Lightning Crotch Pain During Pregnancy

You know that sharp and shooting vaginal pain you get that stops you in your tracks during the last month or so of pregnancy? It is lovingly nicknamed “Lightning crotch,” and for a good reason. 

Experiencing lightning crotch seems to be a very common experience. Still, it does not occur in every pregnancy, and scientists are not sure why. Although many experience this uncomfortable sensation, does anybody know what it is or what is causing it?

What IS Lightning Crotch?

According to science, lighting crotch is caused by the baby’s head being so low and engaged that it puts pressure on the nerves in the lower parts of your uterus, sending that occasional zing right to your crotch. 

Often, a lightning crotch occurs when the baby has dropped down into the pelvis at the end of pregnancy. Unfortunately, no, it is not a sign that labor is near. 

In fact, your lightning crotch sensations could continue to occur all the way up until labor. Although there is no way to stop the sensations completely, a few things can be attempted to help lessen the discomfort or get through the sensation when it occurs.

What Can You Do?

Belly Support

The main preventative that can be taken is to wear a belly support band or garment. This can help give support and lessen the pelvic load. There are many types of discreet belly support systems that fit nicely under pregnancy clothing, as well as a few types of belly support systems that look like robotic body extensions but likely do even more of the trick. 

There are even DIY options, like utilizing a ring sling infant carrier, that can help take some of the weight off of your pelvis and cost a lot less. This preventative might not take away lightning crotch sensations completely, but it is worth trying and might provide more relief than you thought possible.

Staying Active

A few other ideas to help prevent lightning crotch are to stay active throughout the day. If you are working a desk job, schedule time to get up periodically and walk around. Take daily walks or go for a swim if that is available to you. Moving your body can help with so many different pregnancy ailments, and lightning crotch might just be one of them. 

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Warm Baths and Massages

Another idea is to take a nice warm bath or get a relaxing massage. These two things ease some of the strain on your muscles and help them to release and relax. Again, even if none of these things work for lighting crotch, they will still feel nice, so what is there to lose?

Changing Positions

If you are in the middle of a lightning crotch sensation and need it to stop, the best advice is to change positions. Shifting from sitting to standing or from standing to lying down. By changing positions, you quite literally can get your baby off of your nerves.

Is It Something More Serious?

Although lightning crotch is usually not a concern to see your care provider, there are some moments where it might be the sign of something more. For example, suppose your lighting crotch does not go away after a few moments or is accompanied by lower back pain, nausea, regular contractions, a fever, or vaginal bleeding. In that case, it is time to call your care provider. These things could be signs of early labor or an infection; either way, your care provider will want to know. 

Although lightning crotch is not preventable, it is most commonly pretty quick to come and go, never lasting more than a few moments, and it is a pregnancy ailment that goes away when pregnancy is over. So there is relief coming whether these tips above work or not. Although uncomfortable and slightly annoying, knowing that this pain is benign can provide peace of mind as you move forward throughout the remainder of your pregnancy.


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