Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 01:01 am
Question: What causes 1 week pregnant stomach pain and abdominal cramps?
Recently, I received an email from one of my readers after having cramps in early pregnancy. Here’s the exact message.
Seven days ago I noticed that am 1 week pregnant after taking a pregnancy test. I was not sure because I did not plan for a baby this time around. I’m shocked that I got pregnant as this is my 2nd pregnancy. Suddenly, I now have severe abdominal cramps that get me worried if am losing my baby. Is this a sign of a miscarriage?
The truth is, learning you are pregnant and having stomach pain days after can be worrying, especially for first-time moms or women who did not have severe cramps in their previous pregnancy.
If you are already having symptoms or tested positive for pregnancy, one thing is sure; you are not one week but four weeks into your pregnancy.
A woman’s pregnancy date is usually counted back from the first day of last period. This implies that if you last saw your period four weeks ago, then you are four weeks pregnant, and not one week.
At first weeks of pregnancy, you have no idea you will even get pregant. Your body is functioning as it should, as both estrogen and progesterone levels now fall, resulting in your period coming out.
During your period, you will have vaginal bleeding for about 3 – 7 days. Usually, most women will experience abdominal cramps, mood swing, headache before period starts and during period.
After your first week of pregnancy, you will have stopped having period and now ready for ovulation (that occurs in the second week of pregnancy).
Ovulation means your body actively pushes an egg from the ovaries into the fallopian tube. Sperm fertilizes this egg after sexual intercourse.
After fertilization(which occurs in the second week of pregnancy), it still takes about two weeks for you to test positive for pregnancy or start showing early symptoms.
Therefore, if you are now four weeks into your pregnancy and now having stomach pain, it’s not unusual, and it’s common for women to feel this way.
Implantation that occurs 6 – 12 days after fertilization is the main reason you will get stomach pain in early pregnancy.
Nevertheless, stomach pain at the beginning of pregnancy could be due to ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cyst, ovarian torsion, uterine fibroid, appendicitis, urinary tract infections (UTI), or a miscarriage.
This article explains causes of 1 week pregnant stomach pain with or without vaginal bleeding, back pain and steps you must take immediately.
What causes 1 week pregnant stomach pain?
Remember, if you’ve now tested positive, it means you are at least four weeks pregnant. If you are experiencing belly cramps by this time, here are the common causes
At your second week of pregnancy, after the egg released during ovulation has been fertilized, it will take some days for the embryo to start growing in your womb.
After your baby is attached to the uterus(implantation), some women will notice spotting and cramps that are mild in the lower abdomen.
This bleeding and cramps (often referred to as implantation bleeding and cramps) occur as the fertilized egg burrows into your womb and starts growing.
In fact, if you’ve already started having pregnancy symptoms or tested positive for pregnancy, your baby has already been implanted into the uterus.
Therefore, cramping pain in your belly just around your next period is physiologic and occurs because of successful implantation.
Aside from testing positive, you should already have started having symptoms like breast tenderness, weakness and mood changes. Some women will experience low back pain as an early sign of pregnancy.
If your cramps are due to implantation, it will go away in few days time. However, if pain is still persistent and gets severe; Here are other causes
Yes, you’ve already confirmed pregnancy and you are yet to miss your period or just missed your period, it’s likely your belly cramps is because of a miscarriage.
More than 40 percent of women will get a miscarriage just after implantation, and this occurs if the embryo fails to attach to the uterus the usual way. Other reasons are for early miscarige are genetic abnormalities (the commonest) and other causes listed here.
If you experience cramps with dark, black bleeding with blood clots, it’s likely a miscarriage. However, absent bleeding does not rule out a miscarriage as its possible for women to have a miscarriage without even spotting.
If you are not feeling your pregnancy signs with bleeding and cramps, surely, something is not right.
To be sure your stomach pain is due to a miscarriage, your doctor will check for a hormone called HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
During pregnancy, just immediately after implantation, your placenta cell will start secreting HCG. If your HCG hormones are now falling below the expected level, it’s because you have a miscarriage.
You don’t have to get too concerned now, talk to your doctor and be sure it’s a miscarriage. If it is, just relax and prepare for your next baby.
It’s not your fault, most women that have a first-trimester miscarriage, occur because of abnormal changes in the sperm or egg.
3. You have ovarian cyst or torsion
One other reason you could have stomach pain, though rare, is an ovarian cyst.
An ovarian cyst is not very common in pregnancy with only 1 in 1000 pregnant women having a cyst.
During pregnancy, a cyst could rupture or forcefully twist your ovaries making you feel stomach pain.
4. You have an ectopic pregnancy
Severe stomach pain situated on the right or left side of your belly could be an ectopic pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when implantation takes place in the fallopian tubes (more than 90 percent) or less commonly in the abdomen and cervix.
It’s important you inform your doctor if you are pregnant with severe right or left side tummy pain. Other symptoms are dizziness, fainting and shoulder pain.
Risk factor, symptoms and treatment of ectopic pregnancy has already been explained here.
5. You have a fibroid
Because you are in your child-bearing age, having a fibroid is quite common. Fibroids are a noncancerous mass that grows in the uterus.
Before getting pregnant, the most common symptoms you will experience are abdominal swelling and a heavy bleeding during menstruation.
During pregnancy, depending on the location and size of the mass, a fibroid can cause a miscarriage or preterm delivery.
Then again, fibroids located outside the uterus (pedunculated fibroid) can twist and cause severe abdominal pain.
Let us know your concerns below.