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Cramping During Pregnancy

Elizabeth Keefe


There are many causes for abdominal pain during pregnancy. Some will require attention from your doctor, and others just go with the territory of being pregnant.

Round Ligament Pain

Many women experience a crampy or sharp and stabbing pain around the sides of their pelvis. In all likelihood, it is "round ligament pain" -- the stretching of the muscles and ligaments that support the uterus. Often it is most noticeable when you get up from laying or sitting, or when you cough or sneeze. It may be very brief, or last several hours. As long as the pain is occasional and not persistent, and not accompanied by any fever, chills, vaginal discharge or other unusual symptoms, there is no cause for concern. Mention the pain to your doctor at your next visit though.

When to call the Doctor

  • If you experience bleeding with the cramps or pain
  • When the pain is in the center of your lower abdomen

When to get emergency Medical Attention

  • If you have a history of miscarriage and are experiencing cramping, bleeding or both. If you pass clots of greyish or pink material
  • If you have any bleeding that will soak more than one pad per hour

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