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Are cramps during early pregnancy normal?

Cramping and other aches and pains in your stomach are normal during the early stages of pregnancy. The extra weight of carrying a baby places a lot of pressure on muscles, joints and veins. There are things that you can do to ease the cramping and discomfort that are part of a normal pregnancy.

The ligaments that connect your bones will stretch throughout your pregnancy. This stretching may cause mild cramping on one or both sides of your body when you move around. You may have cramps more often on your right side. This happens because your uterus is tending to tilt to the right as the baby grows. The ligaments stretch to support the growing uterus. Resting usually eases cramping. Try sitting down or lie down on the side opposite to where the pain is and put your feet up.  If this doesn't help try a warm bath or use a hot water bottle on the painful areas.

The act of making love and reaching an orgasm can sometimes cause cramps and a bit of backache. Pulsations ripple up through your vagina and uterus during an orgasm, which can leave a cramp like feeling afterwards. These ripples can make feel more like contraction-type cramps when you have sex during pregnancy. Ease potential cramps by taking sex slow and gentle. A tender back massage post orgasm will work wonders too.

Stomach cramps could mean that you are not well in other ways that have nothing to do with the pregnancy. Other causes of stomach cramping include appendicitis, kidney stones, a urinary tract infection or gall bladder problems. Pregnancy may have triggered another problem, fibroids in your uterus, which you may not have notice before you conceived, but may feel uncomfortable now.

Take note of what you are feeling and tell your obstetrician about it. Don't wait to get help if the cramps don't go away after several minutes of rest, or have cramping along with any of the following:
•    pain or burning on urination
•    unusual vaginal discharge
•    spotting or bleeding
•    tenderness and pain
•    vomiting
•    fever and/or chills

Stomach cramps are usually nothing to worry about in early pregnancy. But sometimes, if you're having other symptoms, it may mean you need to get help quickly.

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