28/01/2010 14:41 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

R: What Is Round Ligament Pain?

Round ligament pain is an uncomfortable condition that causes sharp stabbing, shooting pains in the abdominal area or groin. It begins during the second trimester of pregnancy and can also feel like a long lasting dull ache.

The condition is often worse when a pregnant woman moves suddenly, such as getting up from lying down; coughing; rolling over in bed; or getting out of the bath. Women who experience a longer lasting ache will find this is worse at the end of the day.

Round ligament pain is caused by the pressure of the ever growing baby. As the baby and uterus grow, the ligaments that surround and support the uterus stretch, causing the pain to occur.

While the condition is nothing to worry about, women are advised to monitor the severity of it. It should cause no more than an irritating series of quick, sudden pains; while the abdominal ache should disappear after some rest.

If any of these symptoms worsen, a midwife or doctor should be informed so that the possibility of any other medical condition can be discounted. In particular, if round ligament pain is accompanied by severe cramps, spotting, bleeding, sickness or pain during urination, medical help must be sought straightaway.

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