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What is Round Ligament Pain?

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During the second trimester,  some women experience a new pregnancy symptom:  pain in their lower abdomens, most noticeable during exertion.  This is sometimes referred to as round ligament pain.

What Are Round Ligaments?

The round ligaments are the bands of tough fibrous tissue that support your muscles and organs.  They expand and grow to help support your uterus as it gets bigger. As these ligaments stretch, some women find it painful and are concerned. Most doctors and midwives will reassure you that these  pains are a normal part of pregnancy.

During the third trimester this pain can increase as your uterus grows even bigger and the ligaments have to stretch more to support the weight of the baby, amniotic fluid, placenta and extra blood that your body is carrying in your belly. There are things you can do to reduce the discomfort.

How to Ease the Pain

  • Rest – Especially after extensive exercise.
  • Change Positions – If you are sitting when the pain sets in, try standing. If standing already, try bending or stretching.
  • Walking – Walking around after experiencing a ligament pain can also help.
  • Heat – Applying a heating pad on low can also make a difference. A warm bath or shower can have the same effect. Just be careful to not to over do it. Excessive heat is not healthy to your pregnancy and things like hot tubs or extremely hot water should be avoided.
  • Medication – If the pain is so great that you are losing a lot of sleep you may ask your doctor or midwife if Tylenol can be safely taken to reduce the discomfort.
  • Rubbing – Good old fashioned rubbing. We all tend to rub an area we are feeling discomfort in whether dealing with ligament pain or not. Rubbing the tender area can actually help in this case.

Be Sure It’s Not Something More Serious

Round Ligament pain should get better with time and come in spurts. If instead the discomfort you are experiencing only gets worse and worse, this could be a sign of something more serious. Common things that can at first appear to be ligament pain can actually be:

  • Appendicitis – The pain experienced by appendicitis will originate from your lower right abdomen and is typically followed by fever, nausea, and vomiting. Appendicitis is reported in 1 out of 2000 women and should not be taken lightly. If you suspect you have appendicitis seek medical attention immediately.
  • Kidney Stones – If blood turns up in your urine after experiencing abdominal pain you could be passing a kidney stone.
  • Ovarian Cysts or an ectopic pregnancy could be the cause of sharp abdominal pains, but this is more common in the first trimester.

Some women are concerned because they don’t have symptoms of round ligament pain, or they don’t seem to suffer from it as much as other women. Not every woman will experience a large amount of pain. Generally, in a first pregnancy, the pain won’t start as early or be as severe as it is in a woman’s second, third and subsequent pregnancies. This is normal and to be expected.

After you deliver the baby, remember that your body has “memory” so after your pregnancy is over, and as your belly shrinks and your body returns to normal, these round ligaments will return to their former, pre-pregnancy shape and size. This shrinking may also cause some pain, but it shouldn’t be as severe as when the ligaments originally stretched to make room for your baby.

What methods helped you deal with the discomfort of Round Ligament Pain?


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44 Responses to “What is Round Ligament Pain?”

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  1. 44
    carolyn Says:

    Ok I’m still not sure and just moved so waiting for a new ob. I’m 4 months with my first child and get a sharp pain occasionally when. I go from sitting to standing and sometimes when i sneeze, but it goes away quickly and doesn’t always happen…… should I be concerned

  2. 43
    Ginny Says:

    This is my 2nd pregnancy and my ligament pain has been more severe this time. It has been enough to make me extremely uncomfortable some days, so I mentioned it to my midwife. She suggested supplementing with extra calcium. Worked for me! Obviously, you’ll want to consult your OB or midwife before adding supplements to your routine, but it’s worth asking him/her if it would be safe for you to try.

  3. 42
    miranda Says:

    I am 37 wks & having so much pain this is my fourth labor & as it is good to hear that this is common & other homies get the same type of pain I wish it was not happening to me… I stay uncomfortable I cnt even sit or lay dwn in certain ways… I feel like its goin to rip apart… I hav tried many of the things to help w/ the pain but it is not helping it seems the more kids you hav the worse your pregnancies are & I cnt stay home & rest I hav 3 other kids to deal w/ plus a husband that is gone mostly all day & doesn’t help out much… I also have real bad pains that feel like someone is stabbing me in the left side of my butt it has happened in the last 3 of my pregnancies & I never get any answers just to stretch but that does not help me its really bothersome especially when you ate trying to shop or just be out in public… What is it due from & what do you do to ease the pain or make It go away… So many wkmen talk about how treat pregnancy is & how much they are happy being pregnant I am not one of those women w/ the more kids I have the pregnancies get worse more pain & more discomfort, my skin looks like crap, its just not nice to me I enjoy & love my kids but cnt do this anymore any thing would help to just help these nxt 3 wks to go by easier would be helpful…

  4. 41
    tammy Says:

    Hey, im only 16 but recently found out i was pregnant im only 10-11 weeks now but im getting this pain on my side epecaly when I sleep or walk around, my friend who’s had kids rekons its ligament pain but im still worried? should I be getting this pain so early?

  5. 40
    trish Says:

    I don’t know when my due date is, but I know I’m experiencing this! I had one instance about two weeks ago and thought that I was about to have a cycle since I’ve always been irregular. A week passed and following the advice of a dream, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. Since then, my pains increase when I need to use the restroom. Sadly, my husband thinks that I’m just lazy when I need to rest because of this… What to do…

  6. 39
    Stephanie Says:

    Hi. I am 25 +3 days pregnant with my 5th baby. I woke this morning doubled up in pain on the left side of my bump. I knew it wasn’t labour pains but was still really worried. I called the hospital and was told my symptoms sounded like ligament strain due to being pregnant 4 times previous and my uterus was over stretched. I was to to rest up and take paracetamol every 6 hours. I hope this doesn’t continue for the rest of my pregnancy! I defiantly feel better knowing other woman are experiencing this too.

