Round Ligament Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, & More - Healthroid

Round Ligament Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, & More

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on October 03, 2023

Round ligament pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy that many women experience. This discomfort typically emerges during the second trimester and can last until the end of pregnancy. Understanding what causes round ligament pain can help alleviate concerns and provide relief for expectant mothers.

The round ligaments are located on either side of the uterus and stretch to support it as the baby grows. As the uterus expands, these ligaments also stretch, causing a pulling or sharp sensation in the lower abdomen or groin area. It is important to note that round ligament pain is considered normal and doesn’t pose any threat to both mother and baby’s health.

One way to manage this discomfort is through gentle exercises and stretches that focus on strengthening the pelvic muscles. These exercises can help stabilize the area surrounding the round ligaments, reducing strain and easing pain. Additionally, using heat packs or taking warm baths may provide temporary relief by relaxing tense muscles. If you are experiencing severe or persistent pain, it’s always advisable to consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance specific to your condition.

In conclusion, understanding round ligament pain is essential for pregnant women who may encounter this discomfort throughout their pregnancy journey. By recognizing its causes and seeking appropriate methods of relief such as exercises, stretches, or heat therapy, expectant mothers can ease their discomfort while enjoying their special time with their growing bundle of joy.


One of the most common causes of round ligament pain in pregnant women is the growing uterus. As the baby develops and the uterus expands, it puts pressure on the round ligaments that support it. This added weight and pressure can lead to stretching and discomfort in these ligaments. The hormones produced during pregnancy also play a role in causing round ligament pain. Relaxin, in particular, helps to loosen the ligaments and joints in preparation for childbirth but can also contribute to increased sensitivity and pain.

Another factor that may contribute to round ligament pain is sudden movements or changes in position. Whenever a pregnant woman moves too quickly or shifts positions abruptly, it can put a strain on the round ligaments and trigger pain. Activities such as twisting, turning, coughing, or sneezing can exacerbate this discomfort as well. It is important for expectant mothers to be mindful of their movements and try to make smooth transitions to minimize any potential strain on their ligaments.

In conclusion, there are several factors that can cause round ligament pain in pregnant women. The growing uterus coupled with hormonal changes puts additional stress on these supporting structures which leads to discomfort. Additionally, sudden movements or positional changes can further aggravate these symptoms. By understanding the causes behind this common pregnancy ailment, women can better manage their symptoms and find relief through gentle exercises, stretching techniques, warm compresses, or seeking guidance from healthcare professionals if needed.

Risk Factors

One of the risk factors associated with round ligament pain is an increase in physical activity. While exercise is generally considered beneficial for overall health, overexertion can strain the ligaments and cause discomfort. Pregnant women who engage in high-impact exercises such as running or lifting heavy weights may be more prone to experiencing round ligament pain.

Additionally, hormonal changes play a role in round ligament pain, making it another significant risk factor. During pregnancy, the body produces increased levels of relaxin, a hormone that helps loosen the muscles and ligaments surrounding the pelvis to prepare for childbirth. However, these hormonal changes can also create instability within the pelvic region and put additional stress on the round ligaments.

Lastly, obesity or excessive weight gain during pregnancy can contribute to round ligament pain. Carrying excess weight puts pressure on all aspects of your body—ligaments included—and increases strain on the pelvic area specifically. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper nutrition and regular exercise can help reduce this risk factor and alleviate some of the discomfort associated with round ligament pain.

By understanding these risk factors and taking appropriate precautions such as avoiding strenuous exercise routines, pregnant individuals can minimize their chances of developing round ligament pain. It’s important to consult with healthcare professionals who specialize in prenatal care to learn about suitable exercises that support both mother’s and baby’s well-being without putting excessive strain on vulnerable structures like the round ligaments.


Symptoms of round ligament pain can vary from person to person, but there are a few common signs to watch out for. The most notable symptom is a sharp or stabbing pain on one side of the lower abdomen. This pain may be more pronounced when changing positions or during sudden movements. Some women also experience a feeling of stretching or pulling in the groin area, which can radiate down into the thighs.

