Stomach Cramping after Conception – Is it Normal?


Have you ever heard of stomach cramping after conception? Stomach cramps after conception do occur, learn when, why and whether cramping is normal after conception.

Being a woman means having to endure stomach cramps when it is that time of the month. Women do not get stomach cramps because of menses only, as it gets complicated after conception. Cramping after conception become obvious thorough the day and night. They leave you feeling disheveled and exhausted. So must they occur after conception and are they normal? The menses cramps are normally dealt with using hot water bottles, find out if you have to do the same for stomach cramps after conception.

Stomach Cramping after Conception – Is it Normal
Stomach Cramping after Conception – Is it Normal

Do You Cramp After Conception?

You are not alone. According to healthcare providers, about 20-30% of women experience stomach cramps after conception. The severity of the cramp varies but as you might well be aware, the experience is never pleasant. You may feel that sharp pain that leaves you wobbling and leaving the house becomes a major problem. The night cramps on the other hand, deprive you of sleep and make you irritable to everyone and anything around you.

Is Cramping Normal After Conception?

Stomach cramping is normal after conception. During conception, fertilization of the egg by the sperm takes place. The fertilized egg then travels to the uterus and gets itself attached to the uterine wall in a process known as implantation.

Some women do experience cramping during this implantation process. The cramping after conception could also be accompanied by spotting or light bleeding, known as implantation bleeding. Remember, it is perfectly normal if you do not experience cramping after conception or bleeding during implantation stage.

Cramping Right After Conception

Cramping days after conception are 6 to 10 when implantation is taking place. There are those women who claim to have cramps as early as a day after conception. This is almost impossible. It could be that they are eager for pregnancy or there could be some other problem. If you cramp a day after conception, it is best to consult your doctor.

Cramping however is not as bad as it is a way your body tells you that a new life has started forming inside you. This affirmation of cramping is shared by most women across cultures and is often reason to rejoice in the hope of an upcoming newborn. Having had the stomach cramps myself, I can tell you that they can leave you illogical and moody. Sometimes you just want to bang your head against a brick wall.

Stomach Cramps After Conception

As the embryo starts growing in the uterus, the ligaments supporting the uterus stretch to accommodate the new life. Several hormonal and structural changes take place in the woman’s body at this time. The growing uterus exerts pressure on the surrounding organs, resulting in stomach cramps after conception. Women may suffer from problems like indigestion, constipation and stomach bloating. A woman’s body needs more nutrients during pregnancy. Therefore, experiencing mild cramping after conception like menstrual cramps or abdominal cramps during pregnancy is perfectly normal.

Nevertheless, should you experience severe cramps soon after conception it is advisable to see a medical specialist as soon as possible. The last thing you need after the good news of conception is to be the last person to know about the well being or safety of your unborn baby. Severe stomach cramps after conception are a result of several reasons, which can affect your pregnancy in the long term. These could include:


If a woman experiences severe cramping after conception, followed by bleeding then it can be a cause to worry. Female hormones play an important role in a healthy pregnancy. Hormonal imbalance, especially low progesterone levels during early pregnancy can lead to cramping and miscarriage. The hormone progesterone helps maintain the required temperature during ovulation.

After conceiving, a woman’s body temperature remains slightly above normal. Progesterone helps direct more blood towards the uterus by stimulating the blood vessels around it. It further promotes the thickening of the uterus lining as well as the cervical wall. Therefore, progesterone helps the body to prepare for the growth of the embryo.

A woman who lacks enough progesterone may not be able to hold the embryo in the uterus, resulting in cramping and miscarriage. This is one of the most devastating experiences, losing the embryo even before it develops into a fetus.

Cramping Could be a Sign of Conception
Cramping Could be a Sign of Conception

Ectopic Pregnancy

Sometimes stomach cramps after conception could be due to an ectopic pregnancy. Once the egg has bee fertilized it may fail to divide itself into many cells and move to the uterus.  Instead, it starts to grow in the fallopian tube therefore, leading to an ectopic pregnancy. As the growing embryo exerts pressure on the walls of the fallopian tube, the woman experiences severe cramping after conception.

The growing pressure rips the blood vessels apart and bleeding occurs. A woman with an ectopic pregnancy will complain about sharp pain in the pelvic region. Some women may experience referred pain in the shoulder, neck or both. She may suffer from lower back pain as well. Dizziness and fainting due to low blood pressure is also possible due to ectopic pregnancy.

It is therefore important to feel you stomach cramps and determine whether they need a doctor’s attention or not before it becomes too late. Ectopic pregnancies require termination by professional gynecologists or obstetricians.

Cramping After Implantation and How to Relieve It

Many women have low, period-like pain or cramps for a day or two after conception. This usually happens around the time the embryo is embedding itself in the lining of the uterus or implanting. In the second trimester, the muscles and bands of tissue that support the uterus stretch. This stretch can cause a dull ache across the belly or a sharp pain on one side. Many women feel the pain most severely when getting up from a bed, chair or when coughing.

In the second and third trimesters, you may feel an irregular tightening of your uterus muscles, often called false labor. False labor is usually painless, but some women feel so much pain. False labor tends to increase in the weeks right before your due date and can be confused with early labor. You are probably having false labor if the contractions stop when you walk, are irregular and do not get stronger or closer together over time. Many women confuse this with getting into labor.

Cramps signal implantation, but making the likelihood concrete will have to depend on pregnancy tests and symptoms. Implantation cramps alone, despite popular belief do not confirm pregnancy. The symptoms of implantation cramps crop up as a simmering ache in the lower abdominal region.

In addition, the body starts to adjust to the increase in pregnancy hormone levels. This causes mild discomfort and cramping. It is quite difficult to identify implantation cramps as not everyone experiences them and even those who do, instinctively put them off as some normal menstrual cramps. A later report surprises or shocks them as seen above with miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.

How to Relieve Cramping after Implantation

There are various ways to reduce cramping after implantation.

  • Take lots of water and fluids as cramps are often attributed to low body fluid levels in women, which is also a major cause of constipation.
  • Try to relax and have plenty of rest. Yoga could help in that, but try to avoid those mind and body twisting positions that could trigger a nasty fall.
  • A hot compress with a hot water bottle could also come in handy.
  •  Prescription drugs could help, but always consult your physician to avoid causing damage to the embryo.

Cramping after conception is an annoying, often frustrating occurrence to a pregnant woman. Having to deal with extra weight and swollen legs is bad enough, but cramps can tip the balance to near insanity especially in this time of emotional instability. Just suck it up, you are not alone and take care of yourself.

More on Conception:

Read More on Pregnancy Signs and Ovulation.