Round Ligament Pain

Have you experienced sharp abdominal pains when in the process of sitting down, standing up, bending over, or rolling over in bed? This is commonly known as Round Ligament Pain. Round Ligament Pain is the result of stretching the ligaments on the sides of the uterus.

Your uterus normally is the size of a pear. Thick ligaments, one of which is called the round ligament, hold your uterus in suspension within your abdomen. Round Ligament Pain is typically experienced during mid-pregnancy while the baby is growing rapidly, and the uterus is expanding quickly. As the uterus grows in size and weight, these ligaments become very long and thin, stressing and tensing like rubber bands. You will be more likely to experience this pain while turning quickly, rolling over in bed, standing quickly after sitting for a time, or even coughing. The severity of pain can worry you. Although round ligament pain is uncomfortable, it also is very normal. This pain is not harmful to the baby in any way.

Please contact your doctor or midwife if you have pain accompanied by:

  • Fever/chills
  • Pain while urinating
  • Bleeding or watery discharge
  • Inability to walk unassisted

Pain not accompanied by these symptoms is harmless to your baby and should go away with rest. You can easily stop the pain by:

  • Lying on the side that hurts
  • Applying heat
    • Hot soaks
    • A heating pad
    • A hot bath
  • Pulling your knees to your chest while you lay down
  • Changing how you move -- rising or sitting down more gradually to avoid sudden movement
  • Sitting for a minute to rest

The good news is that often the pain eases as your pregnancy progresses.

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