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Pregnancy Weeks 19-24 - Page 4

Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter
Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter - Comfort Zone

Round ligament pain

Have you noticed a sharp cramp or shooting pain down the side of your abdomen when you move quickly, cough, or twist? This is probably the most common complaint in pregnancy. This pain is likely due to the growth of your uterus, and the resulting stretching and cramping of the two muscular cords called round ligaments. These ligaments run from the top of the uterus down each side into the groin area. When the ligaments stretch, a spasm can occur, causing the sharp pain you feel. You might notice pain on both sides of your abdomen, or just on one side. It can be aggravated by quick twisting movements, such as getting out of bed or into the car, but sometimes can start for no reason.

If this type of pain is the only symptom, and there are no other problems such as fever, diarrhea, bleeding, or uterine contractions, it's probably round ligament pain. To help lessen the strain on the ligament you can try bending toward the pain. Warm baths, a heating pad, and rest can usually help relieve the spasm. To avoid round ligament pain, move slowly and change positions carefully. And be sure to talk with your health care provider if you are having these pains.

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