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Old 09-22-2012  
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Default Early Contractions During Pregnancy: What it Means

Early contractions during pregnancy are very common and are usually not serious. Typically, these early contractions are merely Braxton-Hicks contractions, or false contractions, and signify only that your body is preparing for eventual childbirth. In some cases, though, early contractions can be a sign of preterm labor. Here’s a look at the three main reasons for early contractions during pregnancy.

Early Contractions During Pregnancy: Is it Braxton-Hicks?
If your’re experiencing contractions during early pregnancy that seem to come and go, vary in intensity and fail to get stronger and closer together, these are most likely Braxton-Hicks contractions, which may be thought of as practice contractions. Most women experience these early contractions during pregnancy at some point and they usually go away if you change positions or take a warm bath.

Early Contractions During Pregnancy: Is it Preterm Labor?
Preterm labor occurs before your 37th week of pregnancy. One of the first signs is early contractions during labor which may be accompanied by a leakage of watery fluid, cramps that feel like menstruation, backache, blood from your vagina and an increase in vaginal discharge. If you have having 5 or more contractions per hour or a contraction every 10 minutes, contact your doctor immediately to get medical intervention.

Early Contractions During Pregnancy: Is it Irritable Uterus?
Finally, these contractions may be a sign of uterine irritability, which is a condition that occurs before labor and causes the uterus to contract in a unique way that’s more like a constant twitching. These contractions don’t affect the cervix and do not cause any risk of preterm labor, although they can be difficult to deal with. It’s best to consult your doctor if you are having constant low-level contractions so you can be monitored to make sure these contractions aren’t causing any changes to your cervix.
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