Pain in early pregnancy


A pregnancy is a great burden on the body of the expectant mother.
Especially during the first months ( ie in early pregnancy ), some changes must be initiated within the organism.

Especially the conversion of the hormone balance can cause various complaints in early pregnancy.
Women who are pregnant for the first time are often prone to worry about completely normal symptoms of early pregnancy.

Tension and slight pain around the breasts are among the most common complaints, especially during the first months.
Many women report marked breast traction during pregnancy within the first few weeks of pregnancy.

  • Tugging in the chest during pregnancy
  • Chest changes in pregnancy

In addition, nausea and vomiting may occur due to hormonal changes during early pregnancy.

In principle, these symptoms can occur throughout the day. However, the majority of women suffer from morning sickness and vomiting during early pregnancy.

Furthermore, it may come in the course of pregnancy to the occurrence of itching.
In cases where this itching is weak, the affected women should not worry.
Mild itching during early pregnancy can have hormonal causes and disappear completely over time.
Even women who are already in later stages of pregnancy often complain of itchy skin.

The cause of this phenomenon is, in most cases, the slow stretching of the skin caused by the growth of the child.
Although most complaints that occur during early pregnancy are harmless, a specialist ( gynecologist, gynecologist ) should be consulted in cases of severe pain, bleeding or persistent symptoms.

Are pain in early pregnancy normal?

Pain in early pregnancy is quite common and occurs in many pregnant women. The body has to adapt to the new conditions and make room for the adolescent child, especially in the area of ​​the uterus. The stretching of the uterus and its ligaments as well as the enlargement of the bony pelvis in the area of ​​the symphysis can be the cause of the pain. As pregnancy progresses, the body soon adjusts to the new situation and the pain subsides.

Nonetheless, with persistent pain, serious causes of the condition must always be considered and clarified by the doctor. These include, for example, a threatened miscarriage, infections in the abdomen (inflammation of the uterus or ovaries, cystitis, appendicitis) or even a Fehleinnistung the fertilized egg in the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy). Persistent, increasing or severe pain is therefore absolutely a reason to visit the gynecologist.


Even pain that occurs during early pregnancy are in most cases completely harmless and are related to the adaptation of the organism to the growing child.

However, it should be noted that pain during early pregnancy can also be a warning sign.
For this reason, in case of doubt, a specialist should always be consulted immediately.

In many cases, the localization and quality of the pain already experienced can provide a first indication of its cause.
Especially during the first three months after egg cell fertilization ( so-called early pregnancy ) there is a risk of miscarriage.

harmless causes

Simple abdominal pain, which often suffers from every woman of childbearing age, can also occur during early pregnancy.
In most cases, young women experience this form of pain shortly before or during menstruation.

During pregnancy, most affected women are confused or even scared as soon as they feel the same pain.
However, pelvic pain is not uncommon during early pregnancy and in most cases completely harmless.

After fertilization of the egg, it first comes to their implantation in the uterus ( technical term: uterus ).
Afterwards, the organism has to adjust to the pregnancy and distribute various pregnancy hormones.
The uterus itself begins to increase in size and exert appropriate pressure on the still firm tissue and the muscles of the pelvis. In addition, especially during early pregnancy, the straps of the uterus are greatly stretched to provide sufficient space for the growing child can.

This variety of changes within the female organism can cause severe pain (especially abdominal pain), especially during early pregnancy.
Women who experience menstrual pain during early pregnancy rarely have to worry about the unborn child.

In most cases, the symptoms lessen within a few weeks and have completely disappeared by the end of the first trimester.

Another symptom that commonly occurs in connection with harmless pain in early pregnancy is flatulence.

Serious causes

If a woman suffers from long-term and / or particularly severe pain during early pregnancy, these can be serious.

Whether the pain is limited to one side of the abdomen or bilateral, gynecological examination should not be delayed for long. The most common diseases that lead to persistent and / or severe pain during early pregnancy are:

  • Strains of the mother tape
  • Ectopic pregnancy ( ectopic pregnancy )
  • miscarriage
  • Premature labor
  • Leiomyomas ( benign tumors )
  • Placental detachment

Especially in the case of an ectopic pregnancy ( implantation of the fertilized egg within a fallopian tube ) is a potentially life-threatening situation in which must be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise there is a risk of rupture ( tearing ) of the affected fallopian tube.
This in turn can lead to enormous bleeding up to death.
Early presentation to a specialist can be life-saving in these cases.

Causes of pain in the middle abdominal area

Many women suffer from severe and / or stinging pain in the middle abdomen during early pregnancy.
In most cases, these pains are associated with nausea and vomiting. The causes of pain during early pregnancy, which are localized especially in the area of ​​the middle abdomen, can be manifold.

Even with this form of abdominal pain harmless triggers must be distinguished from serious diseases.
Common causes of low abdominal pain include mild to severe constipation and heartburn.
Also, the presence of a viral gastrointestinal infection or bacterial food poisoning can be a cause of such pain.

