A lot of people confuse implantation cramps for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and vice versa because the two are similar in certain ways. Especially for those who are trying to get pregnant for the first time, they may think that the mild cramping in their lower abdomen a few days before their expected period is just regular PMS as that is how it has always been since they started menstruating. They may not realize until later that their body is telling them they have successfully conceived a baby.
How are implantation cramps and PMS different from one another? What should you look out for to distinguish between the two?
Implantation refers to the process that occurs after fertilization in natural conception, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy services at a surrogacy clinic, and others. It is when a fertilized egg or embryo attaches itself to the uterine lining, where it will stay until the time of delivery. Like fertilization, which is often considered the beginning of a pregnancy, implantation is a similarly important event as it has to be successful for the pregnancy to proceed. Once a successful implantation is achieved, the embryo triggers the release of hormones that are necessary for the development of the baby and building up of the placenta. It also causes your period to stop and may have other symptoms such as exhaustion and cramping.
On the other hand, PMS cramps, also known as menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea, refer to the throbbing pains or cramping sensations experienced in the lower abdominal area before and during the menstrual period. They affect women differently, and their intensity can range from mild, in which you feel some slight discomfort but have no problem doing your usual routines, to severe, in which the pain is so unbearable that you are unable to perform your usual activities.
Now, let us compare implantation cramps and PMS cramps.
Many women who get pregnant via natural conception, through in vitro fertilization, or by providing surrogate services at a surrogacy clinic, experience cramps in the lower abdominal area once implantation occurs. Usually, they suffer from it for only a day or a few days, around the time they usually get their period.
In the case of women with PMS, the cramps usually occur around one to three days before menstruation. They can be very intense, like a dull and continuous pain in the lower abdomen that sometimes also extends to the lower back area and the thighs. They are also often accompanied by nausea, headache, dizziness, and loose stools.
You must visit your doctor or the nearest health facility if your cramps are getting worse and disrupting your lifestyle.