Yes, pain in your lower abdomen can be a good sign that you’re pregnant. If you are getting cramps and other symptoms you normal associate with your menstrual period, but no bleeding, you could actually be pregnant. However, the same or similar pain can also mean several other things, including that something is wrong with your body.

Take a look at how to interpret the pain you are feeling and discover if it could be a sign that you’ve conceived.

Pain in the lower abdomen: what is it?

If you are feeling pain in your lower abdomen and in the lower back, you need to work out the timing to see if you are in fact pregnant. Start by thinking back to when your last menstrual period was and work out when you ovulated. If you are now passed your fertile phase and should’ve had a period by now, it’s highly likely that you are pregnant.

Common symptoms in early pregnancy include pain on either one or both sides of your lower abdomen. You may also see a slight swelling in the front of your belly. This often comes from the corpus luteum, which is what is left of the follicle from which the egg ovulated. It produces progesterone, which thickens the lining of the uterus – hence the swelling and the pain.

It is very common for a woman to feel these symptoms after ovulating, even if she hasn’t fallen pregnant. They are often called premenstrual cramps and form part of PMT (premenstrual tension). Pain killers are usually prescribed to alleviate the symptoms. If you have fallen pregnant, don’t worry because the medication given for cramps won’t harm the baby at this stage. However, if the pain continues, it’s important to seek medical advice.

IMPORTANT: It’s essential to pay attention to all of the symptoms you are experiencing before assuming that you are pregnant.

Not all pain in the lower abdomen is a sign of pregnancy. You may just be experiencing heightened versions of the normal cramps you get due to ovulation. It’s often best to wait until you are several days late for your menstrual period – the length of time to wait depends on how regular your cycle is – before getting a pregnancy test.

If the pain intensifies but there is still minimal bleeding that is dark and brownish in color, this could be a clear sign of conception. However, if the pain gets stronger, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with the pregnancy. An ectopic or tubal pregnancy can result in quite severe pain that gets stronger as time goes on. It is definitely best to consult with your doctor if the pain gets too much and you are sure you are pregnant.

When is the pain a sign of trouble?

It’s common to think that pain in the lower abdomen is related to being pregnant or to menstrual cramps. However, this isn’t always the case. Certain intimate problems, such as a uterine infection, can present in a similar way. These infections aren’t unusual in women who are having intercourse regularly. Thankfully, these infections are quite easily treated with medication prescribed by a doctor.

Other causes of this kind of pain could indicate that you have a venereal disease such as chlamydia. Yearly Pap smears will ensure that your doctor can diagnose a problem like this quite early on and provide you with the medication you need.

Urinary tract infection

It’s important to know that a urinary infection doesn’t always present with pain in the urethral canal. Some women only feel it as pain in the lower abdomen and may not even consider that there is an infection. If your pain is constant, it’s advisable to consult your doctor. They will most likely test your urine to look for the infection, and prescribe the necessary medication to clear it.

Premenstrual tension pains

PMT, or PMS (premenstrual syndrome), can also cause some serious pain in the lower back and abdomen. All of the same symptoms you might experience in the initial phase of gestation can be exactly the same as the onset of your menstrual period. Many women, when they are about to menstruate, feel pain and discomfort such as cramps accompanied by abdominal bloating. This tends to dissipate once bleeding begins.

Cervical cancer

It may be a scary prospect, but it is important to note that severe pain in the lower abdomen that does not go away could well indicate the presence of cervical cancer. If the pain doesn’t subside, you should consult your doctor so that all of the necessary tests can be done in order to diagnose the problem.

Whatever the cause of the pain, it’s always best to see a medical professional to get expert advice on how to treat it. Do not be afraid to investigate.

Readers’ questions:

How do I know if the pain in my lower abdomen means I’m pregnant?

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to confirm a pregnancy through pain alone. In order to know if the symptoms you’re feeling are in fact a baby growing, it’s necessary to look at what else your body is saying to you. If you believe you are pregnant, you can get reasonably accurate tests from your local pharmacy.
What is the difference between pregnancy pains and PMT symptoms?
The two often present in a very similar way. Many women confuse feeling extreme premenstrual cramps with thinking that they may actually be pregnant.

I feel pain in my lower abdomen during sex, what is it?

Pain in the abdomen during intercourse can come from several problems. These include: your cervix lowering, a urinary tract infection or a venereal disease. It’s best to see your gynecologist in order to get the problem diagnosed correctly.