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Round Ligament Pain

Pregnancy Symptoms & Discomforts

Round ligament pain in pregnant women refers to a brief, sharp, stabbing pain commonly felt in the lower abdomen or groin area. You may also feel this as a dull ache after an active day, whether you've been walking a lot or doing other physical activity. Round ligament pain occurs more commonly on the right side of the pelvis, but it is normal to feel it on both sides. Round ligament pain is due to normal changes that take place as your body is transformed by pregnancy.

Your pre-pregnancy uterus is normally about the size of a pear. Thick ligaments, one of which is called the round ligament, support your uterus within your abdomen. As pregnancy progresses and your uterus grows in size and weight, these ligaments stretch and thicken to support and accommodate it. The ligaments can pull and tug on nearby nerves, and this causes pain. These ligaments contract and relax like muscles, but much more slowly. Any quick movement (standing up quickly, rolling over in bed, laughing, or coughing, getting out of the tub) that causes the ligaments to contract quickly, can cause pain. The pain may also be brought on by exercise. Round ligament pain should only last for a few seconds.

Round ligament pain is most common during the second trimester (usually starting between week 14 and 20).

What can I do to alleviate round ligament pain?
Rest is one of the best ways to relieve this pain. Also changing positions more slowly will allow the ligaments to stretch more gradually and can help reduce pain. If you know that you are going to sneeze, cough, or laugh bending over a little and flexing your hips can reduce the pull on the ligaments. Taking a warm bath may also be helpful in alleviating some round ligament pain. If you are experiencing consistent round ligament pain ask your health care provider to recommend some daily stretching exercises.

When should I call my doctor?
If your pain persists after resting, or it is accompanied by severe pain, notify your health care provider. If the pain lasts for more than a few minutes contact your health care provider immediately. Also notify your health care provider immediately if the pain is accompanied by any bleeding, cramping, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or change in vaginal discharge, pain during urination or if you have difficulty walking.

Comments for "Round Ligament Pain"

Have you experienced this symptom? Share your experiences.
Comment from knk2011 » Posted Nov. 27, 2012 11:28am
Occasionally if I go up the stairs or move too quickly. I also get it when I empty my bladder in the mornings.

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