make sure all is well . Any advice welcome :) Thanks everyone
Hi...im new to this site..
I'm 11 weeks + 3 days pregnant and have had cramps from the start and still on going now this is my 4th child,I had a scan at 9 weeks and everything was fine but it is still worrying
I'm just over 5 weeks and have had an early scan due to pain on my lower left around me ovary area, Although the doctors have checked and everything looks fine at this stage I am no further forward finding out what the pain is. Its not like cramp and its a jabbing pain a couple of times a minute which lasts about 3 seconds and its gone again. I'v never had pain like it and although each one doesn't last long its very painful and uncomfortable, paracetamol doesn't seam to be doing anything to ease it either. Do any one have any advice or experiencing similar pain. This is my second pregnancy and I never felt any thing like this with my first. Please help to put my mind at rest. Thanks x
I am 5 weeks pregnant and have been experiencing cramps. It usually happens at nights and last for around 5 minutes. I am so worried that it could be the early stages of a miscarriage, I keep on checking my underwear incase there is bleeding. This has taken over my life and I can not think about anything else.
Hi I am 21 weeks and have my second scan tomorrow so very excited to see my bambino! Over the past couple of days I have been getting back spasms just wondered if anyone has suffered it?
hi im having triplets yeah wow im at 12 +4 weeks still have a bit of cramping feel very tired all the time not eating much but still very happy keeping going everyone.
I'm 9 weeks and a few days ago I had a little bleed, the bleeding calmed to a few spots and it's still happening slightly, my partner and I went for an early scan and the baby is fine (heartbeat is nice and strong) however, I still have on/off cramping pains, I've had them for a couple of weeks and I've seen my midwife and spoken to my family and they've assured me it's just my womb changing and that I just had a period it's still scary though!!
Hi everyone new to this I'm 13 weeks with my 5th child, not planned but things happen. But I have had cramps on and off, nd I have had a fair few just after intercourse accompanying back aches and slight headache iv never been like this with any previous, my oldest daughter is nearly 17 rest are all boys 13,9,7. So I'm not sure if its because my ody is more flexed ECT and so why I'm feeling every ache ECT, anyone else got a big family and experiencing any symptoms similar?
hi all just wanted to share my experience with worrying mums to be who have been having cramps and bleeding in early stages. i am 6 weeks pregnant had strong cramps and bleeding yesterday spent 3 hours at hospital where i had 3 examinations. if your worried go to emergency dept, they have an obligation to see you, say its worse than it is if you have to but i know for me i did not get peace of mind until i saw that flicker of a heartbeat on the screen. do not let them make you feel like its nothing my friend was sent from pillar to post and ad a misscarriage maybe if they scanned her sooner there would of been a chance, its important to you so dont be afraid to demand an early scan.
Hi all, I suffered a stillbirth at 27w in my first pregnancy- I am now pregnant again and can agree with all about how scary this is. For all of you not getting the support you need, please look up your local early pregnancy unit (EPU), most of them do drop in sessions, you'll wait a while but you'll get a scan. They are usually happy to scan to ease your anxiety if you've had any pain or bleeding- and you don't need a GP referral. Also most hospitals will accept self referrals from patients during pregnancy, and you shouldn't have to wait for your GP to decide how far along s/he will call 'pregnant', check your local hospital website for details. Best of luck to all.
Hi everyone. Congratulations on finding out you're pregnant :) Im 22 and I'm 16 weeks pregnant with my 2nd baby. This is my 4th pregnancy (I've lost 2) and this pregnancy has to be my worst one so far. Experiencing bad stomach cramps, especially when it would have been that time of the month but been told its normal to still get monthly pains. At my dating scan the sonographer found a small bleed next to baby but said its perfectly normal and it's likely to reabsorb itself before my 20 week scan. Congrats MrsC, don't worry too much, I miscarried last November at 4 weeks and this pregnancy has no problems, your chances of miscarrying after a miscarriage are only very slightly higher than normal. If you have any worries from 6 weeks onwards midwives can scan you. Just take it easy and keep your feet up, pregnancy is a perfect excuse for that :D Chez, congratulation on the pregnancy :) the early days are the slowest. It's perfectly normal to have cramping, you'll have it all the way through. It's just your body stretching and moving getting ready for baby to grow properly. And your boobs change a LOT. They will be veiny because they grow so the skin becomes more taunt, they're no more veiny than they were before though :) Enjoy every second of pregnancy, despite all the blood tests, kicks, pains and aches, this is the easy bit :) I'd love to chat to anyone willing to share pregnancy stories My email is funky-pink-munkey@hotmail.co.uk if anybody is interested Ally xxx
hi am new to this i have just found out am pregnant at the age of 42 am scared
I just found out i'm pregnant after years of trying to concieve, i had a miscarriage at 4-5 weeks 2 years ago and i'm worried its gonna happen again.
