Pelvic Pain and Pregnancy
The Pains Of Reproduction
Women experience a variety of different pains related to reproduction. There is the common cramping that is a precursor to menstruation, as well as pelvic pain that is associated with ovulation.
It is a foregone conclusion for most women that pain is just part of the monthly cycle and the unspoken hope is that it will all go away once they become pregnant. Oh, if it were only so.
Most pregnancies go along well, but an unexpected pain in the pelvic area of a pregnant woman can trigger worry in short order. Often the pain is harmless, but there are times when medical care is necessary.
Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
Pelvic pain in early pregnancy is common, usually occurring around the time of the first missed menstrual period. Low abdominal pain, similar to the dull pain often felt just before menstruation starts, signifies the embryo, the fertilized egg, is embedding into the uterus. The pain might go on for a couple of days accompanied by some light vaginal bleeding.
A little later in pregnancy, during the second trimester, many women experience sharp, stabbing, pains in their groin or on one side of the abdomen. The pain may suddenly strike while rising from a chair or while walking.
As alarming as it is, this type of pain often indicates the stretching and thickening of the muscles and ligaments around the uterus as they work to support the growing baby and is not a cause for concern.
By the last trimester, pelvic pain may be frequent and uncomfortable. The pain in late pregnancy can be due to Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are practice contractions that prepare the body for labor. Late pregnancy pain can also be caused by SPD or simply the movement necessary for the baby to get into birth position.