First trimester (weeks 0 to 12) - Stomach pain and cramps in pregnancy

Stomach or tummy pains in pregnancy are very common and can happen at any time. Most of the time, they are nothing to worry about. But sometimes they can be a sign of something more serious.

It is important to know what to look out for in each trimester and when to get help.

Urgent advice: Contact your GP, midwife, maternity unit or hospital urgently if:

  • you have severe stomach pain that won't go away

Weeks 0 to 12

Cramps, a bit like period pains, are very common in early pregnancy. These are usually caused by changes in your hormones and by your growing womb.

Sometimes stomach pains in early pregnancy can be a sign of something more serious such as:

Non-urgent advice: When to get medical help in your first trimester

Contact your GP, midwife, maternity unit or hospital if:

  • you have pain when you pee - this could be a sign of a urine infection
  • you have blood in your urine or smelly or cloudy urine - these could be signs of a urine infection
  • you have any bleeding from your vagina - this could be a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy
  • vaginal discharge that is unusual for you - this could be a sign of an infection or a miscarriage
  • the pain is severe, located mainly on one side, or if you feel dizzy or weak - these can be signs of an ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis
  • you have a fever (a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher ) - this could be a sign of infection
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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.

Page last reviewed: 14 November 2022
Next review due: 14 November 2025