Hello everyone :) Im new to this site so thought I would put how my feeling down. I am currently 6 weeks pregnant and for the past 2 days I have had very miild constant cramping, worried that my period is coming, also my boobs are very veiny is this all ok?
Hi I'm 9 weeks pregnant, I had little bleed at 4 weeks and docs said could b a miscarriage but have to do a rest 2 weeks later so did and was positive still, had midwife today and normal midwife on hol so had to have community 1. Which she couldn't do anything. Im having stomach pains a lot but didn't know if normal and lower back pain. What shall I do
im 8wk 4 days with my 3rd.i no its a scary time for everyone but more of you should be positive,remember your feelings are the babys feelings to.i have also had misscarridges in the past but worry doesnt help,always chack any pain or bleeding with your midwife shes only at the end of the phone and there to ease your fears.enjoy your pregnancy put your feet up and treat yourself to as much chocolate and macdonalds as u wish,good luck to you all ps remember pregnancy is the easy bit lol xx
hi im 5 weeks pregnant ,last night i had cramps in my pelvis/lower stomach backache stong urge to go to the loo, chills , i was really worried so went to GP to find out i had a uti infection what a relief it wasnt the 'baby' ,hope this helps xx
I'd love to know how things are progressing nickybaby3. I'm in a similar situation and so really feel for you. 4th Pregnancy but only my little boy to show for it so far. It's very early days for me yet - 6 weeks - and so awful when you daren't get too excited and partner unresponsive to avoid disappointment. Mild cramps and backache have been a regular sensation and I'm constantly paranoid they might grow in intensity but at the same time they're a reassuring reminder that I am still pregnant. I don't feel there's any point going to the GP yet as its so early, and still feel crushed by male doctor with poor bedside manner who tried to suggest I hadn't been pregnant when I had my last miscarriage.
i just found out im nearly 6 weeks pregnant with my first child, i have had period like cramps when my period would have been due and get cramps after eating food. Im suffering with alot of wind (sorry tmi) so im hoping its just that but cant wait to get to the doctors and hopefully have my mind put to rest
Hiya i'm steph and i'm 4 weeks pregnant i found a few days before my birthday could not have asked for anything better. i have been getting some light cramping today. can't really explain it. its not painful as such kinda feels like period pain but not half as bad.
Hi im koko and im now 8 weeks and 5days pregnant. im so happy and excited and so is my husband but i am scared and worried for our baby when we have sex because i am experiencing cramps but on only on one side of my groin....is that normal and has anyone experienced that or is my concern factual???
Hi every one to mummieslittlean I was told the same I had been suffering really bad cramps and back pain as I have other health worries as well i went to see my doctor who told we although it says I'm pregnant because I thought I was 6 weeks he wouldn't class me as pregnant yet luckily for me my fantastic nurse refered me for an early scan and I was already 8 weeks. Hope your pregnancy goes well.xx
Hi every one to mummieslittlean I was told the same I had been suffering really bad cramps and back pain as I have other health worries as well i went to see my doctor who told we although it says I'm pregnant because I thought I was 6 weeks he wouldn't class me as pregnant yet luckily for me my fantastic nurse refered me for an early scan and I was already 8 weeks. Hope your pregnancy goes well.xx
hi im 6weeks 3 days pregnant, ive had six miss's in the past so im worried sickabout constant cramps i had a scanlast week but because i was only 5wks only a sack was seen i go again in 3days and just hope i see something to reasure me and im also wishing these first few weeks to fly by so i can stop being worried and enjoy my pregnancy good luck everyone xx
Im really worried as i have a little bit of cramping lower back ache and wen i went to the toilet on the day my period was due i had a tiny clot on the toilet roll and no bleeding and yesterday when I went to the toilet i looked at the toilet roll and there was a bit of pinkish blood but nothing else and no bleeding im scared it could be a miscarriage in 5 weeks pregnant