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Lightning Crotch Pain During Pregnancy – Everything You Need To Know

Table of Contents

Lightning Crotch Pain During Pregnancy

Table of Contents

Lightning crotch pain during pregnancy is a common pregnancy symptom most women suffer from. As the name suggests, this lightning pain in the stomach feels like a bolt of thunder, as though somebody has been punched in the crotch, occurring at the most random of times.

By the end of our blog, you’d not only be more informed about this common pain during pregnancy but should also know how to deal with it!

What is a "lightning crotch" during pregnancy ?

Lightning crotch is an unexpected and unannounced form of piercing pain felt inside the crotch by most women during pregnancy. Though there is no official or medical term coined to describe this pain, it is most commonly described by mothers as an ‘electric-bolt’ or as a ‘stinging sensation’ deep inside the crotch.

What Are The Symptoms Of Lightning Crotch Pain During Pregnancy?

The lightning crotch symptoms include-

  • an unannounced zing of pain deep inside the crotch
  • lasting for a few seconds
  • occurring only towards the end of the pregnancy
  • it may also feel like your baby is making sudden movements and like an electric bolt of pain

How Early Can Lightning Crotch Pain Occur In Pregnancy?

This extremely uncomfortable form of lightning pain, the lightning crotch, is typically felt towards the end of the pregnancy or in the late stages of pregnancy when the baby nears the due date. Unfortunately, this hits most women. unannounced and with no heads up for preparation or caution whatsoever.

How Long Does The Lightning Crotch Pain Last?

As an upside to this sharp pain, it does not typically last for more than a few seconds and subsides on its own. However, if you happen to suffer from shooting pains on a regular basis, lasting more than a few seconds at once, it might be a sign that you need to reach out to your healthcare provider for a deeper diagnosis and to determine if something is wrong.

Lightning Crotch Pain v/s Pelvic Pain v/s Round Ligament Pain

Though one of the most beautiful experiences of a woman’s life, pregnancy, unfortunately, also is an experience full of aches and pains for women. Let us quickly have a look at the most common pains felt during pregnancy and how they are differentiated from one another –

          Lightning Crotch          Round ligament          Pelvic Pain
As established, a lightning crotch feels like a shooting sensation, like piercing pins and needles, like a sharp electric pain in the deep inside the crotch region, lasting for a few seconds.Round Ligament pain is felt as a ‘pulling’ sensation in the lower abdomen and pelvic area. It usually starts in the pelvic and rectum area, usually then radiating down the leg. Round ligament pain might also be felt in the vaginal area, coming from varicose veins in the vulva. It usually stops after a few seconds or minutes. This also begins late in pregnancy, towards the second or third trimester.Pelvic pain during pregnancy, as the name suggests, is an uncomfortable shooting pain felt in the pelvis or the pelvic region. This also is sudden, piercing,  and can be very similar yet not as severe as a lightning crotch. This cramp-like pain begins as early as in the 8th to 12th week and lasts throughout the pregnancy.

When Does Lightning Crotch Pain End?

It usually ends only after the pregnancy is over and the baby takes birth.

What Causes Lightning Crotch Pain?

Though there does not exist a definitive reason for this discomfort, certain factors that supposedly trigger it are-

  • The growing baby: As the baby grows and starts taking up more room, they possibly start pressing on and kicking on the nerve that runs to the cervix, causing the lightning pain
  • Increasing pressure on the baby’s head is also another supposed reason. As it drops lower in the pelvis, it might trigger this sharp pain.

How To Prevent Lightning Crotch Pain?

Just as there is no definite reason as to why this sudden sharp lightning bolt pain takes place, there is also no definitive prevention to it. However, if you are a mother suffering from this jolt-like discomfort, here are some tricks that might help-

  • Try and change your position. If you were sitting when you got the pain, perhaps try and get up or lie down on the bed
  • A belly band or any belly support garment that can help borrow some load from your pelvis might help
  • Visiting a professional massage therapist could help get some relief
  • If nothing works, do not worry, just remember it is a matter of a few seconds. Scream if you want to, clutch onto something tight, and take deep breaths until the moment lasts!

Final Takeaway- When To Call A Doctor For Lightning Crotch Pain?

All documents on the web will tell you that this lightning bolt of pain will go away as quickly as it comes and that you should just breathe your way through it, however, we understand that it is easier said than done.

If you are a woman who has been suffering from this jolt way too often and way too severe, or if you have any reason to believe that your pain is something more serious than a bolt of harmless crotch lightning, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor immediately. Besides, be aware, lightning crotch can also be triggered by cervical dilation, which is a normal occurrence towards the end of pregnancy and again, is nothing to worry about.

Also, do not wait and call your doctor immediately in case the lightning crotch comes with abnormal symptoms like vaginal bleeding, fever, contractions, or if the sharpshooting does not subside after a few seconds.

Lightning Crotch Pain FAQs-

1) Is pelvic girdle pain the same as lightning crotch?

No, pelvic girdle pain in women, a pregnancy-related pain (PGP) that occurs as a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a stiffness of pelvic joints. However, the definite cause of a lightning crotch is still unknown. Besides, PGP rarely goes away without treatment whereas the lightning crotch goes away within seconds on its own.

2) Is the lightning crotch a sign of labor?

Yes, lightning crotch could be one of the symptoms or signs of labor. In some women, this discomfort in the third trimester comes as the first sign of labor, especially if it is accompanied by consistent contractions, consistent backache, or any leaking of fluid.

3) What is sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy?

As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby during pregnancy, it tends to push the sciatic nerve, causing a sharp shooting pain known as sciatic nerve pain. This pressure on the nerve can also cause discomfort in the lower back, radiating down the legs.

4) Is a baby's growth the reason for the lightning crotch?

The definite reason for the lightning crotch has not yet been established. However, two primary reasons assumed and suggested as the cause are-
  • when a baby moves or changes positions
  • A growing baby tends to apply pressure on the cervix, disturbing the nerve endings around the pelvis.
  • 5) How does a lighting crotch pain feel like?

    As the name suggests, this lightning pain in the stomach feels like a bolt of thunder, as though somebody has been punched in the crotch, occurring at the most random of times.

    On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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