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Painless, irregular contractions of the womb may cause varying degrees of discomfort in a woman throughout pregnancy. These pains are called Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Reasons:
Though these innocent aches are the most common cause of pain in pregnancy, other possibilities like

  • Miscarriage, premature labor and premature separation of the placenta need to be considered.
  • Infections of the stomach (gastritis), pancreas (pancreatitis), appendix (appendicitis), gall bladder (cholecystitis) and urinary bladder (cystitis) can also cause pain in pregnancy.
  • Often simple ailments like flatulence or bloating, constipation and indigestion, which are common during pregnancy, may present as tummy pain in a pregnant women.

Symptoms:
Pain usually starts in the low back or lower tummy and is of a cramping nature. It is most often transient. Persistent severe pain, associated with fever, vomiting or other localizing symptoms need urgent evaluation.

Precautions:
It is important to know when to approach a doctor. In cases of doubt, it is always advisable to visit a doctor anyway.

General Treatment:
Depending on the type of pain and severity, varying degrees of intervention may be necessary. Labor pains are typically intermittent with increasing intensity and frequency. Most often, the pain is mild, temporary and subsides on its own. Rarely, an anti spasmodic like drotaverine may be used to alleviate discomfort. Surgical intervention is required in exceptional cases only.


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