If you’re experiencing groin pain during pregnancy, you’re certainly not alone. We’ll take you through the causes and what to do about it. Read on.
You know those gorgeous pregnancy shoots, with mamas-to-be adorned in flower crowns, whimsically cradling their bumps amid a fairytale forest scene?
We love them, yes.
But they’re certainly not the whole picture.
As magical as pregnancy is, it’s also a whole lot of other things, like dealing with nausea, swelling, and fatigue.
And yep, groin pain during pregnancy is certainly on the symptom list.
Groin pain in pregnancy is usually nothing serious—but that doesn’t mean you have to grit your teeth and bare it.
The first thing to do is to speak to your doctor so that they can rule out anything serious and give you strategies to manage it.
And the good news is that there are ways to find relief. We’ll take you through the details.
In this article: 📝
- First of all, where is your groin?
- How early in pregnancy does groin pain start?
- How do you relieve groin pain during pregnancy?
- When should I be concerned about pubic pain during pregnancy?
First of all, where is your groin?
When we’re speaking of the groin area, we’re referring to your hip area, on either side of your pubic bone, around your lower abdomen, and upper thigh.
This area is prime pregnancy real estate as it’s supporting your growing uterus and preparing your body for labor and birth.
So, it may be no surprise that it can take a bit of strain over this time.
How early in pregnancy does groin pain start?
While it often kicks off in the second trimester, pregnancy groin pain can begin at any time.
It’s common for it to get worse as you get further into your pregnancy.
You may be experiencing pain in this area for a few different reasons. These include:
Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)
Formerly known as symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD, pelvic girdle pain is a condition made up of a collection of uncomfortable symptoms.
It’s common, affecting about one in four pregnant people.
The pelvic girdle is a set of bones in and around the pubic area.
You may feel PGP in your pelvis, groin area, hips, and lower back.
It can make simple tasks like walking and even turning over in bed uncomfortable, as well as going upstairs or even putting on your shoes.
You may feel a few different sensations if you have PGP.
Dull aches, clicking, and sharp shocks are just some experiences.
Heard of “lightning crotch?”
Yep, this term doesn’t mince its words when it comes to explaining the almost electric sensation of pain shooting through your groin area.
We’re not totally sure what causes PGP.
One of the theories is that, in preparation for birth, pregnancy hormones relax your ligaments to such an extent that your joints may become unstable.
Add to this the growing weight of the little one inside you, and the discomfort can be real.
Groin pain in pregnancy in the third trimester is often attributed to PGP, but it may come on earlier in your pregnancy.
Round ligament pain
This is, quite literally, growing pains.
As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, so too do the surrounding ligaments.
When this happens, you might experience short bouts of pain in your groin area and lower belly.
Round ligament pain has been described as jabbing, aching, and sharp—so there’s no one way to have this experience.
Luckily, there are ways to help soothe the ache.
Yeast infections are common when you’re pregnant and can make your vaginal area feel itchy.
You may also notice a thick, white discharge.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) can also cause discomfort in the groin area, especially when you pee.
You may also feel pain or pressure around your bladder, as well as pain when you have sex.
While UTIs are also common during pregnancy, it’s important to reach out to your doctor to get treatment for them.
Untreated UTIs may lead to a kidney infection, which, according to the American Pregnancy Association, is linked to early labor and low birth weight.
So it’s a good idea to reach out to get it seen to as soon as possible.
Some STIs also cause pain in the groin area.
If you think you have an STI, contact your doctor as some infections can be dangerous for both you and your baby.
How do you relieve groin pain during pregnancy?
That depends on what’s causing it.
It’s important to get diagnosed and treated for PGP so that it has less chance of lasting into the postpartum phase.
Your doctor may recommend:
This includes manual therapy, where the physio will manipulate your joints with their hands to help improve your mobility and relieve discomfort.
They may also give you strengthening exercises to do at home. Some physios also offer water therapy.
Changing up your routine
More frequent rest and avoiding activities that increase your pain may be helpful right now.
Finding temporary relief
An ice pack or a heating pad can be very soothing.
Speak to your doctor about what pain medication you are able to take.
For round ligament pain
Many of the same treatments for PGP will work here.
Stretching exercises, rest, and a hot or cold pack can go a long way.
Avoid the things that trigger pain (it can help to keep track somewhere of what those are).
You may also want to try a prenatal yoga class, but check in with your doctor first if this is a good idea for you right now.
If you have a yeast infection, your doctor may point you toward an antifungal cream or suppository.
Because only some antifungal treatments are approved for pregnancy, it’s important to check in with your doctor beforehand.
For a UTI, you will likely need an antibiotic to keep the infection from spreading.
Some STIs can be treated and prevented from moving to your baby.
Again, it’s really important to get to your doctor as soon as you can.
When should I be concerned about pubic pain during pregnancy?
If you are experiencing groin area pain during pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider.
They’ll be able to rule out anything serious and give you strategies on how to manage it.
And get to your doctor urgently if you experience groin pain along with any of these symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Pain that is severe, worsens over time, or spreads to other parts of your body
- Fever or chills
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
But most of the time, groin pain is par for the pregnancy course.
This too shall pass.
And if you need support along the way, reach out to your Peanut community.
You don’t have to do this alone. ❤️