Pregnancy is a transformative and exciting time for women. But it’s also a time filled with a lot of discomforts.
Pelvic pain is a common symptom women experience during pregnancy. Though normal, not all pains are the same, and you may want to know when you should be concerned about pelvic pain during pregnancy.
Our team of women’s health experts at Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, specializes in managing all types of pregnancies and the concerns that come with them. Here, we cover pelvic pain during pregnancy, when it’s normal, and when it’s time to see your OB/GYN.
About pelvic pain
Many women have pelvic pain at some point during their lifetime. This type of pain refers to any form of discomfort in the lower part of your abdomen, or your pelvic region.
The pelvic area is home to your reproductive organs — a common source of pelvic pain is menstrual cramps. Your bladder and large intestine are also located in the pelvic region and a potential source of pain.
Many women experience pelvic pain during pregnancy, but the reproductive organs aren’t always the cause.
Causes of pregnancy pelvic pain
You may experience pelvic pain at varying points throughout your pregnancy. Some of the expected causes include:
Round ligament pain
The round ligaments connect your uterus to your pelvic bones. As your uterus expands throughout your pregnancy, these ligaments stretch and may cause pain.
If you have sharp, fleeting pelvic pain on one or both sides of the body, it may be round ligament pain. This type of pain usually appears during the first or second trimester and improves over time.
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP)
The pelvic girdle refers to the bones that connect the upper part of your body to your legs. PGP is a pain condition that affects these joints, causing deep pelvic pain you may feel in the lower back, hips, or groin. The pain doesn’t affect the pregnancy, but can make it more difficult for you to get around and to sleep.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions, also called false contractions, get your body ready for labor. They cause a tightening sensation in the lower front part of your abdomen and feel a lot like menstrual cramps.
Labor contractions, by comparison, cause a dull, achy sensation and pressure in the lower part of the abdomen.
When to worry about pelvic pain
You shouldn’t ignore any type of pelvic pain, even if you suspect it’s one of the “normal” causes. Pain is a signal your body uses to make you aware of changes. During pregnancy, pelvic pain could mean anything and needs an evaluation for a proper diagnosis.
You should worry about pelvic pain if your pain is severe and constant. Likewise, if you have other concerning symptoms with your pelvic pain like abnormal bleeding, a fever, or a change in fetal movements, you should reach out to your care team.
You should also worry if you have labor-related pelvic pain before 37 weeks of gestation. This type of pain is a sign of preterm labor.
If you’re worried about pelvic pain during pregnancy, we can find the cause and develop a plan for treatment. Call Obstetricians & Gynecologists, PC, in Hastings or Grand Island, Nebraska, or request an appointment online to schedule a consultation with our providers today.