Is cramping in pregnancy an early sign of pregnancy? The answer is yes; however, it is much less common than other early signs such as nausea and breast swelling or tenderness. Prenatal cramping is often accompanied by spotting. Let’s take a look at why you may experience cramping during the first weeks of pregnancy.
After his egg meets your sperm, the fertilized egg begins its journey from the fallopian tube to the uterus. This usually takes about nine days. Once in the uterus, the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus. This implantation can cause both cramping and spotting.
The medical term for this process is called implantation bleeding. And while some women do experience it, others have no side effects from the egg attaching itself to the uterine wall. If the cramping and spotting effects do occur, they can begin six to twelve days following conception. This timeline spans a time frame of six days because sperm can last up to three days in the reproductive tract, and it may take as many as nine days for the egg to travel down the fallopian tube and into the uterus.
If you experience cramping, it should be akin to your regular menstrual cramps. In fact, they may actually be lighter and less intense. But if it is cramping, an early sign of pregnancy, these cramps are often, but not always, accompanied by bleeding. Many women initially mistake implantation bleeding with the beginning of their menstrual cycle. However, the bleeding should not become heavier as it would during a menstrual cycle; this is often the first clue that what’s happening is not actually a period.
Another clue that you may be experiencing prenatal cramping rather than menstrual cramping is vaginal discharge. Once conception occurs, the vaginal walls begin to thicken slightly and a white discharge may be visible. The discharge is the byproduct of the vaginal walls’ cell growth. This discharge is normal; as long as it isn’t accompanied by negative side effects such as itching or a bad smell, you don’t need to make a doctor’s appointment.
So, is cramping an early sign of pregnancy? Of course it is. If you experience cramping just past your ovulation cycle, it’s important to monitor the cramping as well as any bleeding that occurs. If both are light and resolve themselves in short order, you may in fact be pregnant. It’s worth a trip to the closest drugstore and a seat on the toilet to see if indeed you are!