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Round ligament pain in pregnancy

Round ligament pain is a sharp, jabbing sensation on one or both sides of your lower abdomen (tummy). It's usually on your right side. This pain is not harmful to you or your baby.

The round ligament connects your womb to your pelvis.

It is more common in the second trimester or third trimester.

Causes of round ligament pain

Changes in your hormones during pregnancy can cause your ligaments to relax and get looser.

As your baby grows, your womb gets bigger. This can stretch your round ligaments.

The pain can happen after sudden movements such as:

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • rolling in bed
  • standing up quickly
  • laughing

Reducing round ligament pain

To reduce round ligament pain:

  • do not arch your back too much when sitting or standing - poor posture can stretch the ligament
  • support your bump by pulling in the lower part of your tummy, bringing your bump in closer to your spine.
  • squeeze your deep tummy muscle when standing up from a sitting position and when you're rolling in bed
  • bend your hips up before you cough, sneeze or laugh

Non-urgent advice: Contact your GP, obstetrician or midwife if you have:

  • severe abdominal pain
  • chills
  • fever
  • pain when you pee
  • any bleeding from your vagina

Page last reviewed: 13 October 2023
Next review due: 13 October 2026

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.