Tender stomach during pregnancy is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience. Although this condition may be disturbing enough to cause alarm, it is actually quite normal and occurs in many women who are carrying babies. More often than not, abdominal tenderness is nothing but a harmless, albeit unsettling, side effect of pregnancy. However, in some cases, being pregnant and stomach feels sore or tender, may signal the existence of an underlying problem. Thus, it is always best to consult a doctor when you feel any kind of pain to ensure that your pregnancy will not undergo any complications.
Stomach Feels Sore in Early Pregnancy
Tender stomach or abdonimal discomfort usually becomes an issue during the first few stages of pregnancy. It can be caused by several factors and has several characteristics that can indicate whether the pain you feel is serious or simply a passing sensation. For instance, intermittent discomfort in the abdomen that feels similar to menstrual cramps may simply be an indicator of your uterus preparing itself for your baby’s development and growth.
On the other hand, if you experience other symptoms or complications like heavy bleeding, chills, and fever at the same time as your abdominal episodes, you may be suffering from other more serious medical conditions. If this is the case, do not hesitate to seek immediate medical assistance.
Can It Be Miscarriage?
Sore or tender stomach that occurs during your early stages of pregnancy may be indicative of some serious conditions, such as miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. In particular, tenderness in the lower part of your abdomen, accompanied by symptoms such as occasional back pains, heavy bleeding, and severe cramping, may be a warning sign from your body that you may have a miscarriage on the way.
Can It Be Ectopic Pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when your fertilized egg cell is implanted not inside your womb, but rather, outside your uterus. This condition will manifest itself early on in your pregnancy, and may cause you to suffer from spotting and tenderness in your abdomen. If left untreated, this condition may cause your fallopian tube to rupture, risking both your health and your baby’s life.
Experiences of Another Mom
This testimony from a woman who has experienced abdominal pains during pregnancy is an example of how the discomfort may prove to be too unbearable, even if it is a completely normal side effect:
“The pain in my abdomen became present at almost exactly the same time I got pregnant. When the pain became too much to bear, I decided to visit my doctor and underwent some tests to make sure I was not suffering from UTI. The results indicated that I had no infection and was otherwise healthy. Nevertheless, the pain I felt in the abdominal area persisted for a few more weeks after I first got pregnant, and was accompanied by round ligament pain and cramping episodes. Although my condition was perfectly normal, I suggest other women visit their doctors just to be safe and to help ease any pain they may also feel.”
Stomach Feels Sore in Late Pregnancy
Premature Labor. If the pain in your abdomen begins or persists later on in your pregnancy, this may be an indication that you are going to experience premature labor. This is especially true when the discomfort is accompanied by symptoms such as a dilated cervix, regular contractions, pain in your lower back, and excessive vaginal discharge. However, you may still take preventive measures that will delay your delivery and allow your baby to be carried to term. Be sure to consult your doctor immediately if you have your suspicions.
Other Health Conditions. Aside from early labor, other conditions such as placental abruption and preeclampsia may also trigger tenderness in your abdominal area during your pregnancy. Additionally, there have been some reports that abdominal pain is linked to gall bladder disease, kidney stones, and pancreatitis.
Common Causes of Abdominal Discomfort During Pregnancy
In spite of the possibility that your abdominal pain is a signal of other medical conditions you may be experiencing, there is also a big chance that you are actually perfectly healthy. After all, tenderness in the abdomen is a common side effect of pregnancy and is usually harmless. It can be caused by a number of ordinary things, some of which are listed below.
1. Orgasms. You may experience some cramping in your abdomen sometime during or immediately after you have an orgasm. This is perfectly normal, and should be no cause for alarm as long as it is mild and does not last long.
2. Constipation. Along with the increased pressure your uterus applies on your rectum, the slower movement of food particles in your digestive tract triggered by hormones can alter your bowel movement and cause you to become constipated.
3. Bloating. Pregnancy increases the likelihood that you will experience bloating and gas pains. This is primarily because your body releases hormones that work to slow your digestion down. Additionally, because your uterus is continually growing, it gradually applies greater pressure on your intestines and stomach, making you feel more bloated.
4. Round Ligament Pain. Round ligament pain occurs when you experience a sharp, stabbing pain or persisting dull ache near your abdomen or in your groin. This will most likely take place during your second trimester and is due to the thickening of the ligaments that support your uterus and pelvis. These ligaments increase in size as your uterus also grows to accommodate your baby.
You may experience a sharp pain whenever you get up from bed, stand from a chair, or switch positions in any way. Sudden movements, such as coughing, may also trigger painful sensations. If you regularly walk around or stay physically active, you are also likely to feel a dull ache in your abdomen and groin. Adequate rest is the best way to combat these discomforts, although you may also seek medical assistance if the pain persists or becomes too uncomfortable.
5. Braxton Hicks Contractions. You may notice some sporadic tightening sensations in your uterus when you are halfway through your pregnancy. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions, and should be painless and infrequent until you reach your 37th week of gestation.
If your contractions start to occur more than four times in only one hour or are accompanied by pain in your lower back area, you may be entering premature labor. Consult your doctor immediately to receive proper treatment. As you approach your due date, your contractions and cramps will become more frequent and can signal the onset of labor.