Cramps at 11 weeks, adhesions?

Dear women,

My name is Annemiek, I am from the Netherlands. I am 34 years old and I am 11 weeks pregnant. I hope to find some answers and information, because I cannot find it in my language.

This isn't my first pregancy. In 2012, I had an ectopic pregnancy. At 6 weeks, they had to operate (full surgery, so a large scar) and they removed my left fallopian tube, but my ovary remained there, all strangled by adhesions from my large intestine. The doctor told me that they found a lot of adhesions in the lower left part of my abdomen. There were adhesions between my intestines and my fallopian tube and my blatter and my abdominal wall. They did not remove any of the adhesions.

In 2013, I was pregnant again. The first 12 weeks, I was spotting, on the ultrasound they saw that it was because of a bleeding in my uterus. Then there were no problems untill I was 21 weeks pregnant. I woke up in the morning with painful contractions. We went to the hospital and they sent me home again. They said I was indeed having contractions, but there seemed to be no effect on my cervix, which was not dillating. I had to come back if the pain would get worse. It did and in the evening I was back at the hospital, and this time they kept me there. They ran all kind of tests, because at first they were sure I was not going into labour. I was in so much pain and they only gave me tylenol because other painkillers could harm the baby. At 3 am at night, my cervix had opened 2 cm and they confirmed I was going into labour. A few hours later I delivered. There was no chance for survival for our baby boy :(

All the tests they ran afterwards were negative, I had been completely healthy, and the baby also, they did not find a cause for the pre term birth.

Last year I was pregnant again, but it ended at 7 weeks (missed abortion, the baby had stopped growing at 5 weeks).

Now I am pregnant again. From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I have a weekly appointment at the hospital with an ultrasound and internal check up. I will get progesterone injections from 16 weeks.

Untill now, the baby is growing as it should, but my body is giving me a lot of problems. And every time I am so worried. The cannot explain it at my hospital, so I hope to find other women who have or have had the same problems.

The first problem is a cyste in my left ovary. It is 5 cm and causes a sharp pain in my left side. But I know what the pain feels like and what causes the pain, so I can live with it. Second, there is free moisture on the lower right side of my abdomen, the area is 20 cm x 6 cm, so quite large. The pain it causes feels more like pressure to me, but the doctors say it can cause more pain. Furthermore, I have been spotting off and on for the last 6 weeks. They did not find a cause for the spotting on the ultrasound. I can live with the spotting, I know it happens to a lot of women.

But then there is the cramping, which worries me a lot, because the pain resembles the contractions of my pre term labour. At 6.5 weeks, 9 weeks and 11 weeks (this weekend) I suddenly started having severe, painful, cramping of my uterus. What happens is more or less the same every time. After a few hours of painful uterine contractions, my intestines also start cramping and I have to run to the bathroom a few times because of more and more watery stool every time I go. Then, everything keeps on cramping for hours and when the uterine cramps are the most painful, I start losing some bright red blood and some blood clots (about one menstrual pad). After that, the pain subsides and the next days I keep on spotting a little bit (brown, so old blood). I went to the hospital the first two times this happened, but they did not have an explanation. The baby was fine.

The first two times, the whole thing started and ended in about 10 hours. And the pain was severe, but, for me, bearable. This weekend it started saturday night at 10 pm, the pain stopped for 3 hours on sunday morning and then it started again. It ended sunday night at 11 pm. So this time, it took about 24 hours. And the pain was unbearable half of the time, especially saturday night. No sleep for me this weekend..

I did not call the hospital, because they have no answers. I will wait for my regular check up on friday.

But the pain and especially the cramping of my uterus really worry me. This weekend, the cramping felt like real contractions and I was afraid I would miscarry. I did not, obviously, but I am afraid that if I keep having these episodes of cramping, at some point in the second trimester, it will trigger something in my body that starts the delivery, just like in 2013. If your uterus keeps on cramping, it can start the delivery.

I hope there are more woman who have experienced these kind of problems and can tell me more about the progress of their pregancies, so I know when or when not to be worried.

Best regards,

Annemiek

5 Replies

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  • Hi Annemiek,

    I am very sorry to hear about everything you have been through so far to try and have a baby in your arms. My first reaction was to say cramping pains can be normal as your body changes, but by the sounds of it your pain is a lot worse than the usual growing pains. My second thought then was to go and speak to the hospital again as they should by now be quite familiar with you and be able to help and answer your questions. It's very sad to hear that you say they don't have any answers for you. In my opinion they then need to find them. Have you asked to be seen somewhere/by someone else for a second opinion? It shouldn't be that you are in this much pain so often, and that you have to worry all the time without any professional being able to help you in any way. I'm sure they might as well be mystified by what is happening, but there needs to be some sort of support they can provide you with.

    I'd keep pestering them and keep asking for help as unless someone has gone through it here themselves, I doubt anyone can give you any answers here. That's not to say that the group here can't help you here though! Let us know how things go and in the meantime: all the best! I hope the cramping does calm down and very much hope you'll soon have that first big scan with positive results and go on to have a better pregnancy. All the best!

  • Thank you for your supporting words! You are right, I need to keep on asking the hospital for support. I will also ask for a second opinion at the University Hospital. The problem is Dutch gynecologists are really conservative (who would have thought that about a not so conservative country..). For example, bed rest is almost never prescribed here, they say because there is no real evidence that it prevents anything or helps. In Germany, Belgium and England they do prescribe bed rest.

    Online I found some remedies for a irritable uterus, like drinking lots of water and taking magnesium supplements and laying on your left side when you experience cramping. I will discuss this with my doctor, but I think I will try it anyway.

    I already had a few scans, so I already saw the baby, and he or she is growing like it should. But unfortunately I know from experience that that doesn't garranty anything.

    I will keep the group here posted if there are any changes!

  • I thought you were from the Netherlands but live here in the UK now, sorry! Every country works differently. I live in London but am from Germany. I know that in Germany there are a lot more checks throughout pregnancy than in Germany and you start maternity leave a lot sooner. Here you are allowed to work up to three days before due date (I think, otherwise it's the Friday before due date) whereas in Germany everyone goes on maternity leave at 34 weeks! Do keep pestering them for help. There's never any guarantee for any of our pregnancies (I'm currently 19 weeks) but hopefully you'll feel better soon and hopefully they will help you more! Keep us updated :-)

  • I'm so sorry for all your going through but with all this I hope u will pull through I will pray for you and the baby and that despite all the pain. Your goin through that you will be ok. Hopefully your next check up can provide some answers.

  • Hi Annemiek, so sorry to hear your story. You sound like a very strong and positive person and that is really good and encouraging. I hope that someone has been through a similar experience and will share it with you. What I know is that there is someone out there who has been though this or is going through this. It sounds like your body starts rejecting the pregnancies as time goes on. Like some kind of Auto imnune response. Like the previous ladies said, ask your hospital to be referred to a specialist, there must be someone out there with more answers. All the best.

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