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Definition

What is round ligament pain during pregnancy?

Round ligament pain is a sharp pain or jabbing feeling often felt in the lower belly or groin area on one or both sides. It is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy and is considered a normal part of pregnancy. It is most often felt during the second trimester.

How common is round ligament pain during pregnancy?

Round ligament pain during pregnancy is common. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of round ligament pain during pregnancy?

Round ligament pain can be concerning and uncomfortable. But it is considered normal as your body changes during pregnancy.

The symptoms of round ligament pain include a sharp, sudden spasm in the belly. It usually affects the right side, but it may happen on both sides. The pain only lasts a few seconds.

Exercise may cause the pain, as will rapid movements such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Laughing
  • Rolling over in bed
  • Standing up too quickly

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

Always tell your doctor about any type of pain you have during pregnancy. Round ligament pain is quick and doesn’t last long.

Call your health care provider immediately if you have:

  • Severe pain
  • Pain that lasts for more than a few minutes
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pain on urination
  • Difficulty walking

Belly pain during pregnancy can be due to many different causes. It is important for your doctor to rule out more serious conditions, including pregnancy complications such as placenta abruption or non-pregnancy illnesses such as:

Preterm labor pains may sometimes be mistaken for round ligament pain.

Causes

What causes round ligament pain during pregnancy?

Several thick ligaments surround and support your womb (uterus) as it grows during pregnancy. One of them is called the round ligament.

The round ligament connects the front part of the womb to your groin, the area where your legs attach to your pelvis. The round ligament normally tightens and relaxes slowly.

As your baby and womb grow, the round ligament stretches. That makes it more likely to become strained.

Sudden movements can cause the ligament to tighten quickly, like a rubber band snapping. This causes a sudden and quick jabbing feeling.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for round ligament pain during pregnancy?

Please consult your doctor for further information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is round ligament pain during pregnancy diagnosed?

Please consult your doctor for further information.

How is round ligament pain during pregnancy treated?

Based on your condition, your doctor may recommend the suitable treatment, including:

  • Pain relief. Take over-the-counter acetaminophen for pain, if necessary. Ask your doctor if this is OK.
  • Get plenty of exercise to keep your stomach (core) muscles strong. Doing stretching exercises or prenatal yoga can be helpful. Ask your doctor which exercises are safe for you and your baby.
  • A helpful exercise involves putting your hands and knees on the floor, lowering your head, and pushing your backside into the air.
  • Avoid sudden movements. Change positions slowly (such as standing up or sitting down) to avoid sudden movements that may cause stretching and pain.
  • Flex your hips. Bend and flex your hips before you cough, sneeze, or laugh to avoid pulling on the ligaments.
  • Apply warmth. A heating pad or warm bath may be helpful. Ask your doctor if this is OK. Extreme heat can be dangerous to the baby.

You should try to modify your daily activity level and avoid positions that may worsen the condition.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage round ligament pain during pregnancy?

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: November 1, 2017 | Last Modified: November 1, 2017

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