First trimester cramping is not unusual and a significant proportion of pregnant women do in fact experience mild cramps early on in the pregnancy. This is particularly likely to happen after sexual activity or when the bladder is full.
Mild first trimester cramping, even accompanied by a little spotting may be normal. However, if the cramps are strong or accompanied by heavy bleeding, then this is never considered normal and requires help.
It is important to differentiate between abdominal pain and cramping, since there may be a lot of reasons why a woman may experience this. Pregnant women often increase their intake of milk and milk products during pregnancy and this may cause indigestion, gas or constipation.
There could also be a strained muscle or ligament that could be causing the cramping so rule out all those possibilities first. Severe abdominal pain not related to a pregnancy could also be caused due to appendicitis, or a gallbladder attack, or it could be due to stretching of adhesions from previous abdominal surgery.
First trimester cramping could be an issue for worry in the event that the cramping is severe and is also accompanied by period like or heavier than period bleeding. One cause for severe pain could be an ectopic pregnancy, which is an extremely dangerous situation requiring immediate medical attention.
Also if the cramping during the first trimester is of a rhythmic nature which comes and goes, this would require urgent attention because it could be the sign of a miscarriage.
The location of the pain in first trimester cramping is also of great significance. If the pain is located in the lower portion of one side of the abdomen, then it is cause for immediate attention. This is particularly true for this kind of pain if it is accompanied by dizziness and/bleeding. This again could be the sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
Sometimes this cramping in the first trimester of the pregnancy occurs at the time that the woman’s period was due. This could be due to the hormonal changes that the body is undergoing and it could be something as innocuous as the muscles of the uterus stretching to accommodate the growth within it. These cramps could also be due to the fatigue that pregnant women often feel.
So anything more than mild first trimester cramps should be reported and diagnosis or treatment should be sought at once.