6 Reasons for Lower Back Pain During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Even an early pregnancy can lead to a number of new changes in your body. Sore breasts, sudden cravings for foods you haven’t eaten in years, and weight gain are very common changes that occur in pregnant women. 

Lower back pain is another symptom in early pregnancy. While lower back pain is common and normal, it can also indicate a more serious issue. How to spot the difference? 

Most pregnant women will have lower back pain due to physical changes and hormone fluctuations, which can change the work of ligaments, muscles, and bones leading to pain.

Additionally, in pregnant women, the uterus pushes on the abdominal muscles, which can separate and weaken them. Moreover, weight gain, and the weight of the growing baby can change the center of gravity resulting in lower back pain.

The good news is that lower back pain will go away after pregnancy, of course, if you don’t have a history of back problems. So, what are the common causes of back pain in early pregnancy? 

1. Hormone Fluctuations

Pregnancy is always accompanied by an increase in certain hormones. According to research published in the journal Pain Research and Treatment, a hormone called relaxin helps make a woman's ligaments relax for childbirth. When relaxin levels raise during early pregnancy, women can experience lower back pain from joints in the body becoming overly flexible.

Along with relaxin, progesterone causes the tissues of the body to relax. These hormones naturally rise during the normal pregnancy and prepare the cervix to open and allow the birth canal to expand in preparation for childbirth.

2. Implantation

According to the American Pregnancy Association, implantation of a fertilized egg occurs about six to 12 days after conception. This is the process in which the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. Some pregnant women don’t even notice the symptoms of implantation, while other women may experience lower back pain.

Pelvic pain will be milder than a period-induced pain and won’t last very long. If a woman doesn’t know that she is pregnant, she may even think that this is a PMS symptom.

3. Round Ligament Pain

According to the American Pregnancy Association, round ligament pain occurs due to the stretching of the abdomen and pelvic area. This happens when the uterus grows to accommodate the fetus and its surrounding fluid. 

Women might experience round ligament pain in the early pregnancy, particularly toward the end of the first trimester. Sneezing, moving, and even laughing can exacerbate this pain while resting and making slow and gentle movements can lower round ligament pain.

4. Posture Changes

Posture changes, which commonly occur in early pregnancy can contribute to lower back pain. When the uterus grows, it puts a big stress on your back. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman's center of gravity changes significantly when her belly becomes larger. This can lead to poor posture and lower back pain in early pregnancy. 

5. Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus. In this case, it usually attaches to the fallopian tube. This type of pregnancy can't be carried to the term. If the embryo remains outside the uterus, it can separate from its place of attachment and cause internal bleeding, which is actually life-threatening to a woman.

There are some indicators of a rupturing ectopic pregnancy: vaginal bleeding, pelvic, abdominal, and back pain during early pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency, therefore if you have any symptoms like dizziness, turn to a doctor as soon as possible.

6. Miscarriage

A miscarriage commonly occurs during early pregnancy. The symptoms of miscarriage include mild or severe back pain, bleeding, and spotting. However, it’s difficult to determine whether you’re experiencing symptoms of miscarriage. According to a 2019 study from the American Family Physician, about one-fourth of women will have bleeding in their first trimester and go on to have a normal pregnancy. But if you have any bleeding during pregnancy, along with cramping, you should turn to your health care provider ASAP.

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