Do Pregnancy Cramps Feel Like Period Cramps

How Can I Tell If Im Having Implantation Cramps

What do cramps in early pregnancy feel like – How early do you start cramping when pregnant

Implantation cramping and menstrual cramping can feel similar.

However, implantation cramping and pain are typically not as severe. These cramps are mild, go away quickly, and do not increase in severity.

They also occur earlier in your cycle. If you usually have cramping for a few days before your period starts, it may be hard to distinguish between implantation cramps and menses.

Similarly, any spotting from implantation is much lighter than a typical period. Bleeding from implantation does not contain clots. It may resemble pinkish discharge, or small brown flecks.

Women may only notice a few drops of blood, or none at all. This spotting may only last two days, or even a few hours. If you experience cramping followed by a medium or heavier flow that lasts several days, this is most likely your period.

Learn More: Implantation bleeding Vs Periods | What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like?

If you are having severe pain and vaginal bleeding, accompanied by changes in heart rate or new lightheadedness, see your gynecologist immediately. While rare, ruptured ectopic pregnancies and infections can lead to these symptoms.

Now that you know what they feel like, lets talk about where women typically feel cramping during implantation.

Implantation Cramps Vs Pms Cramps: How To Tell The Difference

Its easy to confuse implantation cramps with normal PMS cramps. Learn about the differences to figure out if youre experiencing signs of conception.

It’s a few days before your period, and you feel mild cramping in your lower abdomen. If you’re trying to get pregnant, the twinges may leave you wondering if you’re experiencing PMS or implantation symptoms. Here’s how to tell the difference to determine whether you’ve successfully conceived.

How Do I Stop Cramping In Early Pregnancy

Usually early pregnancy cramping in the tummy area will subside pretty quickly, but Dr Burnet has shared a few tips if the niggle continues:

  • Head to bathroom a full bowel can cause pregnancy cramping
  • Eat a healthy diet, to avoid constipation
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take warm baths and showers, warm heat may help

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What Are Other Implantation Signs To Look Out For

Rising hCG after implantation causes progesterone to increase as well. This spike can lead to symptoms like:

  • Changes in taste and smell
  • Gastrointestinal changes
  • A small dip in temperature

All of these can mean implantation has happened, however they are not specific to pregnancy. You may also experience these symptoms just before your period as part of your premenstrual syndrome.

This is because your progesterone levels increase after ovulation and cause these symptoms.

So if you notice any of these while ovulating or just before your menses, there is a possibility that they are not due to a possible pregnancy.

To learn more about progesterone levels after ovulation, take a look at our blog.

Still, some women may not have any of these symptoms. Tracking your progesterone levels can help determine implantation, even if you arent feeling any of these signs.

Treatments For Early Pregnancy Cramping

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Early pregnancy cramps may be relieved without medication. Try the following home treatments to relieve pain:

  • Lie down, sit, or change positions
  • Take a warm bath
  • Place a heating pad or hot water bottle at the site of the cramp
  • Perform relaxation exercises

Drinking plenty of fluids may also help with cramp prevention.

In the case of more persistent cramping, you may want to try over-the-counter pain relievers. You may need to avoid some of the following medications, but a few are perfectly safe in your first trimester:


Most pregnant people can take low doses of acetaminophen without fear of harming either their fetus or themselves.


Aspirin can contribute to maternal or fetal bleeding. Low doses of the drug are most likely safe, but use sparingly. You may also want to avoid it if you are spotting.

Ibuprofen and Naproxen

These NSAIDs are safe for pregnant people during the first trimester. However, during late pregnancy they have been associated with an increased risk for a rare but serious fetal heart problem called premature ductal closure. If your doctor is concerned about this, they may recommend alternative pain-relieving medications.

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When Do They Occur

Every menstrual cycle is a different length, and a newly fertilized egg can take anywhere from six to 10 days after ovulation to implant itself in your uterus. So its hard to say exactly what your personal window of time for experiencing implantation cramps might be.

Generally, if you have a regular menstrual cycle, you can expect to feel implantation cramps about 4 to 8 days before your next period is scheduled to occur.

Again, this is all assuming you have an average 28-day menstrual cycle, which doesnt apply to all people. If your cycle is shorter or longer than 28 days, that will affect when in your cycle implantation occurs.

