Period Cramps Vs Early Pregnancy Cramps

Uterine Fibroids Or Polyps

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Uterine fibroids and polyps are noncancerous growths in the uterus. They can grow quite large, however, and may cause pain and other symptoms.

Many women with fibroids or polyps experience irregular bleeding between periods. Certain types of spotting can also signal the presence of these uterine growths. This includes spotting that lasts across several cycles, or that is accompanied by:

How Soon Can You Feel Implantation Cramps

If youre wondering how soon you can feel implantation cramps after conception, were sorry to say theres no definitive answer. Every woman is different, but implantation cramping generally occurs between day 20 and 22 from the first day of your last period if you have a 28-day cycle, Ruiz says. You might think that your period is a little bit early, he says. Theres a sensation that your period is coming.

So how long do implantation cramps last? Again, it varies, but usually you can expect that the cramping will last one to two days before wrapping up, Ruiz says.

Unusual Spotting Outside Your Period

Are you seeing light pink to brown spotting a week before your period? According to board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist Dr. Mark Trolice, “Vaginal spotting one week after ovulation could represent implantation.” Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of your uterus. This can cause some light bleeding or spotting due to the massive burrowing the embryo has to do to completely implant itself. Some of the lining of the uterus is sloughed off and passes through your cervix.

Spotting between periods is definitely more common than cramps between periods, so this can be harder for women to distinguish. Some get the spotting so close to their periods they just assume it is the start of their normal period. Normally, implantation spotting should not be heavy and should not last for more than three days. There are also other crucial signs to tell the difference between a regular period versus implantation bleeding. But it’s safe to say that if you arent used to spotting in between, and your period is not due for more than a few days, then it could be the result of conception and implantation!

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Where Do Implantation Cramps Hurt

If you cant decide whether youre experiencing tummy troubles, period pain or implantation cramps, you may be wondering where implantation cramps hurt. Youll likely feel the cramps throughout your pelvis or more in the middle of your pelvis, Ruiz says, but they shouldnt be overly intense. You may have some pain in your lower back and abdomen too. You generally wont feel implantation cramps on one side only. If you feel moderate to severe cramping or pain, especially if its located off to the side versus midline, you need to contact your provider, Lamppa says. It could be nothing, but it could also be a sign of an early pregnancy loss or an ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy thats located outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube, she says

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‘Mild pain during pregnancy can be managed with paracetamol, if a woman usually takes this safely, and also may be alleviated with a hot water bottle, a warm bath or gentle exercise,’ says Dr Beckett. ‘If a woman is not sure what she can safely do to manage her pain, she should contact her healthcare professional for advice.’

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How Long Do Implantation Cramps Last

Many women reported a different period of time. It could last for a few minutes to a few days.

With my first son, I felt it a few hours throughout the day. It would come for an hour, then I would feel nothing for another hour and then the feeling comes back. For my second pregnancy, I felt it the entire night and it hurt a bit more than my first. That pregnancy unfortunately ended in a miscarriage. My third pregnancy, it felt like something was pinching me for about four hours. It didnt hurt. It was just noticeable. Every woman would say something different, but it generally lasts for less than three days.

/ Is It Normal To Get Cramps Later On In The First Trimester

Mild cramping at any point during the first three months of pregnancy is usually nothing to worry about, as it can be caused by the significant hormone changes youre experiencing. ‘The body produces higher rates of progesterone during pregnancy, which can have an effect on muscles, ligaments and joints, making them more flexible,’ explains Dr Beckett. ‘This may be felt as the womb expands to accommodate the growing foetus.’

Other causes of cramps include trapped wind and constipation, both of which are common in pregnancy – its such a glamorous time.

If the pain is only mild and goes away after you rest, poo or pass wind, then its probably nothing to fret about, according to the NHS. But if you are worried, you should call your midwife or your GP. Feeling anxious is perfectly understandable and they’ll be able address any concerns you have.

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Are Early Pregnancy Cramps Normal

Early pregnancy cramps are normal until there is no other symptom. If you have symptoms like bleeding or chest pain then it could be an early miscarriage.

Chemical pregnancy leads to such a state. If the cramps get severe and you are having repeated cramping in less than 7 seconds then you need to consult a doctor. In any case pain in tubes or ovary pain during pregnancy is not normal. The ovulation process stops during pregnancy and thus you have no pain.

If Its Not Implantation What Could Be The Cause Of Mild Cramping


The short answer? If youre about to get your period, it could be higher levels of progesterone. Heres why:

  • Progesterone levels are high in the second half of your cycle, called the luteal phase
  • Progesterone slows down digestion
  • This slow down can lead to cramping

Heres a more detailed description of what happens:

Your menstrual cycle has two phases: the follicular phase and the luteal phase. Its helpful to think of these as the egg prep phase and waiting for pregnancy phase. Each month, whether you ultimately get pregnant or notyour body is preparing for the possibility of pregnancy.

So, its likely that the hormonal processes involved in the waiting for pregnancy phase, are what causes cramping that gets misconstrued as a potential sign of implantation. After you ovulate and a mature egg is released, the corpus luteum is formed from the remains of the ovarian follicle, which is basically a shell around the egg.

The corpus luteum secretes high levels of progesterone and moderate levels of estrogen. Progesterone is what tells your uterine lining to thicken so thatif you do get pregnant this cyclethe embryo will have a place to attach and grow. So, late in the luteal phase, in the days before your period is due, levels of progesterone are very high.

