Suddenly Parents

Keeping Our Sanity During Baby's First Year

Round Ligament Pain – Who Knew?

 A few nights ago, I woke up with severe pain in my lower abdomen. The pain was constant and sharp and didn’t lessen no matter what position I tried. I was immediately worried thinking I had a ruptured cyst, which I’ve experienced before and which is very painful. After about two hours, I was ready to wake Rich up to take me to the ER but the pain suddenly dissipated and I was fine.

The next day, my abdomen was sore, like I had been doing situps. I called my doctor’s office and described the pain to the nurse. She told me to go ahead and come in for an examination. The doctor examined me and said everything looked great. He even did a quick ultrasound to check the baby and she(?) was in there, jumping around and kicking.

From the Onslow website, click on picture for more

The doctor said I was expereincing round ligament pain. He based this on the fact that the baby and I were physically fine and the tenderness was mostly concentrated on my right side when he pressed on my abdomen. I was slightly surprised that the pain was caused by the round ligaments because I thought that type of pain was brief – like when you sneeze and your side muscle seizes up for a second. But the doctor said it can also cause long sustainable pain that, although it it perfectly harmless, can be severe in nature.

Round ligament pain is caused by the round ligaments surround your uterus in your pelvis. As your uterus grows during pregnancy, the ligaments stretch and thicken to accommodate and support it. These changes can occasionally cause pain on one or both sides of your abdomen. You may feel the pain starting from deep inside your groin, moving upward and outward on either side to the top of your hips. The pain is internal, but if you were to trace it on your skin, it would follow the bikini line on a very high-cut bathing suit.

Babycenter says the sharp, jabbing type of round ligament pain shouldn’t last longer than the few seconds in which you’re changing position or getting up. But now I know that isn’t always the case. I feel relieved that the pain isn’t anything I need to worry about but I also hope that this isn’t a sign of things to come for the remainder of my pregnancy…


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  1. Great post! Like you said, this type of pain can last more than a few seconds. When I read BabyCenter’s post I was worried but thankfully I found your post.

    I started experiencing round ligament pain during the 1st trimester. They were severe and lasted about a minute each time. The pain comes more frequently now that I’m in my 2nd trimester, but they are less severe, and sometimes the dull pain kind of just lingers around, which can be worrisome.


  2. Thanks for posting! I stood up too fast today and had the same problem. I was thoroughly freaked because it lasted way longer than a couple seconds! I still have a lingering pain, but looking at the diagram of the ligaments- it’s definately round ligament pain.

  3. Hi, I am currently on my 35week pregnancy. I was having very severe round ligament pain last week until i couldn’t walk at all.

    I just want to know from you, when this happen to you last time, how did the doctor help to relief your pain? Did the doctor give you any medication?