How To Treat Early Pregnancy Cramps

If you have early pregnancy cramps here and there and theyre generally not causing you too much pain, you dont need to do anything to treat them. But if youre uncomfortable, doctors say there are a few things you can try:

  • Use a warm compress. Placing a warmnot hotcompress on your abdomen can help relieve discomfort, Greves recommends.
  • Take a lukewarm bath. Like a heating pad, soaking in a warm bath can also help ease your muscle achesjust make sure its not too hot. Women should be careful not to use anything that could raise their core body temperature in early pregnancy, like a hot tub, Schaffir advises.
  • Take acetaminophen.Acetaminophen is considered safe to use in pregnancy. Schaffir warns that other pain medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, should generally be avoided, though. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor.

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Pms Vs Pregnancy Symptoms

If youre feeling a bit crampy and tired, and your period is almost due, you may wonder if the symptoms youre feeling mean that your period is coming or youre pregnant.

The only way to know if its PMS is if your period arrives shortly after. And the only way to know if youre pregnant is if you confirm your pregnancy with a positive pregnancy test. But there are some nuances to early pregnancy and PMS symptoms that can offer additional clues.

What Should You Do If You Have Implantation Cramps

My Experience with Implantation Cramping

If you have cramping that isn’t followed by your period, it may be related to implantation. Dr. Hou notes it might be too early take a home pregnancy test, since the hormone hCG needs to reach high enough levels for detection. Home pregnancy tests are most accurate if taken after a missed period.

Visit a doctor if cramps are sharp and radiate throughout your pelvis and abdomen. This may signal ectopic pregnancy, which means the embryo implanted outside of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy may also involve vaginal bleeding, shoulder pain, dizziness, and weakness.

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What Else Could It Be

When youre TTC, its natural to hope for news worth celebrating but experiencing cramps around 6-12 DPO does not necessarily mean you are pregnant. Sometimes, these cramps could be a sign of something else.

Most commonly, implantation cramps are confused with PMS cramps. These cramps occur around the same point in your menstrual cycle and feel similarly, though implantation cramps might be less intense. You might also confuse implantation cramps for period cramps and if your period arrives early, you might mistake it for implantation bleeding and assume your cramps are also due to implantation.

Implantation cramps can be uncomfortable, but implantation should not cause severely painful cramping. If you are experiencing intense cramps at 6-12 DPO, you should contact your OB/GYN. It may be a sign of a health condition such as endometriosis, which can cause chronic pelvic pain. It could also be a sign of an early miscarriage, especially if you experience bleeding alongside intense cramping.

The best way to differentiate between implantation cramps and cramps due to other causes is, unfortunately, to wait. The two-week wait is famous for being challenging, but there is no way around it: you cannot take a pregnancy test before 14 DPO if you are looking for the most accurate results.

How Heavy Can Implantation Bleeding Be

Implantation bleeding in early pregnancy is generally only a light spotting of blood that appears when you wipe or that needs a light pad or panty liner. It may also look like a light flow of blood, but it is different from the typical flow of normal periods. Typical implantation bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy is pink- or brown-colored discharge.

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Pregnancy Cramps During The First Trimester

Many distressed women often mail us with questions regarding:

  • cramps in early pregnancy 2 weeks
  • cramping in early pregnancy 4 weeks
  • cramping early pregnancy 5 weeks
  • Are cramps caused by implantation?

Implantation is the process of egg embedment. The egg sinks in the endometrial lining and causes bleeding.

Implantation cramps last for few hours. There is pulling and cramping in the stomach. During implantation, pregnancy cramps will be towards one side of the stomach.

Later on, the cramps are all over the abdomen and body.

Leg cramps during pregnancy also start from the first trimester.

Early pregnancy cramps are localized, but later they spread to the entire region. You may feel cramps after getting up suddenly or lying down in one position.

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What Do Early Pregnancy Cramps Feel Like

Natural Menstrual Cramp Remedies: Severe Menstrual Cramp ...

Growing a baby means all sorts of twinges and niggles, especially in early weeks of pregnancy. From tender boobs to aching backs, our bodies are growing and changing at super speed. But there are some early pregnancy symptoms that make us worry, like cramping.

Early pregnancy cramps are really common, and its usually just a sign that things are moving in and around the uterus. Muscles and ligaments are stretching, you may be constipated or have picked up a urinary tract infection. More worrying is a miscarriage, so its worth knowing what to look out for.

