The moment you find out you are pregnant, your body goes through so many changes. With all the growing and stretching to accommodate the babies, a number of aches and pains may naturally happen which are undeniably felt.
Among the many discomforts is round ligament pain with twins. Perhaps many of you are concerned if this is normal or maybe you are curious to know why this happens in the first place. If you read on, you’ll surely have most of your questions answered.
Round ligament pain with twins during pregnancy: Is this normal?
First of all, round ligament pain is a sharp pain in a specific location in one area of your stomach. This area is usually found between the hip and navel. Other women even experience this jabbing pain that goes into the groin area.
It can happen because of movement or can happen out of nowhere. Such pain is normal during pregnancy.
Round ligament pain (RLP) does not harm the baby but can lead to serious discomfort for the mother. RLP is common during the second trimester of pregnancy. For some mothers, however, this can happen earlier, especially in cases of twin pregnancies.
What causes round ligament pain?
Among the various thick ligaments that surround the uterus or the womb, the round ligament is designed to support the uterus. It also stretches during gestation. This ligament connects the anterior or front part of the uterus to the bones in the groin. The groin area is where your legs are attached to your pelvis.
The ligaments contract and then relax muscles, but this happens ever so slowly. The movement that a woman does whether it is laughing, coughing, or simply going sitting down to standing quickly, stretches the ligaments. If this happens, the ligaments contract rapidly causing spasm-like pains.
As the babies in a woman’s womb grow, the round ligament also stretches making it more strained. Any sudden movement that causes the ligament to tighten quickly causes that painful and sudden jab. This stabbing pain usually lasts for only a few seconds.
For mothers expecting twins, since your uterus grows twice as much as well your belly, it is expected to experience a higher degree of round ligament pain. The discomfort may even start as early as the 25th week of pregnancy.
What are the signs and symptoms of round ligament pain during pregnancy?
The signs and symptoms of RLP during pregnancy include a sharp pain in the area near the belly button or a pain that starts in the groin area that extends to the abdomen and hip.
Another symptom is ligament cramping or spasms usually at the right side of your body, but can also be felt on both sides.
Experiencing a sharp pain in the middle of the night is also one of RLP’s symptoms especially when you turn over in the bed. When you are exercising or if you have a full bladder, the pain gets worse.
Round ligament pain is sometimes confused with labor pain or Braxton Hicks contractions. To tell the difference, it is important to know that labor pain only happens in the latter part of the third trimester. The location of the pain, as well, is different from where RLP originates from.
Braxton Hicks contractions, on the other hand, occur during the second and third trimesters. But contrary to RLP, Braxton Hicks contractions do not cause pain. So, with these clear differences, you can avoid getting confused.
Are there tests to diagnose round ligament pain during pregnancy?
Round ligament pain does not require any tests and examinations since it is a common type of pain during pregnancy. Health care providers, however, may perform physical examinations, urine tests, blood tests, or ultrasound examinations to rule out serious conditions with similar symptoms to RLP.
How is round ligament pain treated?
Aside from modifying your daily activity and avoiding positions that worsen the pain, RLP is usually treated with Tylenol or acetaminophen. In addition, applying heat to the concerned area may offer some relief. Hot baths are recommended to help alleviate the pain.
Lying on the opposite side would significantly reduce the pain, as well as changing the way you move. The key is to sit or rise gradually, avoiding sudden movements. This decreases the spasms.
Flexing your hips before doing anything like coughing, sneezing or laughing will also be more than helpful. Also, be comforted to know that the pain diminishes as the pregnancy progresses.
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Can round ligament pain be prevented?
Preventing round ligament pain from worsening is possible. Make sure to support your belly with pillows or cushions while you lie on one side. It is also recommended not to stay in one position for a long period of time. Another way is to be sure to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated.
Regularly exercising to strengthen the stomach muscles can do a lot of good. These strengthening exercises include the pelvic tilt, stretching, hip hiker, and kneeling exercises. Other ways of therapy would be practicing prenatal yoga moves like side lying and the cat cow pose.
Prenatal massage and chiropractic therapy by licensed practitioners are also good to try. Of course, be sure to consult your health professional before you do so.
When should I call my doctor?
Basically, you should always tell your doctor about any pain you are feeling all throughout the pregnancy. But when it comes to round ligament pain with twins, be sure to contact your doctor immediately if you experience pain that lasts for more than a few minutes.
Other signs include fever, chills, pain during urination and when you feel difficulty in walking. Notify your health care provider if the pain you feel is accompanied by bleeding, nausea, vomiting, or some observed changes in vaginal discharge.
Based on available data on round ligament pain with twins, it is important that we have been more than acquainted with this common and natural pain women go through in pregnancy.
So, the next time you may be feeling some spasms or painful stabbing pains, learn to listen to your body even more closely and avoid panic or confusion. Managing RLP can be easy, but when you are in doubt, be sure to consult your healthcare professional.