Implantation cramping is one of the first signs of pregnancy which many women experience. Although, about seventy to eighty percent of pregnant women may actually never experience it altogether! Still, if you are experiencing slight stomach discomfort in between your periods and you have had unprotected sex while you were ovulating, you should pay closer attention to your body so that you are able to read the slightest of changes, which can help you in identifying whether you are pregnant or not.
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What are Implantation Cramps?
As the name suggests, implantation cramping occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus lining. Sometimes, implantation cramping is accompanied by a pink or brown colored blood discharge from the vagina, which is medically termed implantation bleeding. However, it is not necessary that only if this bleeding occurs that a woman is pregnant. Sole cramping can be sometimes the only sign that implantation of the egg in the uterus has taken place. It is estimated that implantation occurs about six to twelve days after ovulation takes place, which is about a week or less before the periods of a woman are due. So, if you are experiencing cramping around the same time, it could be one of the signs of implantation cramping.
What do Implantation Cramps Feel Like and How Long Do They Last?
The easiest way to recognize implantation cramping is to feel the severity with which it occurs. Generally, cramping due to implantation is very mild, it is like a slight pain, felt in the lower abdominal region. In some women, implantation cramps on one side may occur i.e. either on the right or left, depending upon the region in which the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus.
Implantation cramping can last for a few minutes to a few hours or a couple of days, but rarely beyond that. Sometimes, along with implantation cramping, symptoms such as sensitive, tender breasts, bloating in the abdomen and as mentioned above, slight bleeding, may also be present. If you are able to recognize these signs in your body, plus your periods do not occur on the stipulated date, taking a pregnancy test would be ideal to confirm that you have conceived. The best time to take a home pregnancy test is any day after the first day your periods were due but did not occur.
Complications of Cramping
Cramping which occurs due to periods or implantation is normal and does not pose any kind of threat to women. However, if implantation cramping is severe, lasts for more than two days, and is accompanied by symptoms such as chills, fatigue, pain in the legs and shoulders, heavy bleeding from the vagina, and lightheadedness, the reason could be something else, such as ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage. Cramping is also one of the signs associated with health conditions and diseases like food poisoning, urinary tract disease, stomach flu, kidney or gallbladder stones, preterm labor, placental abruption, and preeclampsia. That’s why, a woman who experiences severe, unbearable stomach cramping and she does not suffer from PMS, should immediately contact her doctor for a thorough diagnosis.
If your pregnancy is confirmed and it is sure that what you are experiencing is indeed implantation cramping, then you should note here that this cramping may continue during the early pregnancy or may last throughout the nine months, as has been seen in some pregnant women. Nevertheless, never ever try to reduce the stomach discomfort by using a heating pad or taking a hot water bath, as these might actually raise your body’s temperature and cause birth defects. So, the solution? Be patient and wait for your delivery, post which, similar to all the other pregnancy symptoms, you will be relieved of cramping too.