Abdominal pain during pregnancy occurs regularly. At a young pregnancy you often hear that the pain resembles menstrual pain. That is understandable in itself. The uterus consists of smooth muscle tissue and when erected or contracted that gives a specific pain that women often describe as menstrual pain. Can abdominal pain be the beginning of a miscarriage during a (not too young) pregnancy? Abdominal pain is common during pregnancy, even if the pregnancy is already advanced.

If you are just pregnant, slight stomach pain is a common symptom. The pain sometimes resembles the abdominal pain such as menstrual pain. Under the influence of pregnancy hormones, the uterus focuses on itself. You feel that. It gives a pulling feeling at the bottom of your stomach. This can be either at the bottom of your stomach or on the sides of your stomach. The uterine bands, to which the uterus is attached, are also involved.

Stomach ache. Am I pregnant?

If you know that there is a chance that you are pregnant, try to reach a conclusion based on your symptoms. This is not reliable in early pregnancy. The complaints are very similar to menstrual complaints, for example:
painful breasts.
stomach ache.

You only know for sure if you are pregnant after you have done a pregnancy test.

Is abdominal pain serious?

If you do not know if you are pregnant, the pain is confusing. Is it pain because you have to have your period or is it pain because you are pregnant? Only a pregnancy test can provide a definitive answer at that stage. A pregnancy can also be determined by an ultrasound. One sees a pregnancy ring in the womb, and (from about 7 weeks gestation) one can also see a heart in the ring. A pregnancy cyst can also be visible in the ovary. In that place the egg has been sitting and under the influence of hormones a lot of moisture has formed. On the basis of these images one can see if you are pregnant or have been pregnant. All changes in your body can cause ailments at a tender pregnancy. A little abdominal pain is often one of those ailments. In most cases, abdominal pain early in the pregnancy is a sign that the hormones are doing their job. You feel a little cramping and pulling. In most cases, this is normal. Sometimes a miscarriage starts with abdominal pain, followed by the loss of blood.

Menstrual pain pregnancy. Is this a miscarriage?

Abdominal pain (and also back pain) is widely reported during pregnancy. As long as there is no blood loss, one does not so quickly think of a (threatening) miscarriage. Usually the abdominal pain is not a dangerous type of abdominal pain. However, if the pain is severe, if you lose blood or if you have a fever or headache or other symptoms, it can mean that something is wrong. In case of complaints you should always call your doctor or midwife. You can also contact us if you lose blood.

Blood loss

Yet it is not true that if you lose blood from the vagina if you are newly pregnant, you will immediately have a miscarriage. Many women lose a bit of blood at the beginning of their pregnancy, and often there is some abdominal pain. Whether it becomes a miscarriage is uncertain, often it just goes well and continues the pregnancy. If it becomes hot and miscarriage then the bleeding continues. Always consult your doctor if you are pregnant and lose blood, and if you feel that something is not right, or if there is a severe stomach ache.


Miscarriages usually start with blood loss. Unfortunately, it can be a sign that it is not in order. It can be the beginning of a miscarriage or something else is not in order, for example an ectopic pregnancy. With an ectopic pregnancy , you often also have pain on one side of your stomach. There may also be pain in the shoulder. An ectopic pregnancy is a serious situation where you need help from a doctor. The pregnancy is usually removed with an ovipositor and all, surgically. If the fruit dies at a very early stage, it can also break down without surgery, but often more serious problems arise, such as the tearing of a fallopian tube. This is accompanied by severe abdominal pain.

If you have a (normal) miscarriage, you lose more blood in the long run than with a menstrual period. Also the pain can be really intense, depending on how far your pregnancy has progressed, you also have to deal with the grief because you have had a miscarriage. You can then be emotionally upset for a while.

Abdominal pain and being pregnant

If you are pregnant you can often have abdominal pain. There are several types of abdominal pain to think of, which do not always (sometimes, sometimes not) have to do with your pregnancy:

  • the erection of the uterus at the beginning of the pregnancy.
  • general pain in the band (during the whole pregnancy, especially if the
  • stomach becomes bigger),
  • growth of the uterus.
  • cystitis (may occur during pregnancy, but also if you are not pregnant).
  • hard bellies (these are also called exercise contractions).
  • contractions (typical pain before and during childbirth).
  • infections (can cause stomach pain, if you are pregnant, but also if you are not pregnant).
  • bowel or ovarian burden (in pregnant and non-pregnant women).
  • pain in one of the organs (in pregnant women and non-pregnant women).
  • peritoneum (in pregnant women and non-pregnant women).
  • gallstone / kidney stone (in pregnant and non-pregnant women).
  • stomach pain (in pregnant women and non-pregnant women).
  • pelvic instability (often occurs during pregnancy, but can also cause back and abdominal pain afterwards, pain also often radiates to the legs)
  • and so on

Abdominal pain in pregnancy is in most cases normal if there is no vaginal bleeding and if it is not increasing pain. But that is not always true. You may have slight abdominal pain, and yet something turns out to be wrong later, or you can have annoying stomach pain while it goes with it. So in case of abdominal pain you should always contact your midwife or GP, especially if you do not trust it. In any case, contact us if you suffer from:

  • abdominal pain and blood loss.
  • abdominal pain and fever.
  • abdominal pain and headache.
  • abdominal pain and pain somewhere else.
  • stomach pain and you think the birth may have started.
  • stomach pain and you do not trust it.
  • increasing abdominal pain.
  • if you have contractions .
  • and so on.

Relieve abdominal pain (and back pain)

Do not take risks and do not walk with complaints that you can not explain. However, normal abdominal pain in pregnancy can be relieved with, for example, a belly band. This supports the abdomen and back and can relieve the specific pain of pelvic instability.