Round Ligament Pain: Care Instructions

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Location of the round ligament and areas of pain associated with it


Round ligament pain is a common pain during pregnancy. You may feel a sharp brief pain on one or both sides of your belly. It may go down into your groin. It's usually felt for the first time during the second trimester. This pain is a normal part of pregnancy.

Your uterus is supported by two ligaments that go from the top and sides of the uterus to the bones of the pelvis. These are the round ligaments. As your uterus grows, these ligaments stretch and tighten with your movements. This may be the cause of the pain. You may find that certain activities seem to cause pain. If you can, avoid those activities.

Your doctor can usually diagnose round ligament pain from your symptoms and an exam. If you have bleeding or other symptoms, your doctor may also do an imaging test, such as an ultrasound. Your doctor may suggest some things that can help the pain, such as rest and strengthening exercises.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If certain movements seem to trigger belly pain, see if you can avoid them or try moving more slowly so the ligaments don't stretch quickly.
  • Stay active. If your doctor says it's okay, try moderate exercise. You might try things like swimming, walking, or stretching. Ask your doctor about strengthening and stretching exercises that may help.
  • Try a heating pad or cold pack on the area. A warm bath or shower may also help.
  • Rest when you can.
  • Ask your doctor about taking acetaminophen for pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Try a belly support band. Some people find that these can help.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You think you might be in labor.
  • You have new or worse pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.