  7. 38
    Mapri Says:

    i’m a first time Mom,n i just experienced a very severe pain in my lower left aroung my stomach area. i called my doctor to chck if i should be worried n he assured me that these are round ligament pains,but i have been experiencing these pains from then till now,n its almost 17 hours or so..i’m lil bit woried

  8. 37
    Julia Says:

    It’s so reassuring to read this article and the comments! I’m only 6 weeks with my third, and I’ve been having similar pains. I don’t remember having them really with my first two though, but that was 6 & 7 years ago. My other half seems to think I’m having multiples. I wonder if it’s true, and everything is just stretching more to make room for two babies. The uterus has already noticeably grown which I don’t remember noticing so soon with my prior two pregnancies. I don’t have my first Dr appointment for another two and a half weeks. I don’t know if my curiosity can wait that long!

  9. 36
    Sarah Says:

    i am 26 weeks in my 2nd preg. I never had this kind of pain with my first child. But this preg. ive done nothing but throw up, loose weight, and now add this pain to the list. It got so bad that last night we headed to the hospital cause i couldnt stand for very long, or sit or walk. And the pain started in my back and just worked around frount. Yes the pain was so bad i cried and even threw up. Doc did give me something a lil stronger then tylenole and i actually got some sleep last night. i pray it gets better cause another 11 weeks of this pain is gonna kill me. And were a scheduled c-section.

  10. 35
    TINA-RAY ISAACS Says:

    I can only be THANKFUL for BABIES ONLINE WEBSITE. This artical particulary is soothingly reassuring of the positive.

    OH, The strength of a woman. Be Blessed and enjoy your bundle…and it true…The pain should NOT BE THE CAUSE OF MAKING A WOMAN CRY, Esp.during pregnancy.

  11. 34
    Janet Says:

    So glad I saw all your comments. I am on week 23 of my 3rd pregnancy. I have had many surgeries through my belly button including hernia with a mesh insertion. I have had the most severe pains lately. The bring me to tears instantly. I can’t get comfortable lying, standing or sitting. Doc said it’s normal and nothing to worry about… Another thing I’m noticing is my hips separating much sooner this time and frequent back spasms. Wondering if anyone else noticed this as well. On the up side, the baby seems healthy and strong so that is something to be grateful for. Good luck to all you other mommies out there!

  12. 33
    Apoorva Says:

    Thanks for this article. It was really useful..It releived the tension due to this pain..

  13. 32
    rose Says:

    I’m on my 7th week of my 3rd pregnancy (if i can say so!! as the last 2 was missed!)…I ‘m experiencing this pain…sometimes upper abdomen and sometimes in lower…I’m upset and scared as my last 2 experiences were bad..I’ve bad dreams too..Can anyone give some moral guidance!

  14. 31
    Mel Says:

    Is the stabbing feeling in your cervical area also part of this round ligament pain?? I feel like a 10 lb bowling ball is sitting on my cervix and it’s very painful to walk sometimes. I’m only 9 weeks pregnant so I know it’s not the baby. LOL….

    This is also my 3rd baby and I don’t recall ever having this discomfort this soon or this strong…

  15. 30
    Megan Says:

    I wish I would have read this article about two months ago. When I was 6 months pregnant, I had sharp pain in my lower right abdomen. Tylenol didn’t help and it would get so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed or walk at times. I had appendicitis, but it was first diagnosed as round ligament pain. I knew it was something more serious than that. My doctor told me to take Tylenol around the clock and if it wasn’t helping by the next morning to call her back. I was still in very severe pain so I called her back. She told me to go in and they began running tests. It was my appendix. I had emergency surgery that night, while my husband was in Texas. Needless to say, I was scared to death!! But everything turned out well and both the baby and I are fine now. I know there isn’t much information about appendicitis during pregnancy, because I had trouble finding more than a couple articles. So if it happens to you, like it did to me, be strong and know that chances are both you and baby will be fine!

  16. 29
    annstone Says:

    wanted to thank those who made comments… haven’t confirmed my pregnancy yet, this will be my first! thanks for clearing up some worries!!

  17. 28
    Alicia Says:

    I’m not quite into my second trimester, I’m only 11 weeks, but the pain I’m having matches this, except for the fact that it usually results in me dropping to my knees in pain. It also matches the same pain I’ve had through most of my pregnancy on my right side, which I know to be an ovarian cyst. I am a little concerned that it seems to get worse with each passing day, to where I am now missing work from it. I want to call my provider before getting too serious and going to a hospital, but she’s not in on Friday’s and the office is closed weekends >< Can't decide if I'll wait until Monday or just go to an ER today…

  18. 27
    Lisa Says:

    I am in my 23rd week and just started experiencing these symptoms. The articles I’m finding online are helpful, but they seem to cater to the crowd with more mild symptoms. The first time I experienced these pains I had a solid 24 hours of nonstop, severe pain. Any movement, even a slightly deep breath, would be absolutely unbearable. Tylenol didn’t even take the barest edge off. At the hospital they had to check me for every issue known to man because I had gotten to a point where every part of my abdomen below my breasts would bring tears to my eyes at the slightest touch.
    If you’re like me and are looking for an article that acknowledges the possible severity of round ligament pain, just know you’re not the only one with the problem. With my first child, I went through 13 hours of labor followed by a c-section and the associated recovery time, and I honestly don’t think I ever felt as terrible as this.

  19. 26
    Erline Says:

    There are advice on taking rest for sometimes for woman who feel hurt in their uterus during their second or trimsemester.

    It is best to consult with your doctor about this. Usually they will give you prescription to dealt with the pain and if anything goes worst, they will suggest you to be fully rested or spend sometime in hospital for additional treatment.

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