Pelvic Pain In Pregnancy – What It Means And When You Should Worry

Aches and pains of all descriptions can manifest themselves during pregnancy, as the body changes, expands, and makes way for the growing baby within.

Pelvic pain in pregnancy is also a common complaint, and more often than not, the causes behind this could be reasonably innocuous.

pelvic pain in pregnancyHowever, there are several instances in which it is important to get medical attention for pelvic pain during pregnancy; here we discuss both –

Common causes for Pelvic pain in pregnancy –

  • During the very early part of the pregnancy, when you first discover that you are pregnant, you may feel pain rather like mild period pains. This however could be nothing more than the embryo getting embedded in the lining of the uterus and may be felt low down in the abdomen.
  • As the muscles and ligaments stretch and lengthen by the time the second trimester starts, it could be that the woman feels sharp or stabbing pain in the groin. It may come and go without warning, and could be nothing more than the body making way for the baby.
  • Abdominal pain in pregnancy could also be caused by gas, bloating, indigestion and constipation and by the baby and the uterus placing pressure on the intestines.
  • Towards the final months of the pregnancy or the third trimester, it could be Braxton Hicks or practice contractions that are the cause do pelvic or abdominal discomfort. Usually they are nothing to worry about either.

Pelvic pain in pregnancy when you should call the doctor –

  • In the early part of pregnancy, if there is sharp and severe pain in the lower abdomen, and this is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, then you should call the doctor. This could, be a miscarriage or a threatened abortion, so waste no time before calling the midwife, doctor or maternity unit.
  • Also if during early pregnancy the pain is one sided, and is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, or brown discharge then also in needs immediate medical attention, since this could be the sight of an ectopic pregnancy which is potentially very dangerous and should be attended to promptly.
  • If at any time, pelvic pain in pregnancy is accompanied by other symptom such as fever, chills, frequent urination, pain in your lower back or side, nausea or vomiting and blood in the urine, then this could be a sign that this is caused by a kidney infection a urinary tract infection or similar, which pregnant women can be more susceptible to.
  • In the later part of pregnancy if abdominal pain is accompanied by headache, seeing lights or spots in front of the eyes, vomiting, etc then this could be due to pregnancy hypertension of preeclampsia.
  • A severe abdominal pain in the later stages of pregnancy which may or may not be accompanied by bleeding could indicate a separating placenta which can be very problematic.
  • Certain habits such as smoking can contribute to pelvic pain in pregnancy.


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