Cramping, a common sign of menstrual period, is also one of the early signs of pregnancy. Cramps that a woman experiences after conception are similar to menstrual cramps, and it may confuse them.
A woman may experience mild to severe cramps after conception. Cramping is also an indication of an ectopic pregnancy, an impending miscarriage and many other medical conditions.
Mild cramping, about 8-10 days after ovulation, is an early sign of pregnancy. It is during the process of implantation that women experience cramping, which is often accompanied by spotting or light bleeding referred to as implantation bleeding.
During implantation, the embryo starts to grow in the uterus and the ligaments supporting the uterus get stretched. There are structural and hormonal changes in a woman's body, which may exert pressure on the surrounding organs, resulting in cramps. Even if a woman do not experience cramping or bleeding during implantation, it is normal. Health issues such as indigestion, constipation, stomach bloating and deficiency of minerals like calcium and magnesium are among other reasons for cramping.
Miscarriage: A severe cramping after conception, accompanied by bleeding, is a cause of concern. The hormonal imbalance (oestrogen and progesterone) can lead to cramping. The severe cramping is indicative of a miscarriage, which occurs as the body is not able to prepare for the growth of the embryo as there is insufficient progesterone.
Ectopic Pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo does not enter the uterus and starts growing somewhere else, usually in the fallopian tube. A woman may experience pain and cramping as a result of growing embryo that exerts pressure on the walls of the tube. Pressure on the walls of the tube ruptures blood vessels, often resulting in bleeding and unbearable pain in the pelvic region.
Ovarian cyst, placental abruption, preeclampsia (high blood pressure) and urinary tract infections are among other medical conditions that may cause cramping. Moreover, an abnormal condition of any organ in the abdominal cavity may lead to cramping.
Cramping after ovulation can be considered as an early sign of pregnancy, although you should check for other signs as well to confirm your pregnancy. Elevated body temperature for more than 12 days after ovulation and missed period are some of the early pregnancy signs which help confirm pregnancy.
Read more articles on Pregnancy Symptoms.