Progesterone also relaxes your digestive muscles and slows down the digestion of food, leading to cramping. So, it doesnt mean youre not pregnant, but the cramping itself should not be considered a sign of anything.

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Early Pregnancy Cramps Vs Period Cramps

Early pregnancy cramps happen after a missed period. It takes around 2-3 weeks to reach that point in pregnancy when you have cramps.

PMS cramps are spasmodic and painful. You cant simply ignore them. But early pregnancy cramps or implantation cramps go unnoticed. The timing and intensity of pain during early pregnancy cramps is very less compared to period cramps.

During early pregnancy cramping, you dont have bleeding. But period cramps are signs that menses will begin.

When To Call Your Doctor

When should you be concerned about cramps during pregnancy? To be on the safe side, always contact your practitioner if youre worried about pregnancy pains including cramping.

Be sure to get in touch with your practitioner right away if youre experiencing:

  • Severe lower abdominal pain in the center or on one or both sides that doesnt subside
  • A sudden increase in thirst, accompanied by a decrease in urination, or no urination for a full day
  • Severe headache that won’t go away, vision changes, sudden swelling and/or unexplained weight gain
  • Fever or chills
  • Heavy bleeding, or bleeding with cramps or severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Bloody diarrhea

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What Is Implantation Cramping

When an egg is fertilized, it happens in your fallopian tubes, explains G. Thomas Ruiz, MD, lead ob-gyn at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. The fertilized egg then travels to your uterus, where it will burrow into the lining. This could cause you to experience minor cramping or twinges in the very low, mid-abdomen, says , APRN, a certified nurse midwife at Mayo Clinic. This mild discomfort is also known as implantation cramping.

During The First Trimester

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As many as 80 percent of miscarriages occur in the first trimester.

When a miscarriage occurs in the first five weeks after fertilization, its called a chemical pregnancy. Its so early that you might not have known you were pregnant.

Although your period may seem heavier than usual, there might not be any other noticeable sign of miscarriage.

Miscarriages in the first trimester often have to do with chromosome abnormalities that interfere with normal development. Missing or extra chromosomes are linked to 50 percent of all miscarriages.

Sometimes, a fertilized egg simply doesnt develop into an embryo .

It may help to know that having sex, exercising, morning sickness, and previous use of oral contraceptives dont cause miscarriage. Even an accidental fall doesnt necessarily cause it.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , smoking and alcohol consumption in the first trimester may result in a slightly higher risk of miscarriage. But the research on this is mixed.

Its also worth noting that drinking less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day doesnt appear to increase the risk of miscarriage.

Some things that may increase the risk of early miscarriage are:

  • fibroids or other abnormalities of the uterus
  • use of cocaine or similar drugs

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When Should I Be Concerned About Cramping During Pregnancy

While cramping can be common, there are some serious causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy:

  • Ectopic pregnancy This type of pregnancy happens when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies can cause painful cramping and is a serious medical condition that must be treated by your doctor.
  • Miscarriage Vaginal spotting accompanied by mild or sharp cramping can be a sign of a miscarriage, although some pregnant women who have spotting and cramping can go on to have healthy pregnancies. If you have severe cramping and/or heavy bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Preeclampsia -This is characterized by high blood pressure along with protein in your urine. Severe preeclampsia can cause intense pain in your upper abdomen.
  • Preterm labor Increased pressure, abdominal pain, and cramping can be a sign of preterm labor if your cervix begins to dilate before 37 weeks.
  • Urinary tract infections Lower abdominal pain and painful urination may be symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
  • Placental abruption This occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is born. This is a life-threatening condition and can be signaled by a painful cramp that does not go away. If this happens, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What To Expect From Physical Recovery

Your doctor will probably advise you to avoid sex, tampons, and douches for two weeks. This will help prevent infection.

They may also want you to take a pregnancy test after about two weeks. This can help them determine whether your hormone levels are back to normal.

In the meantime, call your doctor if you:

  • are bleeding heavier than expected or notice that the blood stays bright red
  • are soaking through more than two maxi pads an hour for more than two hours
  • notice a foul-smelling discharge
  • experience abdominal tenderness or severe pain
  • have persistent cramping
  • develop a fever or chills

For the first few days, you may notice blood clots and tissue passing, but this should taper off after about a week. It will take about four to eight weeks for your regular period to return.

Mild exercise following an early miscarriage is usually fine, but check with your doctor. It may depend on how far along you were, as well as your overall health.

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What Should You Do If You Have Implantation Cramps

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.

How To Tell The Difference Between Menstrual Cramping And Implantation Cramping

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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.

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When To Call A Doctor

Some medical conditions can affect the menstrual cycle, including polycystic ovarian disease, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis.

It is important to speak with a healthcare provider if symptoms are causing concern. Indications for speaking with a doctor about a period include:

  • abnormal uterine bleeding
  • any postmenopausal bleeding
  • not having experienced a period by 15 years of age or within 3 years of breast development
  • no menstrual flow for more than 90 days
  • irregular bleeding between periods
  • menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than 7 days
  • periods occurring more often than every 21 days
  • heavy vaginal bleeding that requires a tampon or pad change every 1 to 2 hours
  • severe menstrual pain
  • signs of toxic shock syndrome, a bacterial infection more commonly associated with tampon use

Toxic shock can be extremely dangerous and is in some cases life-threatening. Symptoms of toxic shock include:

  • a fever over 102° Fahrenheit
  • muscle aches

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