What Do Early Pregnancy Cramps Feel Like
Rebecca Lee, RN explains, “Pregnancy cramps are more mild and intermittent, occurring on and off for 1-3 days.” If you feel dull pain and have no period, then you might be carrying a baby! However, if you feel sharp lower abdominal pain on one side that feels like a stitch, and the pain radiates to the rest of the abdomen along with bleeding, then you may have an ectopic pregnancy. This is when the embryo implants itself somewhere other than the uterususually in the fallopian tubes.
Note that ectopic pregnancies only occur in 1-2% of pregnant women. Severe cramps may also be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease. See your doctor right away if the cramps before your period are more intense than usual.
How To Tell The Difference Between Menstrual Cramping And Implantation Cramping
Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway, MD says, “The character and intensity of pain in “period cramps” and “pregnancy cramps” are very similar, but the timing of pain might provide clues.” Period cramps, otherwise known as primary dysmenorrhea, occur 24-48 hours before your period and go away once menstruation starts. They can range from mild to severe, depending on the level of prostaglandinsa hormone-like substance that triggers uterine muscle contractions. In contrast, implantation cramping occurs 2-7 days before your period and starts off very mild. You will only feel it intermittently in your lower stomach or lower back.
When To Seek Medical Care
If your periods are not regular, see your GP. They can investigate what is causing your irregular periods.
You should also see your GP if you have abnormal vaginal discharge. This includes:
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Vaginal discharge alongside vaginal itching, redness or swelling
- Yellow, green, grey or strongly coloured vaginal discharge
Although cramping is a common period symptom, you should see your GP if your cramps:
- Affect only one side of your body
- Become worse or dont go away
- Occur alongside fever or other symptoms
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Causes Of Lower Back Pain During Your Period
Though the exact causes of lower back pain during periods arent yet fully understood, its usually associated with hormonal changes and their effect on ligaments in the spine. Researchers found that hormonal changes may influence collagen production, which can lead to ligament laxity, or loose ligaments. Loose ligaments can cause spinal instability and are sometimes accompanied by pain in the lower back.
Prostaglandins may also play a role. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause many of the symptoms associated with menstrual discomfort. They are synthesized by many tissues in the body, including the endometrium . They stimulate contraction of the uterine muscles to shed the uterine lining during menstruation. Prostaglandins also cause cramps. Heavy contractions can lead to low-back pain, as the pain can radiate from the lower abdomen into the lower back.
People with increased prostaglandin activity may experience severe menstrual cramps and back pain during their period. Prostaglandins can also cause symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea that accompany painful menstruation .
Lower back pain can also be a symptom of early pregnancy. During pregnancy, the ligaments in the body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare for labor. This can put a strain on the joints of the lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
Here are some of the differences between back pain from your period and back pain from pregnancy.
Food Aversions Or Cravings
Taste is one thing that can be altered pretty quickly in early pregnancy. Even before a missed period, some women experience a shift in their taste buds. Some of the foods and drinks that seem to have the most commonly altered tastes in early pregnancy tend to be alcohol and fruits. Ones interest in cigarettes can also change pretty quickly. This may be caused by a heightened sense of smell, which is brought about by a rise in estrogen. This can all happen pretty quickly after implantation and can be a sure sign you may be pregnant.
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Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Every woman and every pregnancy are different. But many moms-to-be experience early pregnancy symptoms. The majority of these symptoms are related to surging hormones. Its important to understand that all of these symptoms arent exclusive to pregnancy. That means there are other reasons that you could be experiencing them.
According to a poll from the American Pregnancy Association, 29 percent of the women surveyed noted that a missed period was their first sign of pregnancy. Often, there are other common symptoms of early pregnancy.
What Causes Cramps With No Period
It can be tough to tell whether having cramps without a period is caused by something simple or more serious. But there are common reasons for cramping without your period.
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When To See A Doctor
A person should see a doctor if they miss more than two periods.
Sometimes, a slight change in hormones can cause changes in the natural menstrual cycle. This is not typically a cause for concern.
At other times, symptoms such as a missed period and gassy stomach may be signs of a more serious condition that needs treatment.
If symptoms continue or get worse, a person should visit their doctor. Likewise, anyone who misses more than two periods should see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Anyone experiencing the following symptoms, along with signs of ectopic pregnancy or other potentially serious issues, should see a doctor immediately:
- pain in the lower pelvis
- abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as dark-colored blood
Where Do You Feel Implantation Cramps
Not everyone feels cramping during implantation. However, for those who do, they’re usually felt in the same location as menstrual cramps. Many people detect implantation cramping in their lower abdomen or lower back. Sometimes, implantation cramps only manifest on one side of the body.
