July 8, 2009

Causes & Remedies for Uterus Pain During Pregnancy

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Cramps or pain in the uterus during pregnancy is a common complaint and can be very worrying for some. Symptoms range from a sharp pain in the side to a dull ache in the area of the pelvis. Some women report feeling ‘full’ or ‘heavy’ in their pelvis while others equate the cramps to those felt before a menstrual period. In most cases, the causes of uterine pain are largely harmless and no cause for concern. The most common reason is simply that your uterus is growing to make place for your baby. As long as the pain or pressure is mild and not accompanied by other symptoms, it should clear up on its own and is nothing to be worried about. Some harmless causes of pain in the uterus while pregnant could be:

  • Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to problems such as indigestion, constipation, gas, bloating and esophageal reflux. This can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping.
  • Pressure of the Baby’s Weight: During the third trimester, your fully developed baby can press down on the pelvic region and cause uterine and abdominal pain.
  • Round Ligament Pain: Round ligament pain is a condition that tends to develop in the second trimester of your pregnancy. It causes a brief stabbing pain in the lower abdomen or a dull ache that can be felt deep in your groin. This pain happens as the ligaments that support your uterus begin to stretch to accommodate the growing fetus. Sudden movements or strenuous activity can aggravate the condition. If the pain does not go away even after resting, speak to your doctor about it.
  • Braxton Hicks Contractions: Braxton Hicks contractions can start as early as mid pregnancy. As the uterus contracts from time to time, you may feel some pain. In most cases, this pain is irregular and not too unbearable. If you do notice regular contractions accompanied by persistent lower back pain, contact your doctor, as these may be signs of premature labor.

Persistent pain in the uterus and abdomen during pregnancy could also be a sign of the following medical conditions:

  • Ectopic Pregnancy: This refers to a condition when the egg that is fertilized is implanted on the fallopian tubes instead of within the uterus. If the condition is not treated, it could be fatal. Along with pain in the abdomen and uterus that gets worse with physical activity or movement, if you experience tenderness of the abdomen, vaginal bleeding or spotting, and a severe pain in the shoulder, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Miscarriage: The possibility of a miscarriage is higher in the first four to five months of pregnancy. Vaginal bleeding or spotting, abdominal cramps, a persistent pressure in the pelvis and severe abdominal pain are all signs of a possible miscarriage and should be brought to your doctor’s attention immediately.
  • Preterm Labor: Preterm or premature labor occurs if your cervix dilates and you start having contractions before your 37th week of pregnancy. Signs of preterm labor include an increase in vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, pain in the abdomen, cramps in the pelvis, and lower back pain.
  • Placental Abruption: This is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus before your baby is born. While symptoms may vary from case to case, uterine tenderness, contractions, vaginal bleeding, and excessive back pain normally signal a problem with the pregnancy.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: You are more prone to urinary tract infections during pregnancy. Frequent urinary tract infections can cause symptoms such as lower abdominal pain along with pain and burning during urination.
  • Other possible causes of abdominal and uterine pain during pregnancy include food poisoning, fibroids, ovarian cysts, kidney stones, pancreatitis, and gallbladder disease.

Home Remedies

If the pain in your pelvis is causing discomfort, there are some easy home remedies you can try to provide some relief. These include:

  • Do some gentle stretches or move around. In case the abdominal pain is being caused by gas, the pain should dissipate with some light activity.
  • Place a hot water bottle on your lower abdomen to reduce cramps and pressure in the pelvis. A warm shower or bath can also help alleviate the symptoms.
  • Rest for a while if the pain persists. In the case of round ligament pain or Braxton Hicks contractions, resting can help alleviate the discomfort.
  • Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water a day as dehydration can increase uterine contractions and pain.
  • Wear a pelvic support garment that may help relieve pressure on the pelvis.
  • Always wear shoes with low heels and good arch support to prevent lower back pain.
  • Certain yoga poses can help alleviate pain and pressure in the abdomen during pregnancy. However, practice yoga only under the supervision of an experienced instructor when pregnant.


  1. http://takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/holistic-pregnancy-childbirth/how-does-my-body-work-during-childbirth