A Guide to Lower Abdominal, Inguinal, and Groin Pain During Pregnancy and After Delivery
Women have the beautiful ability to experience pregnancy and childbirth. They can feel movement inside their bodies, see pictures through ultrasound, and experience the sheer joy of bringing a new life in the world. While pregnancy is beautiful, there are some not- so- great experiences a woman may have. A woman’s body is rapidly changing and growing. These changes may come with a pain you have not experienced before.
One of the most recognizable pains during and after pregnancy is lower abdominal, inguinal, and groin pain. Understanding what this pain is and how to treat it will help you have a pregnancy with fewer worries.
Lower abdominal, inguinal, and groin pain is defined as a sharp or jabbing pain felt in the lower abdomen or groin. This pain becomes noticeable during the second trimester of pregnancy and is normally felt on the right side of the abdomen.
It is always alarming to feel pain in your abdomen during pregnancy or shortly after delivery. In order to diagnose your pain, you need to know your symptoms and consult your doctor.
In order to make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor may order blood and urine samples as well as performing an ultrasound. These tests can rule out other causes such as kidney stones, appendicitis, urinary tract infections, or ovarian cysts.
Lower abdominal, inguinal, and groin pain is experienced due to the stretching of ligaments around the womb. As the womb becomes larger to accommodate the baby, the ligaments that hold the uterus in place must stretch.
A certain ligament known as the round ligament is the culprit of your pain. This ligament attaches the front portion of the uterus to the groin. Normally, this ligament contracts and relaxes slowly when you sneeze, cough, or make rapid movements. During pregnancy, everything speeds up and more weight is applied to the ligament.
Due to the enlarging of the uterus during pregnancy, the round ligament is stretched and contracts more quickly, therefore causing pain.
Treatment of lower abdominal, inguinal, and groin pain during pregnancy is easy. Some actions to add to your treatment plan include:
- Rest - Your pain should only last a few seconds and with rest, not be a frequent occurrence.
- Stretching - Having a regular exercise routine can be beneficial to keeping those ligaments pliable during pregnancy. Flexibility will also make delivery easier on your body.
- Avoid Sudden Movements- Slow everything down. Sudden movements can cause rapid contractions of the ligaments and sharp pains in your lower abdomen and groin. Remember there are two of you. It is understandable to take twice as long to do the same tasks.
- Abdominal binders or compression - Your doctor may prescribe the use of an abdominal binder or orthotic. Wearing an abdominal binder can help support your rapidly growing belly. Increasing support can keep the ligaments surrounding the uterus from over-stretching. Compression garments are a great way to treat post-delivery effects. Support and encouragement of blood flow allows the body to heal in a quick, efficient way.
Lower abdominal, inguinal, and groin pain during pregnancy is uncomfortable and can be alarming. The good news ladies is that you have a great prognosis. Once your bundle of joy has entered the world, your body will begin to heal itself and pain will subside. With proper rest and the use of an abdominal binder or compression, your body will heal more quickly, and you can return to your “normal” self.
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