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Feeling Nauseous And/or Being Sick
New pregnancy hormones are flooding your body and, for some women, the reaction to this is to feel sick. Some women feel slightly queasy and others may actually be sick. This is commonly known as morning sickness but it can happen at any time of the day.
You might be more sensitive to smells, including food and cooking.
If you cant keep any food or water down talk to your midwife or GP because there is a risk that you may become dehydrated.
Other Symptoms Of Pregnancy
There are other symptoms of early pregnancy you might experience, including:
- Youre bleeding, but only slightly. For some women, an early symptom of pregnancy is spotting. Its called implantation bleeding, and it happens about 10 to 14 days after conception when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This kind of bleeding doesnt last long, and it usually happens around the time youd normally have a period. This can be misleading. The difference is that implantation bleeding isnt typically as heavy as menstrual bleeding.
- Youre having mood swings. If youre feeling particularly emotional or find yourself bursting into tears, it can be a result of pregnancy hormones.
- Youre constipated. Its not comfortable, but a sluggish digestive system is another hormone-related issue that some women experience during pregnancy.
- Youre experiencing backaches. While lower back pain can be a problem for the length of a pregnancy, some women notice it very early on.
- You need to use the bathroom more frequently. Somewhere between six to eight weeks after conceiving, you may find that you have an increased need to urinate, but dont feel any pain or urgency.
While all of these symptoms can be signs of early pregnancy, they can also mean something else altogether. The reverse is also true: You may have none of these symptoms, but be pregnant.
A missed period can also be unrelated to a pregnancy. It could be due to:
Also Check: How To Help Period Cramps Go Away
When Does Implantation Cramping Occur
Not everyone experiences implantation cramping. If you do notice it, the cramping 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 people 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.
Reasons For Period Pain But No Period
There are many reasons why you are experiencing the symptoms of your period but do not notice any menstrual bleeding, these can include:
Although the cause of these cramps could be harmless you should still discuss your symptoms with your GP so they can ensure that you receive any help that you may need. Jotting your symptoms down in a diary along with the date, time and what you ate will be able to help your doctor determine what is causing your period pain.
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An Early Pregnancy Sign
Pregnancy is the most typical cause of absent or delayed period in women.
How does pregnancy occur?
If you have intercourse during your fertile days, there is an increased chance you will get pregnant. Your ovaries let out an egg every menstrual cycle which is fertilized by the sperm, forming the embryo.
This embryo will have to be attached to the endometrium. During implantation, there is minor bleeding that occurs and usually seen as spotting before period. This is a very early signal that you are pregnant and may be confused as an early light period.
Other signs of pregnancy are
- Soreness of the breast
If your period is 5 days late with these symptoms, it is likely youre pregnant.
What to do?
Its important you get a pregnancy test performed to help you confirm if you are pregnant or not. The first response pregnancy test kit can detect pregnancy 5 days after period.
If your pregnancy test is positive, it is best to tell your medical professional right away. On the other hand, if negative, you will need to wait for some time to check again.
A pregnancy test is best performed seven days after missed period.
How To Tell The Difference Between Ovulation And Implantation Cramping
If you have mittleschmertz, otherwise known as ovulation cramping, you’ll feel a pinch or twinge on one side of your lower abdomen that occurs two weeks prior to your period. The pain should only last a few minutes to a few hours, and it is a sharp pain. In contrast, implantation cramping is a dull pain that is felt around the general lower abdomen area and your lower back. Unlike ovulation cramps, implantation cramping lasts for 1-3 days. If cramping continues for several days, and you do not usually get cramps a week or two before your period, then you may be pregnant.
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An Inflammatory Bowel Disease
What it is: You get long-term swelling and irritation in different parts of your digestive tract. It happens when something goes haywire in your immune system. It isnât the same as irritable bowel syndrome . Crohn’s can affect any part of your digestive tract . Ulcerative colitis involves only the large intestine .
What the cramps feel like: It depends on the type of IBD you have. With Crohn’s, youâll feel cramps and pain in the right lower or middle parts of your belly. They can be mild to severe. If you have ulcerative colitis, the cramps will be on the lower left side of your stomach.
Other symptoms: Which ones you have depend on the specific type of IBD. They include:
Why Do I Have Cramps But No Period
If youre having period cramps but no period, or a late period and cramps at an unexpected time of the month, it could be due to a number of things. Common causes include pregnancy, cysts, or IBS. Lets dive into 9 of the most common reasons women experiencing cramping and what it means for your health.
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Spotting Or Light Bleeding
Its not unusual at all to have light spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy in fact, it can occur in around 20% of pregnancies.
Dr Larisa explains the science behind it: “This is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and is usually associated with ‘implantation bleeding‘ when the fertilized egg or embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus. The embryo usually implants between 6 to 12 days after conception.
“Not all women will get spotting though, so dont worry its not a reflection of how successful the implantation has been!”
Forum mum xFran82x says she had implantation bleeding 8 days after ovulating. “I had some watery pink discharge when I wiped a few times,” she says, “and then found 2 dots of brown blood on my pants. I tested the next afternoon and got a faint positive result.”
And it was similar for BabyGirlsMummy: “I had a regular 28 day cycle and the implantation bleeding was about a week before Id have expected my period. Mine was some pink cervical mucus for a couple of days enough that I needed a panty liner.”
If you do bleed, our expert say you should definitely get anything unusual checked out by your doctor. “In most cases, spotting is nothing to worry about,” says Dr Amin, “but it can be a sign of something more serious like an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. If you experience any bleeding thats not normal for you, seek immediate medical attention.”
What Do Implantation Cramps Feel Like
Some women mistake implantation for their premenstrual cramps, especially because it generally happens around the same time most women would expect their next menstrual cycle to begin.
To make matters more confusing. both types of cramps are usually mild to moderate. Some say implantation cramps can be differentiated from menstrual cramps if you experience the following sensations:
- tingling feeling
If you experience any sharp, persistent pain, talk to your healthcare provider, as this could be a sign of something more serious.
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I Have White Discharge After Missing Period For 5 Days
If your period is 5 days late with increased white discharge, its likely you are pregnant.
During your period cycle, vaginal discharge is usually dry just before your period and after your period ends. If your period is 5 days late with heavy vaginal discharge, then its likely you are pregnant.
to learn other causes of increased white discharge.
Sore Sensitive Heavy Boobs
Soreness or tenderness in your breasts can be one of the very earliest pregnancy symptoms. “Changes to the breasts can actually start as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception,” says Dr Larisa Corda, obstetrician, gynaecologist and IVF consultant. “Pregnancy hormones can make breasts swollen and sore. Or they may feel heavier or fuller or more tender to touch.”
It’s certainly a symptom many of the mums on our forum recognise. “I started getting really sore boobs and sore nipples 7 to 10 days after my last period finished,” says DemWatson. “I thought it was due to my period because I was also experiencing cramping. I took a pregnancy test around 2 weeks later and it was positive!”
“I tested because I had really sore boobs,” adds ErinDsoontobeB. “They were that sore, I had to wear a bra in the bath!”
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Diagnosis And Tests For A Late Period And Pregnancy
There are both at-home tests and blood tests available to determine if pregnancy has occurred. Both are considered safe methods of detecting pregnancy.
- At-home tests: These test your urine for a pregnancy hormone called hCG. At-home tests are easy, quick, and convenient. However, they are not able to detect pregnancy as early as blood tests. They are most accurate if you wait one week after a missed period to use them.
- Blood tests: Blood tests require a visit to your doctor. But they can detect pregnancy much earlier than at-home tests.
Period 10 Days Late White Discharge What Does It Mean
If your period is delayed for a day or two, it may not mean a serious problem because hormones can sometimes fluctuate due to stress, sleep deprivation, strenuous exercise, and weight loss.
However, period 10 days late white discharge occurs because your body increases pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones get increased in early pregnancy and stimulate your body to discharge more.
See other causes of excessive dischargehere.
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How To Distinguish Implantation Bleeding And Early Period
You can distinguish Implantation bleeding and early period by looking for implantation symptoms.
The other signs of implantation such as cramps also distinguish it from an early period.
During implantation, the cramping is mild and doesnt hurt much.
Menstrual cramps are immensely painful, and they continue for a longer time.
After implantation which is only 24-48 hours long, the cervical mucus glands discharge watery fluid.
The mucus plug is essential for protecting the growing embryo. It seals the cervix end to prevent entry and exit from that point.
The rest is covered by the placenta that starts forming after implantation.
Pregnancy tests after implantation are positive and cannot be positive after the period.
The egg flows out along with the endometrial lining during a period, so pregnancy is not possible.
Early period or implantation bleeding is a common question by women who have a light period.
The first day of the period is more about cramps and breaking of the uterine lining and less about heavy blood flow.
The next day the flow gets heavier and the cramping subsides gradually.
In the case of implantation, the cramping totally vanishes after the first day.
For establishing conditions necessary for implantation your body could be using sex chemicals to regulate genes for implantation.
What it really means for you, is the importance of any chemical that you take during the sensitive period.