Stomach pain in pregnancy: Should I worry?

in pregnancy

By itself, stomach pain in pregnancy does not indicate any serious complications. Carrying a baby in the belly presses the muscles, ligaments and veins, in addition to other organs of your body, therefore you can present discomfort, however there are symptoms that could indicate complications. Our specialist, Lázaro Marsán; Obstetrician-gynecologist at the San José Clinic in Chile, offers some details about it.

In general, discomfort is relieved by resting or changing position. However, if stomach pain during pregnancy is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, it may be a complication.

Causes of pain:

Not all stomach pain indicates problems; For example, you may get some cramping when you have an orgasm, or immediately after. If they are mild and passenger, it is normal and you should not worry. The following are other causes of common abdominal discomfort: gas and swelling, constipation, pain in the round ligaments, among others.

Dr. Marsán explains that «it is not proven that maternal pain affects the unborn child, but it is known that some of the aforementioned pathologies, associated with abdominal pain, can cause premature contractions and thus indirectly affect the baby.» Major complications Extrauterine (ectopic) pregnancy.

It occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, as in a fallopian tube. The symptoms appear around the sixth or seventh week after fertilization, although they can manifest themselves at 4 weeks, without you knowing that you are pregnant.

If left untreated, it can rupture the tube and even be deadly. If you feel discomfort or pain when feeling the abdomen or pelvis, you have vaginal bleeding (red or brown, abundant or scarce, continuous or intermittent), if the pain gets worse when you exercise or go to the bathroom or cough, or you hurt tip of the shoulder, you enter in state of shock, you get dizzy or you vomit, you must go to the doctor immediately.

Spontaneous abortion

It involves the loss of pregnancy before week 20. The first symptom is usually vaginal bleeding, followed by abdominal pain. This can be mild or intense, with a pain similar to a cramping that can persist, be mild or sharp and resemble a pain in the lower back or pressure in the pelvis.

Premature delivery

It occurs when you experience contractions that dilate the cervix before week 37. The symptoms are:     Increased vaginal discharge or a change in the type of flow (watery, mucous or bloody, pink or with blood threads)

Vaginal bleeding     

Stomach pain: similar to menstrual or more than 4 contractions in an hour (although they do not hurt)    

 – Pressure in the pelvic area.

 – Pain in the lower back (especially if you never had).

Other complications can be:

  • Placental detachment  
  • Preeclampsia 
  • Urinary infections

The gynecologist-obstetrician of San José Clinic in Chile, Dr. Lázaro Marsán, explains that «the most frequent causes of pregnancy termination associated with any condition that is accompanied by abdominal pain are preeclampsia and eclampsia, hemorrhages associated with premature detachment of the placenta, placenta previa, premature labor with fetus in presentation of breech and in the imminence of uterine rupture, among others «.


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