Diagnosis of pain in early pregnancy

In order to be sure that the pain experienced by the expectant mother in early pregnancy is harmless or serious, extensive diagnostics must be initiated at an early stage.

The diagnosis of pain in early pregnancy includes individual examinations that relate to both the expectant mother and the unborn child.

In this context, the most important vital signs of both patients must be checked. Important steps in the collection of these vital parameters are the collection of the mother's blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation.

In addition, the heart sounds of the child should be monitored for the time being.
Furthermore, in the presence of pain in early pregnancy, the diagnosis includes a laboratory chemical control of the blood count and urine. Also on the implementation of an ultrasound examination must not be waived in pain in early pregnancy.

X-ray examinations, as well as CT, do not occur during pregnancy, as exposure to radiation could adversely affect the fetus.

In the case of a tumor of the unborn child, an ectopic pregnancy or the like, an MRI during pregnancy can be carried out after strictly exceptional cases. However, there are clear restrictions on MRI during pregnancy, so MRI should always be considered carefully.


The treatment of pain that occurs during early pregnancy largely depends on the underlying cause.

However, since it is in most cases completely harmless pain can often be taken after successful diagnosis, a wait-and-see attitude.
In the case of early pregnancy pains caused by hormonal changes, the symptoms usually disappear until the end of the first trimester.

A medical intervention is not necessary.
Pain in early pregnancy, which is due to gastric acid escalation into the esophagus ( so-called heartburn ), can in most cases be treated by a targeted diet change.

In this regard, expectant mothers suffering from frequent heartburn should take distance from pungent or acidic foods.
Prolonged heartburn may result in damage to the mucous membranes of the esophagus.

Menstrual pain in early pregnancy can be alleviated by the use of painkillers ( analgesics ).
However, pregnant women should be aware that fetal damage can not be ruled out even with the approval of expectant mothers.

For this reason, both the ingestion and the dosage of the analgesic used should be carefully considered.
For pain in early pregnancy are especially drugs that have the active ingredients ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Severe or recurrent complaints that occur during early pregnancy must be clarified by a doctor.

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Some diseases ( such as ectopic pregnancy ) require prompt treatment.
Slight placental detachment is usually treated by maintaining strict bed rest.


Pain in early pregnancy is completely harmless in the majority of cases.
However, if the underlying condition is a serious condition, the fetus may not be able to be treated any longer.

The occurrence of a miscarriage is possible. Depending on the underlying disease ( for example, in the presence of fallopian tube rupture after ectopic pregnancy) and the life of the mother may be at risk.

Pain similar to menstrual pain - what can it be?

Pain in early pregnancy that feels similar to menstrual pain can have different causes. Most of them are harmless in nature, but should be medically clarified if they last for a long time or worsen. The pain can be caused, for example, by the adjustment processes in the area of ​​the uterus and its holding apparatus. The uterus enlarges, the mucous membrane is loosened up in order to create the best possible growth conditions for the growing embryo. In addition, the ligaments holding the uterus in place are stretched. This can cause pulling and unpleasant pains in the abdomen, which may resemble period pain.

Many women are confused by this common pregnancy sign and fear a miscarriage. However, in most cases the complaints are not a cause for concern. However, if they are accompanied by other symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, general malaise, fever or other symptoms of illness, a doctor should urgently be consulted.

In general, abdominal pain in early pregnancy must also be thought of as a threatened miscarriage, so that in case of doubt and especially for calming the pregnant woman a visit to the gynecologist is recommended. Ultimately, such complaints must also be thought of other diseases of the lower abdomen, such as a urinary tract infection or appendicitis. Many pregnant women also suffer from flatulence during pregnancy. The accumulated air in the intestine can also trigger oppressive or drawing pains, which may have a pseudo-painful character.

Low back pain in early pregnancy

Low back pain in early pregnancy can have different causes. For one thing, they can be directly related to pregnancy as the body adapts to the pregnancy and the uterus and ligaments in the pelvic area are stretched. The course of the ligamentous apparatus and nerves can also cause pain in the lower back.

The most common complaints are orthopedic. The lower back is exposed to daily stress. Both in predominantly sedentary as well as in standing activity loads a lot of weight in this area. Benefiting from muscular weaknesses and poor posture, there is an excessive burden on the lumbar spine area and thus pain.

In this case, it is important to pay attention to good footwear, a gentle posture and sufficient physical activity. The targeted strengthening of the muscles in the abdomen and back helps to stabilize the spine and can quickly cause pain relief. In the case of severe back pain, pregnancy complications (ectopic pregnancy, impending miscarriage) must also be considered and a medical check-up carried out. It could also be a herniated disc during pregnancy. The walk to the doctor should necessarily be made in such cases.

Upper abdominal pain in early pregnancy

Also for pain in the upper abdomen in early pregnancy, different causes come into consideration. Not a few women suffer from abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, especially during the first months of pregnancy, due to the hormonal changes. In advanced pregnancy, upper abdominal pain in particular is more common because the adolescent child exerts increased pressure on the internal organs. However, there may be upper abdominal pain in early pregnancy, but then more often have other causes.

