What Does Round Ligament Pain Feel Like?

Reviewed on 3/4/2021
Round ligament pain feels like a sharp or stabbing pain mostly in the lower abdomen
Round ligament pain feels like a sharp or stabbing pain mostly in the lower abdomen

Round ligament pain feels like a sharp or stabbing pain mostly in the lower abdomen or groin over one or both sides. Some pregnant women may experience it as a longer-lasting dull ache. It is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy and is a normal part of pregnancy. During the second semester, pain is typically experienced on the right side of the abdomen or pelvis, but you may experience discomfort that can occur on the left or both sides. It goes away after the delivery. You may often experience the pain upon

  • Walking.
  • Rolling over in bed.
  • Rapid movement.
  • Vigorous activity.
  • Exercise.
  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Laughing.
  • Standing up too quickly.

The pain only lasts a few seconds. You should call the doctor if you observe the following symptoms:

  • If the pain lasts longer than a few seconds
  • Severe pain or cramping or more than four contractions in an hour
  • Low back pain, especially if you didn't have back pain previously, or an increase in pressure in the pelvic area (a feeling that your baby is pushing down)
  • Bleeding, spotting, or a change in the type or amount of vaginal discharge
  • Fever, chills, faintness, nausea, and vomiting
  • Pain or burning while urinating

What is round ligament pain?

The round ligaments are two cords of the connective tissue located on either side of the uterus. The round ligaments attach the uterus to the pelvis, holding it in place such as a hammock.

Most women experience round ligament pain during pregnancy due to persistently heavier uterus and hormonal effects. It usually begins in the second trimester, although some women may experience it earlier. Round ligament pain does not pose any risk to you or your baby.

What causes round ligament pain?

Generally, the uterus is supported and surrounded by several thick ligaments. The round ligament is one of the ligaments that supports and surrounds the uterus. As the pregnancy advances, the round ligaments stretch and become softer. You may experience round ligament pain due to the tightening or spasm of the ligaments. Moreover, irritation of the nearby nerve fibers may also attribute to this pain. Sudden movements can lead to quick stiffening of ligaments such as a rubber band snapping.

What should you do to relieve round ligament pain?

Here are some ways to relieve round ligament pain:

  • Pain relief: If necessary, take over the counter acetaminophen for pain relief. Consult your gynecologist before taking any medicine.
  • Exercise: During pregnancy, it is essential to strengthen your stomach muscles. Stretching exercises and prenatal yoga can be helpful during pregnancy. Ask your physician about the workouts that are safe for you and your baby.
  • Avoid quick movements: If you wish to change your position, do it slowly to avoid sudden turns that may cause stretching and spasm.
  • Flex your hips: Lean forward when you are about to cough, sneeze, or laugh and place your hands under the bump to support it.
  • Apply warmth: A heating pad or warm bath can be relaxing at this time. Consult your doctor regarding the temperature of the water and about the safety of this method.
  • Rest: Getting plenty of rest during round ligament pain may also help.

As a word of caution, you should try to modify your daily activity level. Moreover, avoid positions that can exacerbate the symptoms.

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References
https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-round-ligament-pain#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/round-ligament-pain/faq-20380879

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5186-pregnancy-having-a-healthy-pregnancy

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