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Cervical Pain


Also known as “Cervical Zinger” or “Lightning Crotch” The sensation is of sharp shooting pains felt within the cervix, vagina or rectum.   Pain is typically described as a very sudden zap or electric bolt that is very brief but quite uncomfortable.   Onset is typically in the third trimester.   Episodes are isolated every so often or several episodes in the day.    Women are often concerned that this pain could signal a problem because of the nature and location of the pain.     

Why it happens: 

While it is poorly understood, some believe it is likely due to the increased pressure of the presenting part of the fetus on the cervix irritating particular nerve endings.   Some attribute it to the baby dropping into the lower part of the uterus in preparation for labor.   The baby head pushes on the pelvic floor and bladder putting pressure on the nerve endings. The pressure on the nerves can cause sharp twinges of pain.  Yet others attribute it to the Round ligaments.  These are a pair of  thick ligaments that support the uterus. The growing uterus  puts extra pressure on these ligaments, which causes them to stretch and become thin.  Moving in a certain way may cause the ligaments to stretch too far or too fast, causing sudden, sharp pain.

Relief Measures: 

Goal is to improve discomfort.  However, don’t be shocked if nothing seems to work. This may be one of those pregnancy symptoms you just have to deal with.

  1. Change positions- the baby may be putting pressure on a nerve, stand up, shifting positions or  moving may cause the baby to shift and take pressure off a nerve.

  2. Take a warm bath-Warm Hydrotherapy can relieve many discomforts during pregnancy including stress and body aches.   In the same way, it can help ease round ligaments pains.

  3. Get a prenatal massage by a certified massage therapist specializing in prenatal massage-while they may not prevent cervical pain, massages can relax the muscles and may ease overall aches and pains during pregnancy. 

  4. Wear an abdominal support band under or over your clothing-these  garments made especially for pregnancy are available in many stores and online. They help by taking some weight off the pelvis  and relieving some pressure on the nerves easing the sharp, shooting pains of lightning crotch.

  5. Short term use of acetaminophen can be used in all trimesters of pregnancy if the other relief measures aren’t helping. 

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