One cause that needs to be considered is heartburn during pregnancy. Increased production of stomach acid and relaxation of the esophageal sphincter may cause gastric acid to flow back into the esophagus and cause burning pain. Gastritis may also cause upper abdominal pain. In both cases, inhibition of gastric acid production can relieve the symptoms. The therapy should be clarified with a doctor.

A pregnancy-related condition that can cause upper abdominal pain is the so-called HELLP syndrome. However, this usually only occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy and should therefore only be mentioned briefly here.

Ultimately, upper abdominal pain must also be thought of in diseases of the gallbladder and biliary tract as well as on the pancreas. Appendicitis can also begin with upper abdominal pain, which later migrates to the right lower abdomen. Persistent and severe pain should always be clarified by a doctor.

Pain in the groin in early pregnancy

During pregnancy, the pelvis and its numerous ligamentous structures are subjected to enormous stress. Already in early pregnancy, the body begins with the loosening of the ligaments, so that enough space for the growing child is created and this at the end of pregnancy can escape through the maternal pelvis. The relaxation of the ligaments can be painful and at times very uncomfortable. Since many muscles pull through the groin area and many band structures are anchored in this area, the groin in early and late pregnancy can also hurt.

This is usually nothing to worry about. However, pain that persists and / or is very strong should also suggest other causes. Thus, a groin hernia as the cause is also considered for groin pain. This can be independent of the pregnancy or due to the relaxation in the pelvic area and later the increasing pressure in the abdomen caused by the growing child. In a hernia, the pain is often increased by processes that increase the pressure in the abdomen, for example, coughing, sneezing and pressing during bowel movements. In addition, it is often possible in this area to feel the breakage bag which bulges outward through the abdominal wall.

Even muscular tension or swollen inguinal lymph nodes can be the cause of the discomfort. The latter can, for example, increase in the context of infections in the urogenital area and then cause groin pain. This can be determined during a physical examination by a doctor. If the symptoms do not improve within a few days, this should be done.

Pain in the legs in early pregnancy

Many women suffer at the beginning of pregnancy from various symptoms, which are particularly due to the hormonal change in the context of pregnancy. Body aches, such as leg pain, can be associated with early pregnancy symptoms. In advanced pregnancy, pain and heaviness in the legs are often due to water retention or impaired venous drainage of the blood from the legs.

In early pregnancy, however, leg pain can also be caused by magnesium deficiency. It comes more often to calf cramps during pregnancy, which can cause unpleasant muscle pain similar to the pain. Ultimately, the symptoms can also occur in connection with a Restless Legs Syndrome. The pregnant women feel particularly in the evening, when they lay down to rest, tingling, pain and a urge to move in the legs, which urges them to move the legs or even to get up and running around.

Another diagnosis that must be considered for leg pain during pregnancy is thrombosis. However, this occurs only very rarely simultaneously in both legs. It is usually one-sided and can lead to leg pain and swelling. By an ultrasound examination, a vein thrombosis can usually be detected well. Persistent leg pain in early pregnancy should be clarified by a doctor.

Pain on the ovaries in early pregnancy

Pain in the area of ​​the ovaries in early pregnancy are not uncommon. The hormonal change leads to loosening of the ligaments and loosening of the uterine lining, as well as to the stretching of the uterus. Because the ovaries are connected to the uterus, they too can be painful.

In particular, one-sided severe complaints in early pregnancy but must also be thought of an ectopic pregnancy. Here, the fertilized egg does not nest as intended in the uterus, but already in the fallopian tube. Since this is not intended and the growing embryo does not provide sufficient space, it comes to severe pain. This situation must be corrected as soon as possible surgically, otherwise the fallopian tube threatens to tear.

In general, diffuse pain in the area of ​​the ovaries in early pregnancy is usually no cause for concern. Most women feel a pull here and there. However, should the pain persist or worsen, you should consult a doctor for further investigation.

Pain when coughing

Coughing pain in the chest area may be due to a flu infection or bronchitis in early pregnancy. If coughing symptoms occur in addition to coughing, it can be assumed that the cause lies in the respiratory tract.

However, some pregnant women complain in early pregnancy about pain when coughing in the lower abdomen or in the groin. By coughing, the pressure in the abdomen is greatly increased in the short term. This puts pressure on the organs and the surrounding structures. Stretching the ligaments in the pelvic area during pregnancy can generally irritate the tissue and make it painful to apply pressure. If the pain occurs when coughing in the groin, it may also be a hernia. In this case, a bowel loop protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall and can be pinched in this break point. When coughing the hernia sack is pressed into the gap, which manifests itself in the typical pain.

In general, only a medical examination can clarify the exact cause of the complaint. If the pain persists, a gynecological clarification is therefore advisable.

Common discomforts in your first trimester (February 2020).

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