Pain During Pregnancy

I just found out I am pregnant. My problem is: I began having cramps that felt like menstrual cramps prior to the time my period was due... the cramping sensation with pulls and sometimes even sharp pains on either side of lower abdomen have continued. My nurse at my ob office said that is normal. Is that true? Why? Should I be concerned? No other symptoms such as bleeding.

Cramp-like pains at the beginning of a pregnancy are quite common. They can feel like sharp shooting pains on either side of the abdomen and can stretch down into the groin area. This sensation is due to the stretching of the ligaments in the pelvis that help keep a woman's womb stable. The ligaments are being stretched during early pregnancy because the uterus is growing and putting pressure on the muscles that surround it. This sensation is more pronounced with a first pregnancy.

There are several things a woman can try in order to relieve the pain. Anything that helps her relax is good first step. Some women are helped by placing a heating pad on their abdomen, taking a warm bath or drinking a cup of hot tea. Heat tends to relax the muscles that are causing the pain. She might also try changing position, sitting down or lying down with her feet up. If cramps are accompanied by bleeding, fever, chills, or watery vaginal discharge a woman should immediately consult her doctor. Cramping in combination with other symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition.

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