Pregnant women suffer from a number of symptoms that serve as an early warning sign of their pregnancy. They gain weight, notice changes to their appetite, suffer from morning sickness and miss their periods. Although most women are aware of these symptoms, they do not know about some of the other symptoms that they might feel. Joint pain is one of the few symptoms of pregnancy that most women experience during their first trimester without realizing that it has a connection to their pregnancy.

Where Does the Pain Come From?

The body discovers that it's pregnant long before the woman does. A woman may not take a pregnancy test until she's already six to eight weeks pregnant, and some women go months without knowing that they're pregnant. From the moment the body realizes that it's pregnant, it begins producing more hormones and making changes that will make delivery easier. That increase in hormones can lead to pain in the lower back and in some of the joints through the body. Most women notice pain in their lower bodies, and this pain comes about as the body loosens the joints in preparation for delivery.

How Can Pregnant Women Treat Their Pain?

The pain that most women feel in their joints is a dull ache that they feel early in the morning, but some women deal with more intense pain that lasts through the day. Acetaminophen is generally safe for pregnant women, but some doctors will recommend ibuprofen, which can reduce swelling in the joints. Women who do not want to take medication can try massages to alleviate their pain. Chiropractic care can also come in handy for those who notice that the pain intensifies through their pregnancies. Heating pads and resting can also make pregnant women feel better and reduce the pain that they feel in their joints.

Is There Any Way to Avoid it?

The pain that most women feel only lasts through the first trimester. This pain is an early warning sign of pregnancy, and once the body adjusts to the increase in hormones, the pain goes away on its own. Some women find that they struggle with pain through their pregnancies as their joints swell due to the increase in body weight. Exercising is one of the best ways to alleviate pain and avoid the pain. Exercising keeps joints and muscles healthy, and women who are in good shape before becoming pregnant often suffer from less pain. Resting often and eating healthy can also help women reduce the pain they feel.

When to See an Orthopedic Doctor

Although pain in the joints is a normal sign of pregnancy, it can indicate a medical condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction. This condition occurs when the fetus frequently moves and shifts positions, and it can make labor and delivery difficult. Women should talk to a doctor if they notice that their pain does not go away after a few months or if the pain intensifies. Pain that increases throughout the day, pain moves around the body and pain that remains after rest and other home methods can all indicate a more serious problem. A doctor can diagnose the problem and offer suggestions on how to treat the condition at home.

Joint pain is one of the few symptoms of pregnancy that most women do not talk about with their friends. This pain indicates that a woman is pregnant, but in most cases, the pain disappears towards the end of the first trimester or early in the second trimester. Those concerned about the pain they feel should talk to their doctor and ask for advice on dealing with the pain.