information and symptoms for Braxton-Hicks Contractions
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Braxton-Hicks Contractions


Braxton-Hicks contractions are usually painless contractions of the uterus. Some women report painful sensations or more often, uncomfortable tightening of the abdominal wall. The Braxton-Hicks contractions are usually intermittent and come and go without an increase in intensity. The sometimes painful contractions are usually felt beginning after the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. This sensation is due to the increasing amounts of estrogen and also due to the fact that the uterus is experiencing distention. These really are the same sort of pains felt during menstruation. Some women find them more frequent, usually after the pregnancy is well established.

The contractions may occur every ten to twenty minutes any time after the twenty-eighth week and may not be felt by some women at all. Other women feel them continually with intensity. Sometimes, the severity of the pain is due to the fact the women is a primigravida and is more aware of changes in her body. Or, a multigravida may be more aware of Braxton-Hicks contractions due to multiple pregnancies. They are usually most noticeable toward the end of the pregnancy although the contractions can be experienced any time after the pregnancy is into the second month or so.

Sometimes, the fact that the uterine contractions are happening close to the end of the pregnancy, they prompt women to go to the hospital because the Braxton-Hicks contractions are mistakenly considered to be true labor pains. Thus, Braxton-Hicks contractions are also known as false labor pains. Probably, if statistics were quoted, it would be found that nine out of ten women especially during their first pregnancy go at least once to the hospital experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions.