During pregnancy, it’s normal to feel pain in your pelvic area as your uterus expands. Learn how to alleviate the pain.
The round ligaments that support the uterus stretch during pregnancy, which can trigger pain in the left or right groin area.
What causes groin pain?
As the uterus expands, it forces this pair of ligaments to stretch. Consequently, you may experience a sudden pulling of the right or left ligament, a bit like a rubber band snapping.
It can happen when you sneeze, cough, or make a sudden movement. Usually the pain is intense but brief and feels like a muscle spasm, a cramp, or a burning sensation.
Groin pain most often occurs in the second trimester. It can also appear later, when the baby’s head has engaged.
How to prevent and reduce groin pain
- Slow down and avoid sudden movements, like getting out of bed quickly.
- Lean forward when sneezing or coughing.
- Crouch down while holding the back of a chair.
- Decrease the weight on your uterus by using a maternity belt. Spending time in a swimming pool can also help reduce the weight on your uterus.
- Lie down on the side that hurts and bring your knees toward your chest.
- Take a hot bath or apply moderate heat to your groin or lower abdomen.
Scientific review: Dr. Chantal Ouellet, family doctor
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: August 2019
Cunningham, F. Gary, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 22nd ed., McGraw-Hill Professional, 2005.
Ladewig, Patricia, et al. Contemporary Maternal-Newborn Nursing Care. Upper Saddle River, Prentice Hall, 2010.