Causes of abdominal pain during the final trimester of pregnancy
Is lower abdominal pain at 35 weeks pregnant a cause for concern? According to experts, the main reasons for this phenomenon include:
Many expectant mothers tend to follow their own cravings and preferences during pregnancy, leading to constipation. This is a significant factor contributing to lower abdominal pain in pregnant women.
Furthermore, the continuous pressure of the uterus against the intestinal wall can also lead to lower abdominal discomfort. With elevated progesterone levels, intestinal movement slows down, causing food to pass through the digestive tract at a slower pace than usual. This can result in discomfort for the mother and even impact the fetus.
To counter this, pregnant women are advised to maintain a well-balanced diet rich in fiber and stay adequately hydrated. Incorporating mild exercises into their routine can also help prevent constipation.
Accumulation of Body Fat
Weight gain is an inevitable aspect of pregnancy, and many individuals experience significant increases in weight. While some might consider weight gain during pregnancy as normal, this perception is entirely inaccurate.
Being overweight during pregnancy can lead to numerous challenges for the expectant mother and can have adverse effects on the developing fetus.
- Impact on the Mother: Excess weight and obesity increase the mother’s susceptibility to conditions such as gestational diabetes, cramps, swelling, pain, and discomfort. Additionally, the likelihood of requiring a cesarean section is higher, and regaining pre-pregnancy shape becomes more challenging after giving birth.
- Effects on the Fetus: There is an elevated risk of the fetus developing heart disease and digestive disorders after birth.
Furthermore, excessive weight gain leads to an enlargement of the mother’s abdomen. Fat cells require time to adjust to the expanding uterus, contributing to the lower abdominal pain experienced by women at 35 weeks of pregnancy. The most common symptom is pain resembling menstrual cramps.
By the 35th week, the fetus has significantly grown, exerting pressure on the mother’s abdominal wall and causing acid reflux. This pressure also contributes to abdominal pain in pregnant women at this stage.
Pain that radiates up to the chest and behind the breastbone results in a burning sensation. To address this condition, it’s advisable to modify your diet to include fewer acidic foods or consult your doctor for medication recommendations.
As the fetus continues to grow, the skin of the abdomen stretches. Common indicators include tightness and itchiness in the abdominal region. However, these sensations are primarily symptomatic of the skin stretching during pregnancy. Remedies such as gentle massages, applying lotion, or taking warm baths can be effective.
Pressure on the Uterus
The enlarging fetus exerts pressure on the uterus and surrounding organs. This uterine pressure can vary based on a woman’s movement and gait, potentially increasing the risk of discomfort or injury.
During this period, it’s advisable for pregnant women to prioritize rest and relaxation to alleviate pain. If the discomfort persists and intensifies, seeking immediate medical attention is recommended.
Liver and Gallbladder Issues
If you notice abdominal pain on the right side, beneath or close to the ribs, accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, cramping pain, jaundice, or itching, it could be indicative of problems related to the liver and gallbladder.
Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can lead to a condition known as cholestasis of pregnancy. This condition, also referred to as Cholestasis of Pregnancy, has the potential to impact fetal development if not promptly addressed. In some cases, doctors may recommend delivering the baby earlier to avert severe complications.
The placenta undergoes development simultaneously with the uterus throughout pregnancy. This vital organ plays a crucial role in ensuring the fetus’s well-being by supplying essential nutrients.
While the placenta typically detaches from the uterus after childbirth, there are infrequent cases of placental abruption. Global statistics indicate that approximately 0.5% of pregnant women experience placental abruption.
In such instances, the placenta begins to detach from the uterine wall, resulting in intense uterine tightness and pain. This condition significantly jeopardizes the fetus, leading to grave complications like blood clotting disorders or perinatal mortality.
Hence, seeking immediate medical attention is imperative if the pain intensifies and persists.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are another health concern that pregnant women should remain vigilant about. Currently, roughly 10% of expectant mothers are susceptible to UTIs.
If left untreated for an extended period, this condition could escalate into a kidney infection, elevating the risk of premature birth. Therefore, upon experiencing indications of lower abdominal discomfort such as burning sensations while urinating, foul odor accompanied by blood, or pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis, it’s crucial to promptly consult a doctor for timely treatment.
Diagnosing appendicitis during pregnancy can pose challenges. As the uterus expands, the appendix is pushed closer to the area near the belly button or liver, causing a delay in the diagnostic process compared to the usual pace.
This phenomenon primarily contributes to the heightened risk of mortality from appendicitis in pregnant women. Consequently, if an expectant mother experiences the following symptoms: pain in the lower right abdomen, accompanied by appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial.
Preeclampsia is a perilous condition that demands the attention of pregnant mothers. This symptom can induce alterations in blood vessels, affecting various organs including the liver, kidneys, brain, and placenta.
This phenomenon typically arises after the 20th week of pregnancy, with the most pronounced signs manifesting around the 34th week. Thus, if a mother is at 35 weeks of pregnancy and experiences lower abdominal pain accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Elevated protein levels in the urine.
- Intense headache.
- Visual changes: Transient vision loss, blurred vision, light sensitivity.
- Upper abdominal or right rib pain.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Reduced platelet count.
- Impaired liver function.
- Shortness of breath.
- Sudden weight gain or swelling in the face, feet, or hands.
Given that this phenomenon poses significant risks to pregnant women, immediate medical attention is essential if any of the aforementioned symptoms become apparent.
Are Lower Abdominal Pains in Pregnant Women Dangerous?
Experiencing lower abdominal pain at 35 weeks pregnant is generally considered a common occurrence and not inherently dangerous. Nevertheless, it’s crucial for expectant mothers to avoid complacency and remain attuned to their body, particularly paying close attention to accompanying symptoms such as:
- Intense abdominal pain along with dark bleeding, bowel irregularities, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue. These are indicative of an ectopic pregnancy.
- Intermittent abdominal pain exacerbated by blood clots. This could be a sign of a threatened miscarriage or miscarriage.
The aforementioned symptoms serve as warning signs of potential danger. Pregnant women should promptly seek medical examination to ensure timely treatment and safeguard the well-being of their pregnancy.
How to Alleviate Lower Abdominal Pain for 35-Week Pregnant Women
Lower abdominal pain at 35 weeks of pregnancy is generally not concerning when not accompanied by dangerous symptoms. To improve the condition, consider the following measures:
- Engage in gentle movements or exercises such as Pilates, yoga, and kegels.
- Take a warm water bath and ensure proper hydration with warm fluids.
- Try bending towards the source of pain.
- Lie down gently to find relief.
When Should a 35-Week Pregnant Woman with Lower Abdominal Pain Seek Medical Attention?
Beyond the typical symptoms, pregnant women experiencing lower abdominal pain should promptly contact a doctor if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- Intense abdominal pain specifically on the right side.
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Onset of regular contractions.
- Presence of fever, nausea, or vomiting.
- Elevated blood pressure, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, or bodily fatigue.
- Itching, yellowing of the skin or eyes.
In such instances, seeking immediate medical attention is advised.
A 35-week pregnant mother experiencing lower abdominal pain might encounter a fairly common occurrence. However, it’s imperative not to be complacent. Mothers should heed their bodies’ signals and take timely measures to prevent jeopardizing their own well-being and that of their fetus.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.