In addition to the physical discomfort, round ligament pain can also cause emotional distress and anxiety. Women experiencing this condition may worry that something is wrong with their pregnancy or fear that the pain signifies a potential complication. It’s important for those experiencing these symptoms to remember that round ligament pain is incredibly common and usually harmless. However, if you have any concerns or your symptoms are severe and persistent, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.


When it comes to diagnosing round ligament pain, healthcare professionals use a combination of methods to ensure an accurate assessment. Firstly, they will conduct a thorough physical examination, feeling for any areas of tenderness or swelling around the ligament. This is usually accompanied by a detailed medical history questionnaire, where patients are asked about their symptoms and any potential triggers. It is important to provide as much information as possible during this stage in order to help healthcare providers develop an informed diagnosis.

In some cases, additional tests may be necessary to rule out other possible causes of abdominal or pelvic pain. Ultrasounds can be particularly useful in visualizing the round ligaments and identifying any abnormalities such as inflammation or tears. While it can be frustrating that there is no specific diagnostic test for round ligament pain, the comprehensive approach taken by healthcare professionals ensures that other underlying conditions are properly ruled out before arriving at a diagnosis. Don’t hesitate to voice your concerns and ask questions during this process – clear communication with your doctor is key to achieving an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.


Treatment for round ligament pain can vary depending on the severity and individual circumstances. In mild cases, self-care measures may be sufficient to alleviate discomfort. This can include, rest, gentle stretching exercises, warm compresses, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen.

For more persistent or severe cases of round ligament pain, healthcare professionals may recommend additional interventions. Physical therapy can be beneficial in strengthening the muscles surrounding the ligaments and providing support to the growing uterus. Pelvic supports or belly bands are another option, as they help redistribute weight and reduce strain on the ligaments.

In rare instances where round ligament pain is severe and significantly impacts daily activities, a doctor may consider prescribing stronger medication or recommending alternative therapies like chiropractic care. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment approach for managing this discomfort during pregnancy.

Tips for Preventing Round Ligament Pain

One of the most common discomforts experienced during pregnancy is round ligament pain. This sharp or jabbing sensation typically occurs on one or both sides of the lower abdomen and can be quite alarming for expecting mothers. However, there are several ways to prevent and manage this discomfort to ensure a smoother pregnancy experience.

Firstly, maintaining good posture can make a world of difference in preventing round ligament pain. As the uterus expands, it puts strain on the round ligaments, leading to discomfort. Avoid slouching or sitting in positions that place excessive pressure on your pelvis. Instead, focus on sitting up straight and using pillows or cushions for support when necessary.

Secondly, incorporating regular exercise into your routine is another effective way to prevent round ligament pain. Exercise helps strengthen the muscles surrounding the uterus and improves overall flexibility, reducing stress on the round ligaments. Engaging in low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga not only aids in staying fit during pregnancy but also reduces the chances of experiencing this type of pain.

Lastly, wearing supportive maternity clothing can provide immense relief from round ligament pain. Opt for maternity belts or belly bands that offer gentle compression around your belly and lift some weight off your uterine area. These garments help distribute pressure evenly across your abdomen while providing support to alleviate tension on the round ligaments.

By following these tips and making small adjustments in your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing round ligament pain during pregnancy.


In conclusion, living with round ligament pain can be a challenging yet empowering experience. While it may cause discomfort and limitations in daily life, it is essential to remember that this pain is a natural part of pregnancy and a sign that the body is adapting to support the growing baby. Embracing self-care techniques such as warm compresses, gentle exercises, and proper posture can greatly alleviate the intensity of round ligament pain.

Moreover, finding a supportive community of other expectant mothers who are going through the same journey can be incredibly helpful. Sharing experiences, offering advice, and receiving understanding from others who can relate to this unique kind of discomfort can provide tremendous solace. Additionally, maintaining open communication with healthcare providers ensures appropriate guidance throughout this phase and helps address any concerns or questions related to round ligament pain.

Overall, although round ligament pain may pose challenges during pregnancy, approaching it with patience and self-kindness while seeking support from loved ones and professionals will ultimately contribute to a more positive experience. It’s important for pregnant individuals to trust their bodies’ ability to adapt and embrace the amazing journey they are on as they bring new life into the world.

Published on October 3, 2023 and Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by: Mayank Pandey

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on October 03, 2023

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