What are round ligaments?
Round ligaments are the supportive ligaments on either side of the uterus. These ligaments attach the uterus to the pelvis to support the uterus and keep it in place.
During pregnancy your hormones cause your ligaments to become loose and relaxed. As your uterus grows, it can tug on these ligaments and stretch them causing spasms. This can be painful for some women and is often described as short, painful spasms or cramps in the abdomen. Pain may occur on one side of the abdomen or both sides. Abdominal pain during pregnancy can be scary, however round ligament pain is a normal part of pregnancy and nothing to be concerned about.
When does round ligament pain occur?
Round ligament pain usually only occurs in pregnant women, however in some cases it may occur in non-pregnant women.
Round ligament pain is most common during the second trimester, however sometimes it continues into the third trimester as your uterus continues to grow.
Certain movements may make round ligament pain worse including sneezing, laughing, twisting, sudden movements, standing up, bending down to pick something up, rolling over in bed and walking.
Ways that you can help round ligament pain include:
- Wearing belly support bands
- Apply BodyICE Woman perineum strip for soothing heat therapy
- Seeing a women’s health physiotherapist
- Avoid lifting heavy things
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Try supporting your belly for laughing, sneezing or coughing
- Pregnancy exercise to stretch your hips gently every day (pregnancy yoga is a great way to safely do this). Try the ZONE By Lydia prenatal at home yoga class
- Try not to make sudden movements and change positions slowly
- Talk to your healthcare professional about medications that are safe during pregnancy
Always call your healthcare provider if you’re concerned, have severe pain or you have pain that won’t go away. You should also call your health care professional if your pain is accompanied by fever or chills, pain with urination or pain with bleeding.