Round Ligament Pain in Pregnancy
Ouch! What was that? You feel a sharp, shooting pain in your abdomen. You may wonder if this is the start of labor or perhaps your baby kicked you real hard. Whatever it was, you hope it goes away. This sharp shooting pain is most likely the result of round ligament pain. Round ligament pain is a common complaint in pregnancy often starting in the second trimester. You may notice this pain more on your right side than your left.
What exactly are round ligaments?
Round ligaments are the pair of ligaments that attach to the uterus around the area of the fallopian tubes. They extend outward to the pelvic wall through the groin area eventually fusing with the labia majora. These ligaments pull the uterus downward and forward providing support to the uterus.
What causes round ligament pain?
As the uterus stretches, these ligaments stretch with it. This stretching can cause a grabbing or shooting pain in your abdomen or groin area. Some women describe round ligament pain as a dull achiness in their abdomen or groin.
What can I do to relieve round ligament pain?
Once your doctor has confirmed what you are experiencing is round ligament pain, there are a few things you can try to relieve the discomfort. Avoiding sudden movements, shifting positions slowly, may help to avoid round ligament pain. Using a heating pad or warm compresses may also provide relief. You may want to brace your abdomen when you cough or sneeze since coughing or sneezing can trigger round ligament pain. Often, the best remedy for round ligament pain is rest.
When should I call my doctor?
You should check with your doctor to be sure this is indeed round ligament pain you are experiencing. Round ligament pain should be a sudden, short pain. If the pain doesn't subside within a minute or two, call your doctor right away as this could be something more serious. You should also call if you experience bleeding, fever, back pain, or changes in your vaginal discharge.