Round Ligament Pain



What is round ligament pain?

When any women become pregnant gradually the size of the uterus increases and form quite similar shaped as an apple and with increasing time the size increases as watermelon. This cause stretching of the muscles present in the lower abdomen.

round ligament pain


The attached ligaments which surrounds the whole lower abdominal organ like uterus, groin become thicken. These anatomical changes cause sharp pain at the lower abdominal area including pelvic region or at hips joint, especially in the second trimester.

round ligament attachments and location

Condition become worsen during fast walking; prolong sitting or standing posture, extensive laughing or coughing.

Causes

During pregnancy the attached ligament at the pelvic region becomes elongated to provide support to the uterus, as it size is increases. The anatomical position of the round ligament is extended from anterior part of the uterus to the groin, the junction of the legs and pelvis. The usual functioning of the round ligaments is contraction and relaxation slowly and it helps to suspend the uterus in the abdominal cavity.

round ligament anatomy

The womb size is increases as the fetus grows inside the uterus. This cause thinning of the ligament to cover whole posture and sudden posture changes can also sharp pain due to quick change of the shape of the ligaments.

Triggering factors

  • Quick movement
  • Rolling of the bed
  • Sudden intense coughing or sneezing
  • Rapid postural changes such as sitting position to standing position
  • Excessive laughing
  • Extensive physical exercise

Symptoms

The round ligament pain increases the discomfort and produce concerns, but medically it is quite normal for pregnancy.  The symptoms of round ligaments pain are as follows:


  • Sudden spasm
  • Sharp pain
  • The initial pain usually started from right side and then both the sides of the lower abdomen have pain.
  • The duration of pain is not prolonged and can be minimized within few seconds

Diagnosis

Usually need not to perform any diagnosis for round ligament pain. It is quite common in early pregnancy and cannot provide any harmful effect to fetus. For safer side, doctors usually conduct physical examination, ultrasonography, blood tests and urine tests for analysis the other serious problem.

Differential Diagnosis

If lower abdominal pain occurs during pregnancy, the two main reason of pain is arises which include:

  • Pregnancy related: this include Ectopic pregnancy, Miscarriage/ abortion, uterine rupture, uterine growth

Non-pregnancy related

  • Gynecological which include ovarian cysts, endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic infection.
  • Medical: uterine contraction, renal infection, urinary tract infection, consitipation, IBS, renal infection,
  • Surgical: Appendicitis, intestinal obstruction/ volvulus, gastroenteritis and ureteric calculus,

Treatment

For pain reduction, analgesics contain acetaminophen usually provide relief, but before taking any medicaments consult with your gynecologist.

Prenatal exercise and breathing exercises and some yoga posture help to strengthen the abdominal ligaments and muscle which reduce the pain during stretching. Before continuing any movement consult your gynecologist for safety purpose.

Avert any sudden postural changes or also movement

Quick or rapid changes of posture should avoid, gradually change the position. And walking speed should not be high, slow movement is needed to avert the pain.

Frontal bend

during coughing, sneezing, laughing it is advisable to bend in forward direction for prevention of the round ligament pooling.

Hot compression

Hot compression at the lower abdomen by using heating pad or warm bath can help to minimize the symptom of pain. The temperature of the heating pad should not be excessive, as this is harmful for fetus.

Prevention

  • Avoid sudden postural changes such as from sitting to standing or lying position to sitting position
  • During lying on one side take supports by keeping side pillow or cushions
  • Maintain the fluid balance and for this drink sufficient amount of fluid
  • Bend hip muscles while sneezing or coughing and also other activities
  • Avoid staying in the same posture for prolonged time.

Pictures

round ligament inside body


References

  1. http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-round-ligament-pain
  2. http://www.babycenter.com/0_round-ligament-pain_205.bc
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-blog/round-ligament-pain/bgp-20111536
  4. http://www.pregmed.org/round-ligament-pain.htm
  5. https://www.glowm.com/pdf/Chap-03_Moshi.pdf

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