Understanding Round Ligament Pain in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting journey, but it’s normal to experience some bumps along the way. One of these is round ligament pain, a sharp spasm in the abdomen or hips most common during the second trimester. If you’re wondering whether this is normal or what you can do about it, you’re in the right place.

What are Round Ligaments?

Round ligaments are fibrous tissues that work like supportive slings for your uterus. When you’re not pregnant, these ligaments are short and thick. Fast-forward to pregnancy and these ligaments lengthen and tighten as your belly grows. They’re a lot like rubber bands, which are now being stretched in various directions due to your expanding uterus. Quick movements can cause these ligaments to tighten suddenly and tug at the surrounding nerves, leading to a sharp pain that can make you wince.

Common Symptoms and Triggers

If you’re pregnant for the first time, you might assume that any abdominal pain is problematic. But rest assured that round ligament pain is temporary. It usually only lasts a few seconds—a few minutes at most—and the problem should subside entirely once you have your baby.

Most women with round ligament pain experience sudden spasms in the abdomen or hip area, which may be more pronounced on the right side. Knowing the triggers can help you manage your pain. Here are the types of movements that often lead to discomfort:

  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Laughing
  • Standing up too quickly
  • Turning over in bed
  • Other sudden movements

Adjustments like moving slower or bending your hips when sneezing or coughing may alleviate the pain.

Diagnosing Round Ligament Pain

Round ligament pain doesn’t have a specific diagnostic test. Simply discussing your symptoms with your healthcare provider is generally enough to identify them.

However, if you experience continuous severe abdominal pain accompanied by fever, chills, or other alarming symptoms, contact your doctor right away. These might be signs of a more serious issue like appendicitis, hernia, or problems with your liver or kidneys.

When in doubt, seek medical attention. It’s always better to overreact to potential health concerns during pregnancy rather than ignore a potentially dangerous problem.

How to Relieve Round Ligament Pain

You have several options for easing your discomfort. Your healthcare provider may recommend the following:

  • Stretching exercises or prenatal yoga
  • Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen
  • Using a heating pad or taking a warm bath
  • Wearing a supportive maternity belt

Round Ligament Care at Village Emergency Centers

Although round ligament pain is part of the pregnancy experience for many women, you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you’re experiencing persistent or severe pain, visit Village Emergency Centers for 24/7 emergency care. We have six convenient locations in the Greater Houston Area staffed by board-certified doctors who accept all private insurance. No wait times and fast admissions make your experience as smooth as possible. Come see us today or visit our website for more information.