6 Weeks Pregnant Cramping

No matter whether mild or severe, cramping, which refers to pulling sensations on at least one side of your abdomen, during early pregnancy always seems alarming. If you have never been pregnant before, you may even be worried about miscarriage when experience 6 weeks pregnant cramping. In fact, cramping during the first trimester is often caused by the normal changes that occur as your baby is developing, and is usually no cause for concern. However, if your cramping is severe and accompanied by vaginal bleeding, it might indicate a medical complication. Therefore, for the safety of you and your child, if you experience such symptoms, inform your doctor or midwife of your condition right away.

6 Weeks Pregnant Cramping: Is It Normal?

In the majority of cases, mild cramping is a normal part of early pregnancy. These cramps tend to be linked to the physical changes your body is going through as it prepares itself for the carrying of the baby.

When the embryo implants itself into the wall of your womb, you may experience a little bleeding and cramping. This will usually happen at about the same time as the start of your period. You may also experience some cramping as your womb begins to grow and change its shape as it readies itself for accommodating your new baby.

What Causes 6 Weeks Pregnant Cramping?

Normal Causes

  • Implantation

Cramping related to implantation occurs in the lower abdominal region 8 to 10 days after ovulation. Implantation occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted into your uterine wall. These cramps are typically dull and mild, and should not last for more than 2 days. Implantation bleeding is normal and nothing to worry about. However, if you see a lot of bright red blood, you should call your doctor, as it could be a sign of miscarriage.

  • Round ligament pain

Round ligament pain refers to the natural growing and stretching of your uterus to accommodate your developing baby. While your uterus is growing, it can agitate the fibers of nearby nerves, which may cause you to experience a sharp, jabbing pain. These pains could feel like a dull cramp or ache in your lower abdominal region. Round ligament pains should never be severe—if you are experiencing severe cramping with vaginal discharge, chills, fever, lower back pain, vomiting, or nausea, see your doctor immediately.

  • Constipation and gas

Pregnant women tend to experience an increase in gas due to the pressure the expanding uterus places on the digestive tract. This pressure can also result in constipation. Both gas and constipation may feel a lot like abdominal cramps, but they are nothing to be concerned about.

Causes for Concern

  • Miscarriage

A miscarriage is the end of a pregnancy—it occurs after the fetus has died. Bleeding is the first sign of a miscarriage, and is followed by cramps that can occur anywhere from a few hours to days after the initial bleeding. The cramps that accompany a miscarriage can fluctuate greatly in sensation, severity, and location. Depending on different woman, they may be dull or sharp, persistent or erratic, acute, moderate, or mild.

  • Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy refers to an abnormal pregnancy that occurs when an embryo is implanted outside the uterus. Typically, ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tubes; however, they may also occur in the cervix, ovaries or abdominal cavity. A baby cannot survive an ectopic pregnancy. During an ectopic pregnancy, a woman will experience mild cramping on one side of her pelvis, followed by nausea, lower back pain, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. If you are experiencing 6 weeks pregnant cramping accompanied by these symptoms, see you doctor immediately.

When to Call Your Doctor

If you are experiencing severe cramps that are accompanied by other symptoms (especially bleeding), you ought to see your health care professional. If you tend to be prone to anxiety or stress, it is also advised that you check in with your doctor, as the stress caused by worrying about a health concern can be damaging to both you and your unborn baby.

What Can I Do to Relieve Cramping?

If you’re experiencing 6 weeks pregnant cramping that is mild or moderate without bleeding or any other unusual symptoms, you may find it helpful to: 

  • Ask your partner or a friend to give you a gentle backrub
  • Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle to your stomach. This will relax your muscles and relieve the severity of your cramps
  • Take a warm bath
  • Eat fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water. Both will help prevent you from developing constipation and reduce your abdominal discomfort  

Medications are not recommended during your first trimester, as this is the time when your baby’s organs are all in their earliest stages of development. You should therefore try to find relief naturally before you consider taking medication. It’s okay to occasionally pop a Tylenol (acetaminophen), but you should only consider this as the last resort.

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