Why do I feel stabbing pains in the right or left part of my lower belly?


One of the most common complaints of early pregnancy is pain in the lower belly along the edge of the growing uterus. Many women visit the emergency room and find it is a normal part of pregnancy. These pains are sometimes called growing pains.

Gently push on your groin area just above where your leg attaches to your body. You probably feel a stabbing or sharp cramp-like pain. Usually one side is worse than the other. You may feel this same painful sensation when you reach for something, cough, or sneeze. For some women, it is a constant, irritating pain.

Why does it hurt? There are several ligaments supporting your uterus; they keep it from flopping around. The ligaments are like bungee cords. When you are not pregnant, the ligaments are about two inches long and are as thick as a pencil. By the end of pregnancy the ligaments stretch to about 24 inches and become as thin as a hair. A stretched ligament hurts! Even very early in the pregnancy most women feel this discomfort. The pain usually gets worse with every pregnancy. Some only notice it during their second or third pregnancy. They don’t remember the pain at all during their first pregnancy.

Help the pain by resting in positions that ease the stretching stress on your ligaments. It may be most comfortable sitting in a recliner with your knees slightly bent. An ice pack on the area helps with the inflammation associated with the stretching. As a last resort, take two Tylenol® tablets and rest in the most comfortable position possible.

Recognizing the difference between a normal pain (stretching ligament) and something more serious can be a challenge. You can reassure yourself that all is well by tuning into your body regularly.

ATTENTION: If you have other symptoms along with the pain such as fever, fast heart- beat, shortness of breath, diarrhea, constipation, vaginal bleeding/spotting, severe menstrual-like cramps, or other concerning symptoms, call your provider or go to an emergency room for evaluation.

Oct 01, 2011 | Category: Pain | Comments: none


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