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Pains in your second trimester - Stomach pain and cramps in pregnancy

Stomach or tummy pains in pregnancy are very common and can happen at any time. Most of the time, they are nothing to worry about. But sometimes they can be a sign of something more serious.

It is important to know what to look out for in each trimester and when to get help.

Urgent advice: Contact your GP or your maternity unit or hospital immediately if:

  • you have severe stomach pain that will not go away

Weeks 12 to 28

Stomach pain in the second trimester is often due to round ligament pain. Your womb is expanding and this can cause the ligaments to stretch.

This can cause pain in your lower tummy, groin or hips on one or both sides. It is important to get checked by your GP, obstetrician or midwife if you have pain like this.

There are some things you can do to help with pelvic ligament pain:

  • lie on the opposite side to the pain
  • take your time when moving, especially when turning in bed at night
  • take a warm bath

Sometimes pain in your pelvic area can be caused by pelvic girdle pain.

You should sleep on your side when you're pregnant. It can help prevent stillbirth.

When to get medical help in your second trimester

Non-urgent advice: Contact your GP, maternity unit or hospital if:

  • you have pain when you pee - this could be a sign of a urine infection
  • you have blood in your urine or smelly or cloudy urine - these could be signs of a urine infection
  • you have any bleeding from your vagina - this could be a sign of a miscarriage or a problem with your placenta
  • the pain is higher up in your stomach or chest, or if you have a headache, swelling of your hands, feet and face or blurring of your vision - these are signs of pre-eclampsia
  • the pain is severe, or if it is mainly on one side - this could be a sign of appendicitis
  • you notice any change in your baby’s movements
  • you feel a gush of fluid - this could be a sign of premature labour
  • you have a fever (a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher ) - this could be a sign of infection

Page last reviewed: 14 November 2022
Next review due: 14 November 2025