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Is Upper Abdominal Pain an Early Pregnancy Symptom?

By Jessica Russell ; Updated April 18, 2017

When a woman suspects she might be pregnant, every twinge in her body may seem to be a pregnancy symptom. While upper abdominal pain is not a reliable method to signal an early pregnancy, it may indicate a risk to an early pregnancy.

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Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy is generally indicated by symptoms including nausea, fatigue, a missed menstrual period, tender breasts and frequent urination. Abdominal cramping that feels like menstrual cramping can also indicate an early pregnancy; this is due to the embryo's implantation.


Implantation cramps are not usually felt in the upper abdomen because they are caused by the embryo implanting in the uterus. Abdominal pain can also indicate a problem, such as an ectopic pregnancy.


Upper abdominal pain may be caused by factors including trapped gas, food poisoning or heartburn. Early pregnancy nausea might be mistaken for food poisoning as well.


Sit down and relax if you experience abdominal pain. Avoid sudden movements such as twisting at the waist. If you suspect you might be pregnant, take a pregnancy test or visit your doctor.


If you think you may be pregnant and experience severe abdominal pain, call your doctor immediately. The pain could be caused by an ectopic pregnancy or another health problem such as appendicitis or a urinary tract infection.

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About the Author

Jessica Russell, a freelance writer, has been writing for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mississippi College, and writes articles for websites such as eHow.com and LiveSTRONG.com.

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