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Pregnancy Myths

Fact or Fiction?

MYTH: Cramping in early pregnancy is a sign of miscarriage.
Shawn A. Tassone, M.D. (OB/GYN)

What makes you cramp? Well, let's see, what is in your pelvis? Early in pregnancy there are a multitude of things that can cause cramping. The structures of the pelvis that can cause this sensation are uterus, ovaries, bladder, bowel, muscle, and tendons. In the first ten weeks of pregnancy the uterus is expanding and swelling larger than it has ever been (if this is your first pregnancy). This stretching and growth can cause some minor irritability and cramping in the uterus. In addition, one of the ovaries will have the corpus luteur cyst of pregnancy, and this can cause a cramping sensation on one side of the lower abdomen. Constipation from increased progesterone levels can cause a fullness and cramping sensation in the lower pelvis, and bladder infections can also create feelings of cramping in the pelvis. None of these problems would necessarily be attributed to miscarriage, but the sensation of cramping can definitely be related to miscarriage. We usually recommend that if you are experiencing severe cramps and/or heavy bleeding (heavier than during a normal menses), you should call your physician immediately or proceed to the emergency room. Overall, cramping during the first trimester of pregnancy is a common occurrence and can happen for many reasons, most of which are not a threat to the pregnancy.
Shawn A. Tassone, M.D. author of "Hands Off My Belly! The Pregnant Woman's Guide to Surviving Myths, Mothers, and Moods"
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Community Comments (13)

Comment from teacher2bmom » Posted Sep. 22, 2013 7:14pm
I am so glad I read this. Thank you!

Comment from MissPaula04 » Posted Jul. 24, 2013 1:23am
This has eased my worrying mind immensely! :)
I'm 6 weeks and 1 day today.. 'period-like' cramps seem to be easing off with each day that passes but they were worrying me so much. I have sharp cramping on my left side, which I thought was an ectopic but an ultrasound ruled that out.. it showed the corpus luteum on my left ovary and it's huge! So that explains that lol

Comment from vernie » Posted Nov. 1, 2012 12:50pm
This article has been very helpful. This is my first pregnancy and I am 5 weeks and 2 days, I have been worried about every little pain or twinge, which never last more then 30 seconds and are NOT followed by spotting of any kind. Thank you for the reassurance!

Comment from jesslynn » Posted Oct. 12, 2012 11:09pm
Awwwh that makes me feel a lot better! I'm not sure how far along I am yet but I've been having horrible abdominal pain.

Comment from armywife90 » Posted Aug. 14, 2012 1:13am
This gives some relief! Im 4 weeks and 5 days, as of midnight LOL. 3 days ago I had some pretty bad ones and I passed a small (dime-sized) clot...i was worried but its gone away now. Light bleeding but no more cramps. Is that normal??

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