According to the American Pregnancy Association, abdominal pain and cramping are not abnormal during pregnancy, however, severe pain (particularly if coupled with contractions or vaginal bleeding) can be a cause for concern. A woman who is experiencing severe abdominal pain or cramping during pregnancy should contact their doctor immediately, or if necessary go to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.
What To Expect notes that one potential cause of abdominal pain or uterine cramping is implantation of the embryo. The cramping associated with the embryo implanting itself is described as similar to menstrual cramps and usually occurs five to 10 days after conception. The American Pregnancy Association states that mild cramping, as well as pain and discomfort can also be due to muscles and ligaments stretching as the baby grows.
According to BabyCenter, there are a number of potential serious causes of abdominal pain and cramping during pregnancy which should be checked by a doctor to rule them out as soon as possible. These include ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, preterm labor, uterine tract infections and placental abruption. There are also other causes of abdominal pain that may not be directly linked to pregnancy, which should also be checked by a doctor.