The round ligaments are cordlike structures in the female pelvis, which help support the uterus by joining the front of the uterus to the groin.
Pain in the location of the round ligaments can happen during pregnancy.
Round ligament pain is more prevalent during the second trimester. The pain is considered a normal phenomenon, although it can be worrisome for the mother. Round ligaments are present to hold the uterus in place. Some women might not have this pain during the pregnancy but may experience it only during birth.
Why round ligament pain happens:
With the progression of pregnancy, the size of the womb increases. This gradually leads to increased stress and stretch of round ligaments.
Women before pregnancy have short and thick round ligaments. During pregnancy, these ligaments can become long and taut due to physiological changes. Round ligaments usually contract and loosen slowly. Pregnancy puts excess pressure and strain on these ligaments, so they become tense, like an overexpanded rubber band. Sudden, rapid movements can cause the ligaments to tighten quickly and cause stress on nerve fibers in the vicinity. This movement causes sharp pain and distress. Round ligament pain can also occur by activities like coughing or sneezing, laughing, turning over in your bed, standing up too fast or other sudden movements:
Diagnosis of round ligament pain:
It should be noted that there are no specific tests to diagnose round ligament pain.Most of the time, the diagnosis is clinical only.
A doctor can diagnose round ligament pain based on your symptoms. They may conduct a physical examination to see another problem that doesn’t cause pain. If this is your first pregnancy and you’re not familiar with this type of pain, you should make an appointment with your doctor to get an adequate checkup for reassurance.
It’s essential to inform the doctor if your round ligament pain doesn’t go away on its own, after a couple of minutes, or if other symptoms accompany the severe pain. These symptoms include: fever, chills, pain with bleeding, pain with urination, and difficulty walking.
Treatment for round ligament pain: Some of the treatments the doctor might recommend are:
- stretching exercises
- prenatal yoga
- over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen
- flexing your hips while sneezing, coughing, or laughing or bending
- a heating pad
- a warm bath
You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 3188 5000.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.