When you are five weeks pregnant, you are usually only just about finding out the good news. It is about this time that you would start to notice a few symptoms – a missing period perhaps or maybe a spot of morning sickness?
At five weeks pregnant, your baby will only be about half a centimeter in size – 5mm. Despite that, it will more than likely be causing you all sorts of stress whether it’s a bout of morning sickness, concerns over a missed period, or 5 weeks pregnant cramps.
Weighing in at about the size of an apple pip or seed, the spine, brain and heart of the baby will be starting to develop and in not too long, the heartbeat will start for the first time.
Limbs are starting to develop so very soon, your baby won’t look like tadpole anymore, and the neural tube will start to develop. It is through this tube that the connection will start between the brain and the spinal cord, and the vital functions of your baby will be regulated along with the blood supply and also the heart rate.
As well as missing your period and feeling nauseous, your body might be displaying a few other symptoms. You might experience heavy, uncomfortable or painful breasts and you might also feel very fatigued or close to exhausted regardless of how much sleep you get. You might have a bleed or experience some spotting in this early stages and at this time, you might experience those 5 weeks pregnant cramps which, although worrying, is normally perfectly normal.
Are 5 Weeks Pregnant Cramps Normal?
The good news is YES! Having cramps at five weeks pregnant is normal and is just your body’s natural way of dealing with all the changes it’s going through.
Your body is changing…
And it’s doing it at a fast rate now, getting ready for the ever-growing baby inside it. Not just physically, the hormones released will be changing also with more progesterone released during this time. The cramps you are experiencing could be down to that.
The hormone progesterone is released with one goal in mind – to help that fertilized egg get implanted into the lining of your womb. If it doesn’t, your period will come and you will not be pregnant. If the hormones do their job, the egg becomes implanted. The lining of your uterus will expand and contract during this time and this is also what could cause those cramps.
Although daunting, the entire reproductive area in general on your body is changing to get ready for your baby and there is likely to be some ‘growing pains’. As well as stretching and expanding / contracting, some women actually feel the implantation of the egg into the uterine wall. To some, this can feel very much like period pain cramps but on a more severe level. Most women do not feel anything at all during this time, or put the cramps down to expecting their now slightly period.
The increased level of progesterone in your body could have another couple of unexpected results on your body. Many women experience more constipation and gas during the early part of their pregnancy, and this is what could be causing those 5 weeks pregnant cramps. They might not be cramps at all but instead trapped wind or a spot of constipation.
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables will often provide the body with enough fiber to ensure bowel and gas movements are regular and not painful but if the problem continues for more than a few days, it is wise to seek medical advice and to rule out any more sinister underlying conditions.
5 Weeks Pregnant Cramps and Miscarriage
One of the very first things that a woman will assume when she experiences period pain-like cramps during the very early stages of pregnancy is that they are going through a miscarriage. In some cases, the women may not even realize she is pregnant and just thinks she’s having a particularly bad period. This happens more often than many women realize.
It is generally well-recognized that there is a definite difference between miscarrying at four weeks and miscarrying between the five and six week stage of pregnancy with many reporting the latter is much more painful.
Although twenty percent of women experience some form of spotting or blood in the very early stages of their pregnancy, it is when 5 weeks pregnant cramps is combined with quite heavy bleeding, or persistent bleeding, that you should be concerned.
A miscarriage will rarely be a case of cramps without bleeding but just because you have blood doesn’t automatically assume you have losing the baby. Other signs of miscarriage include:
- Lower back ache (described as severe)
- Pelvic cramps
- Stomach ache (described as severe)
5 Weeks Pregnant and Ectopic Pregnancy
If you experience severe cramps on just one side of your abdomen at five weeks pregnant, it could be a sign that you are having an ectopic pregnancy where the egg doesn’t make it the entire way through the fallopian tube before implanting.
This is a very serious complication and can prove to be life threatening for both the mother and child if left untreated. According to statistics, one in every hundred women could be at risk for ectopic pregnancy.
In almost half of all cases, the pregnancy will fail before it has a chance to develop further but if it does, medication must be given to prevent the future development of the embryo, causing it to die and create a miscarriage-like situation.
If left untreated, the fallopian tube will rupture causing fatalities.
5 Weeks Pregnant Cramps and Lower Back Pain
Cramps and lower back pain tend to come hand in hand throughout pregnancy with some women and sadly is something to be expected. Lower back pain especially is a sign that your body is changing to deal with the impending upheaval and although natural, still requires some discomfort along the way. The back pain is more than likely pressure from the added weight and exertion on the body to provide for a second life. The centre of gravity also changes in the body too, something most women are not prepared for, and this can cause real pain and aches in the back, trying to deal with a complete shift in weight almost.
Another reason why women suffer with back pain during pregnancy is because of the way they are lying down, sitting or standing. Pregnancy and especially the hormones, can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. When you add the increased bladder pressure into the mix, most women do not get a good night’s sleep for months when they are expecting. All that tossing and turning and getting up and down with the new weight and load you’re carrying is probably adding to the pressure on your back, causing aches and pains.
5 Weeks Pregnant Cramps – When to Call 911
Cramps are pretty normal throughout pregnancy although if you experience any bleeding alongside them, or pain that gets too severe, you should call 911 and seek medical advice. During the early stages, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If the cramps are not too severe, it is well worth taking some painkillers and seeing if they go away. A warm bath can often help with aches and pains and might even relax your mind too if you light some candles and play some relaxing music. Stressing out really does just make the matter worse so the more relaxed you try to be, the easier you will find it.
If you spot any unusual discharge, either grey or pink in color, or larger than usual red ones, and you have pain in one side of your abdomen only that has lasted for longer than a day, it is wise to seek medical advice. If you also notice any light spotting that lasts for longer than two or three days, you should also visit your doctor.