Round Ligament Pain during Pregnancy

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When a woman becomes pregnant, her uterus begins to grow quickly to accommodate the developing fetus. As her uterus grows, it causes the ligaments which hold it in place to stretch as well. These ligaments are known as round ligaments. As these ligaments stretch and thicken, it can cause discomfort in the pregnant woman. This pain and discomfort is more commonly known as round ligament pain. Round ligament pain is a common occurrence and discomfort that is typically experienced by all pregnant women.

When a pregnant woman experiences round ligament pain during pregnancy, the discomfort usually presents itself as a sharp and jabbing type of pain. The pain is felt deep within the groin and sometimes this pain affects the back and legs. The pain can be felt on one or both sides. The level and discomfort of round ligament pain can be increased if a woman is carrying multiples. It can also be increased as she gets further along in the pregnancy. Lastly, it can be increased due to prolonged movement and activity by the pregnant mother.

Fortunately, round ligament pain can be soothed and eased with simple at home techniques and methods. A pregnant woman who is experiencing round ligament pain can do things such as relaxing and/or resting when the pain starts. She can also take a warm bath to help relax the ligaments. A warm shower can also help if the pain is felt in the lower back. Another way to ease round ligament pain is to place a pillow between the legs while resting on one’s side.

Even though round ligament pain is a common occurrence, there are times when medical advice should be consulted. If there is bleeding, and/or contractions, or the pain increases, increased pelvic pressure and/or pain while urinating a physician or midwife should be contacted.

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  • Dan Canfield
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