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Lightning crotch is a painful condition that can occur at any time during pregnancy. While it can come in waves, you’re more likely to experience lightning crotch—or for existing pain to intensify—between 35 weeks and 40 weeks of pregnancy. As an expecting mother, you’re probably searching for reassurance that everything is normal. While it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor if you’re having symptoms or feel that something is abnormal, we can help by reassuring you that lightning crotch is common during pregnancy and there are solutions that can help you get relief. Let’s dive in and learn more about lightning crotch, what causes it, and how to treat it.
It’s not uncommon to have pelvic pain during pregnancy. But what is lightning crotch, exactly? It’s a general term for the sharp, shooting pains that can stem from pregnancy-related conditions like round ligament pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction. Those shooting pains can be felt in the pelvis, rectum, or vagina area, and can feel like an electrical jolt, which is why it’s called lightning crotch. The discomfort can come in waves and may occur more frequently during the last trimester of pregnancy.
Lightning crotch may be painful, but it’s also a reminder that your baby is getting ready to make his or her entrance into the world. As your baby transitions into a birthing position, more pressure is applied to the lower part of the uterus and the weight of your baby can press on sensitive areas, like nerve endings in the pubic bone. As a result, you can start to feel more pressure in your pelvis and on your bladder. Since your baby is changing positions, the pressure can fluctuate, which is why lightning crotch pain may come and go.
Lightning crotch can feel like a shooting pain or short-lived pain in the pelvis area during pregnancy. The pain can travel down the inner thigh and is more likely to occur when you’ve been in the same position for an extended period of time. The sensation can last less than a minute and may not occur during every pregnancy. You may have lightning crotch during one pregnancy, but not the next. Mothers who have experienced lightning crotch liken it to being struck by lightning (hence the name!).
Unfortunately, the cause of lightning crotch can be difficult to pin down. The good news: It doesn’t last forever! Here are some possible causes of lightning crotch:
Lightning crotch is a normal pregnancy symptom and can occur during early pregnancy, but it’s most common during the last four to six weeks. During your pregnancy journey, it’s important to communicate with your doctor. If you experience pain that’s abnormal or occurs often, seek professional advice.
Typically, no—lightning crotch is not a sign of active labor. However, experiencing lighting crotch pain may indicate that you are getting close to labor. If you’re experiencing lightning crotch symptoms along with other symptoms—like nausea, lower back pain, and regular contractions—you might be in labor.
You can experience lightning crotch at any time during pregnancy, but it’s more likely to occur toward the end of the second trimester and even more common in the third trimester. This means that you’re more likely to experience lightning crotch betweek 20 weeks and 40 weeks of pregnancy.
There are two things that can impact the timing: The first is the amount of pressure resulting from your uterus expanding, and the second is the position of your baby. If your baby is positioned to stimulate nerve endings in your uterus and cervix, it’s more likely for lightning crotch to occur.
If you’re experiencing lightning crotch, there are some at-home remedies that may help you find some relief.
Remember, lightning crotch is caused by your baby moving and growing. The pain may be brought on by your baby putting pressure on a nerve. If you are experiencing shooting pains, try standing up or moving. The goal is to shift the position of your baby.
Abdominal support bands can help take weight off the pelvis during pregnancy. Wearing a support band, such as the V-Sling Pelvic Support Band or Upsie Belly Pregnancy Support Band, can help reduce the severity of shooting pains caused by lightning crotch. Abdominal support bands can be worn under or over clothes.
A massage is a great way to enjoy some me-time and let go of your day-to-day stress. While it may not stop or prevent lightning crotch, it can help relax muscles and make your body feel better during pregnancy.
You should communicate with your care provider if you’re pregnant and experiencing unusual symptoms, including shooting pains or lightning crotch. If you are experiencing lightning crotch symptoms with other symptoms, such as a fever, vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, or a sudden release of fluid from your vagina, you should contact your doctor. You should also contact your provider if you are experiencing consistent contractions.
Lightning crotch can be painful, but it’s usually temporary. You and your baby can have a healthy pregnancy while experiencing lightning crotch. If your symptoms are worsening or you don’t get relief through at-home remedies, you may want to contact your doctor or midwife.
For relief during pregnancy, shop Belly Bandit. Belly Bandit can help relieve aches and pains while supporting mamas at every stage of pregnancy. From sleeping pillows to maternity support shorts, Belly Bandit products are designed by women, for women.
Shop Belly Bandit maternity support wear now!
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