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Negative Pregnancy Test But Cramping

Are you having a number of pregnancy symptoms, but negative pregnancy results? The hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin takes time to be secreted fully into urine.

This is the hormone produced during pregnancy as a result of chorion formation. It is therefore important that you stay patient for a few more days.

Taking the test seven days after a missed period is recommended for accurate results.

How Can I Get Some Relief

Dont feel gloomy about cramps. There are several simple things that you can do to get some relief. Try scaling back on physical activity and avoid cramp-inducing positions. Enjoying a warm bath nightly before bed, and taking moments in the day to rest quietly and comfortably, should also ease your belly.

Wearing a maternity belly band may also offer some comfort from cramping, said Bond. She recommended wearing a simple, Velcro elastic belt under the belly. Make sure its adjustable and not too restrictive.

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What Stomach Pain And Cramps Should I Look Out For In Pregnancy

Most stomach pain and cramps in pregnancy are nothing to worry about. But there are some symptoms you should know about as they could be a sign of something more serious.

If you feel any of the following pains, even if you’re not experiencing any of the other symptoms listed, call your midwife, doctor or hospital immediately.

Severe pain on one side of the lower stomach in early pregnancyThis pain could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Other symptoms may include:

  • pain in the tip of your shoulder
  • brown discharge

Severe cramps in your stomach with or without bleeding that lasts for several hours This could be a sign of a miscarriage or placental abruption.

Regular painful contractions/cramps before 37 weeksThis could be a sign of premature labour, especially if you also have:

  • either a slow trickle or a gush of clear or pinkish fluid from the vagina or any increase in vaginal discharge
  • backache thats unusual for you
  • cramps like strong period pains
  • a feeling of pressure in the lowest part of your stomach .

Severe pain in your stomach that doesnt go away This pain could be a sign of placental abruption. Other symptoms may include:

  • tenderness when you press your stomach
  • back pain with or without bleeding.

Pain in the upper stomach

  • a sudden increase in swelling in your face, hands or feet
  • a very bad headache or a dull headache that wont go away
  • problems with your vision, such as blurring or flashing lights
  • vomiting or just generally feeling unwell.

When Does Implantation Cramping Occur

Are Period Like Cramps Normal During Pregnancy?

Not everyone experiences implantation cramping. It usually happens 10 to 14 days after ovulationabout two to seven days before your regular period is scheduled to arrive. Because of the timing, many women mistake implantation cramps for PMS. “It can be difficult to tell if you’re having your period or if it’s a sign of very early pregnancy because of the timing of it, and you may experience cramps for both,” says Dr. Hou.

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Cramps Later In Pregnancy

As the uterus continues to grow larger, abdominal cramps can also occur later in pregnancy. You should experience the least amount of cramps during the second trimester. However, this is when your round ligamenta muscle that supports the uteruswill begin to stretch. During this time, it’s normal to feel sharp pains or dull aches in the lower abdomen.

If you are pregnant with multiples, expect some soreness during the second trimester as your body makes extra room for the babies. This final growth spurt usually doesn’t occur in a single pregnancy until the third trimester.

While some cramping is normal, be on the lookout for signs of preterm labor. These include dull backaches, intense pelvic pressure, blood or fluid from your vagina, or more than five contractions or cramps in an hour.

What Are Some Less Common Signs Of Early Pregnancy

There are some additional signs of early pregnancy that arent as common. Just like with the most common symptoms, these signs of pregnancy may or may not happen. Its important to remember that everyone is different and will experience unique symptoms.

Less common signs of early pregnancy can include:

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When Does Cramping Occur

To understand when implantation cramps occur, its important to understand how fertilization works:

When you ovulate, sperm joins the egg during the stage called conception. Conception occurs while the egg is still in the fallopian tube. After conception, these combined cells begin to multiply, forming a blastocyst. The blastocyst then needs to travel down the fallopian tube into the uterus, before joining with the uterine lining during implantation. Implantation triggers the release of the pregnancy hormone hCG, which gradually rises until it is able to be detected on a pregnancy test approximately 14 days past ovulation .

As you might expect, this complex process can take several days. Implantation takes between 6-12 days, most often occurring 8-9 days after conception. When it occurs after 10 DPO, it is known as late implantation. You may feel cramps and other symptoms of implantation around this time, so pay attention to your body at 6 DPO and beyond to observe for signs of implantation.

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