Pregnancy brings with it a variety of new sensations, as your body undergoes changes to accommodate your growing baby. These changes may cause some discomfort but they are usually normal. This is what happens with round ligament pain during pregnancy.
What is round ligament pain?
Round ligaments, which are similar to bungee cords, are ropey tissue bands that connect the uterus and the groin. These round ligaments become stretched upward from the groin to the hip and abdomen as your baby bump grows. Some women may experience round ligament pain as their ligaments become more stretched.
How does pain from the round ligament feel?
You will feel a sharp, sudden, pain in your lower abdomen, hips, or groin. Round ligament pain can make your lower belly ache if you do more exercise than usual.
What is the best time to start experiencing pain in the round ligament?
As your baby grows, round ligaments will become more stretched. Usually, first-time mothers start to notice their bump around 16 to 18 weeks pregnant. If you have had a baby before, your bump may show earlier. The second trimester marks the point when your uterus pushes upwards into your abdomen. This is when most women feel pain in the ligaments.
How Long Does The Pain From Round Ligaments Last?
Round ligament pain in pregnancy is more common during the second trimester. However, it can continue into the 3rd trimester. Although the actual pain lasts for a few seconds, overworked ligaments can cause you to feel achy for hours.
Round Ligament Pain Symptoms
Round ligament pain doesn’t last forever, it can come and go. Many women find that it stops completely during their second pregnancy. If you experience any of these symptoms, round ligament pain may be a possibility.
- A shooting, sharp pain that occurs quickly when you change positions. This is often felt when you roll on your back, move from sitting to standing or laugh.
- Lower abdomen pain or pelvis pain: The round ligaments extend from your groin to your hips and belly during pregnancy. Any of these areas can cause discomfort.
- Increased discomfort from physical activity. Longer ligaments are more susceptible to injury when you move around. Physical activity, such as walking all day, can cause discomfort. Walking all day can cause feelings of achiness.
Contact your doctor if you are experiencing pain that is persistent or severe and resting does not relieve the discomfort. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
- Stiffness or pain
- Chills or fever
- Urination pains
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- However, contractions ( Braxton Hicks) are common.
Round Ligament Pain Treatment
Round ligament pain is a common ache and pain that comes with pregnancy. However, it can be very frustrating. It is best to avoid discomfort from ever happening. These steps may be helpful:
- Don’t do more than you should. Do not exercise harder or for longer periods of time. If you experience round ligament pain after or during your regular workout, try a gentler exercise. You might consider gentle exercises , such as swimming, to help you.
- Slow down and take your time getting up from a sitting or lying position.
- Stretching – Prenatal yoga and pelvic tilts can be helpful in relieving pain. Be careful not to do too much!
- Use a belly belt: These wide and rigid belts can be worn underneath your belly to support your bump, relieve hip pain and reduce ligament pain.
- Take a bath: This will help relieve your pain in the round ligaments. But make sure that it is not too hot.
- Take a pain relief medication: It is possible to take a safe, pregnancy-safe pain reliever like Tylenol.
- Discuss your symptoms with your doctor: Your OB-GYN will examine your condition to rule out other causes of pain.
Round ligament pain can be another sign that your body is trying to support your baby’s growth. It can also be a reminder to relax and take a break before your baby arrives.