I'm in the 21st week and I feel menstrual pain. The stomach feels hard. I took magnesium but it doesn't relax the stomach.

Has anyone else experienced similar pain?

asked 16 Feb '11, 01:10

jen's gravatar image

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edited 16 Feb '11, 01:11

It's probably a Braxton-Hicks contraction, which is nothing to worry about, it's just your uterus practicing for labour. And yeah, they can feel kind of crampy sometimes (they did for me in my first and fourth pregnancies, in my second and third I barely noticed them). Braxton-Hicks are usually irregular and don't increase in strengh, if they start to become stronger, or more regular, or if you have any spotting or unusual discharge, call your Doctor or Midwife right away. (21 weeks is early to be feeling them, but some women do. We're all different.)

I was told that to deal with Braxton-Hicks, the best thing to do was have a big drink of water (because dehydration can trigger them) and then do the opposite of what I was doing. If I was moving around a lot to sit down and relax, if I was relaxing, to get up and move. It usually worked.

This link describes Braxton-Hicks really well

Good luck with your pregnancy!

P.S. Thank heavens for the internet, when I was pregnant with my oldest 19 years ago and was worried for exactly the reason you are, I called my Mother at 3 in the morning. Scared the heck out of her until she realized it was just a Braxton-Hicks and then she had a really hard time not being mad at me. A really, really hard time not being mad at me.


answered 16 Feb '11, 03:26

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%


I agree with Neen's answer but when in any doubt, call your health care provider anyway. They're paid the big bucks to be interrupted in the middle of the night. At 32 weeks I had "menstrual cramps" that turned out to be real labor. My OBGYN sent me to the local hospital thinking we were both being paranoid and several hours later I was being helicoptered to a hospital with a more advanced NICU (and then, of course, my stubborn child decided not to come after all much to our relief;) ).

(16 Feb '11, 18:35) Kiesa ♦

I don't have much experience with menstrual-like pains beyond the first trimester (which I was told was due to the uterus preparing itself to grow larger in order to "house" the baby), but this article outlines some instances in which you might feel 'menstrual-type cramps':

"Stomach pain during pregnancy can have a variety of causes. Sometimes, this pain will resemble menstrual-type cramps. Gas and bloating, for example, are very common during pregnancy. Constipation is another common cause of abdominal pain for a pregnant woman. A brief, stabbing pain on one side of the abdomen or the other that occurs during the second trimester can be caused by round ligament pain. This is pain caused when the ligaments that support your uterus begin to become thicker and stretchier to help support your growing uterus."

However, it is important to note that,

"If you have strong or persistent menstrual-type cramping during pregnancy, you should talk to your health care provider right away to determine if there is a problem of some sort."


answered 17 Feb '11, 12:27

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accept rate: 13%

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Asked: 16 Feb '11, 01:10

Seen: 6,049 times

Last updated: 17 Feb '11, 12:27