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What is Round Ligament Pain?

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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45 Comments on "What is Round Ligament Pain?"

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Cristina
1 year 5 months ago
Hi, I had this pain from 10 am on Saturday to Sunday night. It was very severe, if I breathed deeply it would hurt at the end of the breath when my diaphragm expanded, changing position will hurt, coughing or laughing would hurt. I couldn’t get up of my bed because any minimal pressure on my lower right abdominal area would feel like a stabbing pain. The pain was in my lower right side so I was concerned about appendicitis or stones. I called my doctor after constant pain from 10 am to 4:30 am because the pain was getting… Read more »
carolyn
1 year 7 months ago

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

Ginny
3 years 1 month ago

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 years 7 months ago
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… Read more »
tammy
4 years 2 months ago

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?

trish
4 years 3 months ago

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…

Stephanie
4 years 5 months ago

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.

4 years 5 months ago

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

Julia
4 years 6 months ago
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.… Read more »
Sarah
4 years 10 months ago
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… Read more »
TINA-RAY ISAACS
5 years 24 days ago

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.

Janet
5 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
Apoorva
5 years 5 months ago

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

rose
5 years 5 months ago

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!

Mel
5 years 6 months ago

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…

Megan
5 years 7 months ago
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… Read more »
annstone
5 years 9 months ago

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

Alicia
5 years 10 months ago
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… Read more »
Lisa
5 years 10 months ago
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… Read more »
6 years 3 days ago

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.

Rissa
6 years 4 days ago
I have had the pain for 2 weeks straight, it only eases when i take the day off and move as little as possible. Even the days when i am working in the office i am still miserable, i have to be able to put my legs up at the same level with the couch. The achy pain always start slow in the morning, by noon i have to take pain killers and by 5 pm i can barely walk. During the first week i thought it was something else because i was in so much pain. I went to… Read more »
stacy
6 years 1 month ago

this is my third pregnancy and with my first two i never really had that pain i do with this one.. i cant stand for no longer then 15 minutes and walking is so painful for me.. i take tylenol and that meicine doesnt seem to work at all.. im 25 weeks along with this pregnancy and i cant wait for it to be over so the pain goes away..

nicole
6 years 2 months ago

I actually had the ligament pain starting at week 7 with my first pregnancy. It was so bad that I was actually on short term disability because I could not stand for more than 20 min without crying. It hurt all the time no matter what I was doing. I have it with this pregnancy too, I am about 20 weeks. It isn’t as bad this time but I know it can be. I know it is scary but rest assured even with it all you can have a healthy happy baby.

Aundreya
6 years 3 months ago
You know, as much as I’ve read about pregnancy and birth, I had not read this exact description. I read that in the first weeks you might experience cramping as your uterus stretches but that’s all I got. This is my 3rd pregnancy and my last was over 13 years ago lol (I’m 35) so I was getting a little worried when the sharp pain would come and just not go away. (I never experienced any pain like this with my other 2) The other day I was literally doubled over in pain but I knew it wasn’t any kind… Read more »

[…] […]

Tonya Burgess
6 years 4 months ago

this Article was really of so much use thankyou! i have been experiencing so much pain on the bottom part of my abdomen when walking alot or lying still then twisting to roll over!! i even went to the midwife with it! but knowing that alot of you had these pains too and its all normal makes me relax a bit! so thankyou!!!

[…] my most-recent pregnancy symptom, a quick search on Babies Online turned up even more details and information on round ligament pain, which is extremely common in the second and third trimesters of […]

Bec
6 years 5 months ago

I recommend Magnesium Phosphate tissue salts to ease the pain. My pain had been excruciating but has subsided since taking them.

Karyn
6 years 6 months ago
If the scare still tender then expect more pain than most around weeks 19 until 23 as your uterus moves abouve the navel. Most women experiance some amount of pain around the navel at this time and if you have a recent scar that is still a bit tender just be aware its gonna hurt a little more especialy as you change possitions from laying to sitting or sitting to standing (mine sure did) but as said previous no pain during pregnancy should be sever and cause you to cry, nor even enough to be unable to sleep or move… Read more »
dani
6 years 7 months ago
so sorry to hear that, ryanne! i would ask a doctor. unfortunately i have seen so far it seems pregnancy seems to bring out the drama queen in some of us….maybe first line of defense for doctor offices is, “oh, yer fiiiine!” to weed out some of the crazies. i don’t think you should be crying. and if you’ve done it already…and it’s not like before….??? yea. i’d ask again. and thanks about the scar question. it’s sometimes still quite tender if i poke myself in the belly button with my pants button, just wondering what all that stretchng and… Read more »
Ryanne
6 years 8 months ago
Hi dani, I had laproscopic surgery a couple years ago also. I have had a baby since then and am pregnant again. I had 5 incisions, one in the belly button, and didn’t notice anything weird with the belly button. It never poked out, it just got completely flat and smooth. I am wondering, though, if the scars that may have formed internally are what is causing my severe pain. It started yesterday and I’m going on 17 hours of pretty severe pain. It doesn’t hurt so bad when I’m just sitting, but walking is very painful. Didn’t get much… Read more »
dani
6 years 8 months ago

First pregnancy here, wondering if this is only sharp, acute pains or could also be more of a dul ache? I feel more sore than crampy. Chalked it up to things changing and growing, it’s not outrageous or concerning to me. Would make sense here but it isn’t a “cramp” it’s as if i did a ton of sit-ups yesterday – and lord knows THAT ain’t it! lol!!
and prayers to you, michelle.

ps – i have a belly button scar form laproscopic surgery years ago – wondering how that will stretch out then…anyone else have that surgery/scar?

Tshego
6 years 8 months ago

Great article..i am 11 weeks in my pregnancy and it frightened me to feel these pains..atleast now i can rest with a peace of mind..

[…] Another type of cramping during pregnancy is called round ligament pain. […]

Joan Romer
6 years 9 months ago

great article, helps me not to worry to much………

Michelle
6 years 9 months ago

This article is helpful I’m on my third pregnancy and have experienced all these symptoms. I’m concerned because I had really bad lower back pain went and had an ultra sound I’m almost five weeks gestation but all we see is 2 sacs no fetus yet. Still concerned.

6 years 9 months ago

thank you so much!!!! this is my third pregnancy but, i did not recall feeling this cramps. I thought i was having problems since my last pregnancy was 10 years ago and now i am 42. I made an appoiment to see my doctor but, feel much better.THANKS!!! :)

Jaemie
6 years 9 months ago

I am 28 weeks into my first pregnancy and had very bad pains throughout my entire 2nd semester. I have had multiple abdominal surgeries in the past and wanted to let other former surgery patients know that adhesions (scar tissue that forms internally post-op) may increase ligamental stretching pain during pregnancy. Don’t panic, it gets milder as the pregnancy progresses (at least it did for me).

Valeria
6 years 9 months ago

I’m 25 weeks of my second baby and I did have this pain about 2 weeks ago on a very busy ans activity day, I was very sacry. I did took a warn bath, massage w/ oil and rest the pain stoped and I did’nt have this again. good look for all.

nadine
6 years 11 months ago

Very informative article, but how long may the pain last ?

Becca G
6 years 11 months ago

Great article thought it didn’t mention there are exercises you can do to help this problem. Kegels do help as well as a few others.

A.B.S.
6 years 11 months ago

Very informative article! I found it to be very helpful and it relieves some worry….

cindyandnic
7 years 13 days ago

wow.this is my first pregnancy.i did felt it too.i had cramp due to implantation and a week after that…sometimes it can be intense and felt like a sharp knife pain or sting by needle.but it wont last long..my nurse assured me its normale as long as there is no bleeding…

7 years 21 days ago

This is a great article.. This is baby number 2 for me andi was a little nervous because i have been feeling alot of pain and cramping. so now i know what it is, it is easier so deal with.

7 years 1 month ago

I truly appreciate this article. A burden has been lifted!!! Praise be to God. This is my 2nd pregnancy and I was a little worried because I am experiencing mild cramping on and off.

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