Being pregnant comes with many joys, but also many discomforts. For many women, one of those discomforts is round ligament pain. Round ligament pain is commonly experienced in pregnancy and though it is quite harmless, it can cause a great deal of pain. Fortunately there can be relief, and we’ll outline some remedies that will help make round ligament pain during your pregnancy less severe.
What is Round Ligament Pain?
The round ligaments are a pair of cordlike ligaments that support the uterus by connecting from the front of the uterus to the groin area. Round ligaments are shorter, firm, and flexible when a woman is not pregnant. As pregnancy progresses, however, round ligaments become softer and stretch as they become under a great deal of tension from the growing baby. Researchers believe that round ligament pain is caused by the tightening (or spasms) of the ligaments, and the irritation of nearby nerve fibers.
Usually round ligament pain is experienced on the right side of the abdomen or pelvis, but it can also occur on the left, or both sides simultaneously. Round ligament pain typically begins in the second trimester and can continue into the third trimester as well. Women describe the pain as deep, sharp, or stabbing, and it usually occurs suddenly upon sudden movements. Round ligament pain can be triggered by:
- Rolling over in bed
- Standing up quickly
- Sudden movement
Treatment For Round Ligament Pain
Ligament pain typically comes and goes, and usually resolves itself on its own. If you are experiencing round ligament pain that comes frequently, fortunately, there are a few helpful steps you can take to avoid triggering it:
- Avoid rapid, repetitive movement
- When you must change positions, do so slowly
- Flex your hips before coughing or sneezing to provide some relief
- Consider a pain relief medicine such as acetaminophen (avoid aspirin or ibuprofen, which can be harmful to your baby)
- Wear a maternity support belt
- Try gentle stretching
- Soak in a warm bath (not hot)
- Rest on one side with your knees bent and pillows between the legs and under your belly for support
- Get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous physical activity or prolonged periods of activity
Should I See a Doctor for Round Ligament Pain?
In most cases, round ligament pain is harmless. If, however, you experience any of the following symptoms, you should see your doctor because they may indicate your pelvic pain is not being caused by round ligament pain:
- Fever or chills
- Intense pain or cramping
- Painful urination
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Nausea or vomiting with abdominal pain
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Premature contractions
- Difficulty walking
North Florida Ob-Gyn of Jacksonville Beach
Round ligament pain is commonly experienced as one of the discomforts of pregnancy. Fortunately, the pain is relatively harmless and is short lived, resolving on its own. Try implementing some of the above tips in order to find relief if you find that your round ligament pain is frequent. If your pain doesn’t resolve on its own or respond to some of the above tips, or if you experience some of the above symptoms, see your doctor immediately for evaluation.
At North Florida Ob-Gyn of Jacksonville Beach, we are committed to helping make your pregnancy the best experience possible. We are committed to doing everything possible to make it safe for you and your baby. All of our physicians are board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and maintain this certification throughout their careers. If you are experiencing round ligament pain, our team would love to help. Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians.