Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: Is it Normal?

pelvic pain
If you’ve ever been pregnant, then you probably know a little secret about pregnancy. It can really suck sometimes. No matter how good of a pregnancy you have, sometimes pregnancy just isn’t that great.

It can be painful, full of sickness, and cause you to feel like a beached whale. However, the end prize is pretty fantastic and definitely worth all of the weird aches and pains.

One of the questions that OB/GYNs get all the time is whether or not pelvic pain is normal during pregnancy. And, the answer is definitely yes.

Pelvic pain is perfectly normal during pregnancy. Keep reading to find out just why you feel like your pelvis is breaking in two.

Relaxin Hormone

Throughout your pregnancy, your body produces a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone does exactly what it sounds like; it relaxes your ligaments and joints. [1]

Due to this hormone, you may have some extra pain in your joints, but you’ll love this hormone during your delivery when your baby starts to descend into the birth canal and you want all the stretch you can get.

Relaxin can cause your pelvic joints to relax a bit which aids in labor. However, during your pregnancy, the relaxation of your pelvis can lead to ashiness and pain.

Ovarian Cysts

Some women are just prone to getting ovarian cysts. Generally, ovarian cysts are benign and occur each month in every woman who is fertile. [2]

Cysts are the way that your ovaries release eggs, so if you are pre-menopausal and post-puberty then you are getting at least one ovarian cyst each month.

If the egg isn’t dropped though, then the cyst might persist and cause a bit of unwanted pain and edema.

During pregnancy, if you have an extra cyst that persisted from before you got pregnant, then it may cause a bit of pelvic pain. You may even have a bout of worsened pain if the cyst ruptures.

For this reason, definitely tell your OB/GYN if you have ever had a history of ovarian cysts or cysts that have ruptured. They may want to check your ovaries at one of your ultrasound appointments to ensure that you are cyst free and healthy.

If you do have a persistent ovarian cyst, then don’t worry. Often they are harmless and will go away eventually, they just may cause a heavy and dull ache throughout your pregnancy.

Round Ligament Pain

Once you begin your second trimester, many women have the dreaded round ligament pain. This pain is a pain in your side that may dive deep into your pelvis and just downright hurt.

It is due to your round ligament stretching as your uterus stretches. The round ligament attaches to your uterus and dives deep into your labia. You have a ligament on each side of your uterus and both will stretch as your baby gains weight.

Typically, round ligament pain occurs with movement. Most women notice it whenever they go to put on a pair of pants, walk up stairs, or get out of a car. It can be controlled with rest and maybe a bit of acetaminophen if you need it.

Pelvic Pressure

As your baby gains weight, you may experience a lot of pressure on your pelvis, especially if your baby is head down. This pressure is good, it means that your body is getting ready for labor.

But, it can also be extremely painful and uncomfortable. As your baby gains weight and gets into its final position for delivery, the pressure and pain may get worse, but that’s your baby hitting your cervix and getting ready to descend.

Pressure can be relieved by lying down. If you are feeling a lot of pressure, then lay down and keep your feet up. This will allow your baby to move away from your cervix and allow the nerves in your vagina to relax. [3]

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Another very common sign of pelvic pain and overall discomfort is Braxton Hicks contractions. These false labor contractions are your body’s way of practicing for birth.

They tend to start around 20 weeks of gestation and can occur all the way up to your delivery date. [4] These contractions won’t cause you to dilate any and won’t cause the baby to descend. However, they can be pretty painful.

If you are experiencing these practice contractions, then take a drink of water and try to relax. You’ll experience more of them if you are dehydrated and if you are running around constantly throughout your pregnancy.

Pelvic pain can be a nuisance during your pregnancy, but it is par for the course. Once you have your beautiful baby, you will forget about every ache and pain that you had and immediately fall in love with your new bundle of joy.


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